Interval training tip: Incorporate short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by periods of active recovery. For example, sprint for 30 seconds and then jog for 1 minute, repeating the cycle for 10-15 minutes.
Interval training is often hailed as the holy grail of fitness routines. It offers a dynamic and efficient way to achieve peak physical condition, while giving you a myriad of health benefits as a bonus. This rigorous exercise strategy involves alternating between bursts of intense activity and periods of rest or low-intensity recovery.
So whether you’re an elite athlete, a fitness enthusiast looking to supercharge your regimen, or an active outdoor enthusiast cramming to get ready for this coming ski and snowboard season, interval training holds the key to getting in quick shape to conquer the slopes.
One of the big advantages of interval training is its unrivaled capacity to torch calories and shed excess fat. The high-intensity intervals push your body to its limits, igniting a metabolic furnace that continues to burn calories long after your workout ends. This phenomenon, known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC), elevates your basal metabolic rate, making it an invaluable tool for those striving for weight loss. Simply put: interval training is like giving your metabolism a powerful boost, making it a great tool for weight loss.
In addition, interval training doesn’t merely tone your physique; it builds your cardio. The intense bursts of activity followed by brief recovery periods enhance your heart’s efficiency, leading to increased stroke volume, lowered resting heart rate, and improved circulation. The result: your body becomes a well-oiled machine, capable of enduring prolonged physical challenges – perfect for a long day on the hill.
And the benefits don’t stop there. Interval training sharpens your endurance, enhances your anaerobic capacity, and boosts your overall stamina. It’s a comprehensive workout regimen that empowers you to tackle everyday tasks with ease, from climbing stairs effortlessly to lugging groceries without breaking a sweat. Or in winter sports terms, you’ll be riding from bell to bell all season with ease.
Perhaps the most significant benefit of interval training is its time efficiency. There’s no excuse in the case of interval training; you don’t need to spend hours in the gym fighting for workout space. Interval training can be done at home, without weights and in a fraction of the time of other workouts. All you need is a jump rope and about a half an hour. Even a 20-minute session can yield remarkable results, making it accessible to you and your busy schedule. There’s no excuse now.
So, whether you’re striving for a leaner physique, a healthier heart, or enhanced endurance, interval training is your ticket to a fitter, stronger, and more vibrant you on and off the slopes. Embrace the intensity, and let interval training redefine your fitness prep for the snow season.
Here are 10 simple, yet effective interval exercises you can do virtually anywhere.
1. Jumping Jacks
Start the workout with a classic exercise that targets your entire body. Stand with your feet together and arms by your sides. Jump while simultaneously spreading your legs wide and raising your arms overhead. Return to the starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions. Jumping jacks are an excellent way to warm up your muscles and get your heart rate up.
2. High Knees
High knees will further elevate your heart rate and engage your core and lower body muscles. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bring your right knee up towards your chest while simultaneously raising your left arm. Alternate the movement, bringing your left knee up as you raise your right arm. Continue this alternating movement at a brisk pace for a set number of repetitions.
3. Mountain Climbers
Mountain climbers are a challenging exercise that targets your core, shoulders, and legs. Start in a high plank position with your hands shoulder-width apart and your body in a straight line. Drive your right knee towards your chest, then quickly switch legs, bringing your left knee in and right leg back. Continue alternating the movement, maintaining a quick pace throughout the exercise.
4. Squat Jumps
Squat jumps are an excellent way to engage your lower body muscles, including your quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and lower into a squat position. Explosively jump upwards, extending your arms overhead. Land softly back into the squat position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions. Focus on maintaining proper form and landing with control.
Push-ups are a classic exercise that targets your chest, shoulders, and triceps. Begin in a high plank position with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body towards the floor by bending your elbows, keeping your body in a straight line. Push through your palms to return to the starting position and repeat. Modify the exercise by performing push-ups on your knees if needed.
Burpees are a full-body exercise that combines strength and cardio. Start in a standing position, then lower your body into a squat position and place your hands on the floor. Jump your feet back into a high plank position, perform a push-up, and then jump your feet back towards your hands. Explosively jump upwards, reaching your arms overhead. Land softly and repeat the entire movement.
7. Russian Twists
Russian twists are an effective exercise for targeting your obliques and improving core strength. Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet lifted off the ground, balancing on your glutes. Lean back slightly and interlace your fingers in front of your chest. Twist your torso to the right, then to the left, while maintaining a controlled movement. Repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
8. Bicycle Crunches
Bicycle crunches are another great exercise for working your abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with your knees bent and hands behind your head. Lift your shoulders off the ground and bring your right elbow towards your left knee while extending your right leg out straight. Alternate sides, bringing your left elbow towards your right knee. Continue this pedaling motion while maintaining a steady pace.
9. Jump Rope
Jumping rope is an effective cardiovascular exercise that also engages your lower body muscles. Hold the handles of a jump rope in each hand and swing it over your head, jumping as the rope passes under your feet. Maintain a steady rhythm and jump with a light bounce, landing softly on the balls of your feet. Start with a comfortable pace and gradually increase your speed as you become more proficient.
Finish the workout with a plank, an excellent exercise for targeting your core muscles. Start in a high plank position with your elbows directly under your shoulders and your body in a straight line. Engage your core and hold this position for a designated amount of time, focusing on maintaining proper form and breathing steadily. Gradually increase the duration of the plank as your strength improves.
If you’re feeling strong and athletic, you can plank on a fitness ball. The subtle instability and the movement of the ball will work your core muscles on the sides as well as in the middle.
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