The fitness industry is seeing a surge of interest in high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Buzzwords include tabata, max and turbulence training. From group fitness classes to treadmills, boot camp classes to outdoor workouts, this type of interval training is everywhere.
An advanced, yet highly effective form of cardiovascular training, HIIT involves brief bursts of very high-intensity work followed by a recovery period. Studies have shown that these intense bursts of exercise boost your metabolism and may burn more total calories than steady state cardio.
The concern with interval training, however, is the stress that the body endures to perform the exercises. Near maximum effort is required to run faster, jump higher, get lower and go further. Fortunately, there is a place where running faster and jumping higher can be performed with minimal joint stress, while still facilitating the benefits of interval training. Say hello to the swimming pool.
The aquatic environment is often thought of as an easy workout vs. working out with ease. Buoyancy properties allow you to move with ease, which in in turn allows you to work out at a higher intensity with less impact on the body. Water provides between 4 and 42 percent more resistance than air due to the water’s viscosity, which creates resistance in all directions of movement and provides a cardiovascular overload that is perfect for your HIIT workouts.
Aqua HIIT 45/15
This protocol uses the formula of 45 seconds of high-intensity work followed by 15 seconds to rest. Perform each exercise, one right after the other, for three rounds. Total time for this workout is 12 minutes.
Before You Begin:
- Position yourself in shallow water between the navel and chest. You should be able to comfortably stand with both feet on the bottom of the pool floor.
- Begin jogging in place and gradually increase the intensity by running in place or even running the lap lane. Warm up for approximately five to 10 minutes to allow the body to acclimate and prepare for the exercises.
- You can’t feel it, but you are sweating in the pool. Make sure to have a bottle of water poolside to hydrate in between each round.
Tuck Jump Forward and Backward
Jump forward and backward as if you were trying to jump over a fence. Tuck the knees into the chest and use the arms to assist in the forward and backward movement. To increase the intensity, push the water with the palm of your hands.
Jump side to side, as if you were jumping over a line. Similar to the previous exercise, tuck the knees into the chest and use the arms to assist in the side-to-side movement. To increase the intensity, push the water with the palm of your hands, and instead of jumping up out of the water, lower yourself down so you are submerged to shoulder height and focus on tapping the feet as far as you can to the right and to the left.
Begin standing with your legs together. Jump up and split the legs, right leg forward and left leg back. Land with legs together. Repeat the jump and split the legs, left leg forward and right leg back. To increase the intensity, focus on vertical height along with quickly snapping the legs back together for the landing.
Similar to a plyometric jumping jack on land, jump up and create the letter “X” with your arms and legs. When landing, bring the legs back together, and bring the arms to the chest. To increase the intensity, focus on vertical height along with quickly snapping the legs back together for the landing.