High intensity interval training or HIIT is a type of exercising that focuses on short, concentrated periods of physical activity, coupled with quick breaks. This high energy form of training can result in the body burning calories at a faster rate 48-72 hours later. While HIIT is an efficient way of cutting down fat and boosting your metabolism in a shorter length of time, the fast pace and high energy movements need to be managed to avoid injuries.
New research suggests that when people take part in HIIT workouts, they’re at a higher risk of shoulder, knee and ankle injuries. BUT we think there are ways to avoid these injuries.
So what can you do?
- Focus on form – even when you are moving at a fast pace, focus on keeping your body aligned in a good position.
- When lifting keep your spine and trunk in a neutral position – that is a slight lordosis or curve in your lower back.
- Keep your pelvic floor and lower abdominals contracted to help support your spine.
- When doing upper body exercises keep your head in line with the rest of your spine – keeping your neck tall and your head over your spine helps.
- If you bend your knees an easy rule of thumb to maintain a good position, is to keep your knee, over your second toe.
- Wear good running shoes that have a balance of support and cushioning, but allow foot mobility.
- Give your body enough time to recover between HIIT workouts (24 hours of rest between workouts is recommended).
Having said all this, HIIT is an effective way of reaching your fitness goals and should not be discouraged, but at the same time, it is important to realise that one size does not fit all.
If you want to get more info on any of these prevention methods then book in with one of our Physios for individualised injury assessment and specific strategies designed for you.
This blog was written by Niyati Hitesh Shah, Physio from the Aberfoyle Park Physiotherapy practice.
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