Short, fast intervals (called HIIT, or high-intensity interval training) are the way to go if you want to melt fat and target a muffin top. But if you’re not quite certain if you’re doing it right here are a few tips.
You don’t have to go all out at the start: That image of a sweaty, muscly man defying gravity doing box jumps is enough to make anyone intimidated about trying an interval workout. But almost any explosive movement can be modified until you’re ready to take your workout to the next level. If you don’t feel comfortable taking on the plyometrics exercises, you can always substitute. For example, recommendations are doing a reverse lunge instead of a jump lunge if you’re not ready for jumps. Focus on mastering these moves first, and add more explosive ones when you’re ready.
Form is more important than reps: It’s more important to focus on your own form and ensuring that you’re doing your reps correctly. A golden rule should be always form first; speed second. It is about quality, not so much quantity. So if you can only do five perfect squats in 30 seconds, pat yourself on the back for focusing on form.
Yes, you can modify in the next round, but you still have to try: Even if you can’t sustain multiple rounds of perfect push-ups, it’s OK. You can modify a move as rounds progress — just push yourself each round to at least do one complete rep, even if your muscles are shaking and you’re not sure if you can.
Rest means rest: Don’t worry, those 30 seconds go by quick. Make sure to rest during your rest period in order to get your heart rate back down. That way, you’ll be able to tackle the next round with the intensity you desire.
Hydrate before: HIIT workouts will make you thirsty, but gulping down water during a workout is a stomach cramp waiting to happen. Drink five to 10 ounces of an electrolyte-rich sports drink 30 minutes before your workout, then sipping water or a sports drink throughout your session.