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Wisconsin Parent

Spring Conditioning With Interval Training

Mar 11, 2013 10:11PM ● By Matthew Poster

Getting Conditioned forSpring Sports

Is old man winter giving you the blues? He sure has made the last few months tough for me. I've had back issues from all the shoveling and I've been slacking off from my typical daily regimen of exercise. But spring is right around the corner so it's time to put down the hot cocoa and SPAM and pull up the boot straps to get moving HIIT style.

High Intensity Interval Training

HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) has lots of health benefits and you can choose to make it as easy or difficult as you want. This is an easy way to grab the kids and turn it into family exercise time, with each participant participating to their comfort level (outlined below).

The Tabata HIIT protocol is simple and goes like this: 10 seconds on / 20 seconds off, 8 times. This is only four minutes total, but depending on what you're doing it can seem like a lifetime. Sometimes I use this protocol just to get myself moving and DO SOMETHING. And like any exercise routine, you want to be sure to warm up (WU) and cool down (CD) before attempting this routine. Your WU could be something as simple as jogging in place with high knees, jumping jacks, etc. for a few minutes each. Your CD can be just walking around with some nice easy static stretching.

The key to any successful training program is knowing and understanding the progressions of an exercise. The push up is a great example because people often say that can't do full regular push ups. That's OK because there are alternatives like wall push ups, elevated push ups, knee push ups, etc. Most exercises have these progressions and all you have to do is take the time to learn them. And the best thing about the Tabata HIIT protocol is you can do it from virtually anywhere without a gym membership and lots of expensive workout equipment.

Here are three different levels that you can try out for this protocol (and make sure and click the links for a brief video tutorial on how to correctly perform each exercise):

Beginner - Go from one exercise to the next and do it 2 times through for all eight sets. This is only 4 minutes of work plus your warm up (WU) and cool down (CD) time.

Intermediate - Do this 4-6 times through, 16-24 sets, 8-12 minutes + WU and CD.

Advanced - Do this 8 times through, 32 sets, 16 minutes + WU and CD.

Remember, the first step is to get moving. So take a few minutes to get your blood flowing and heart rate elevated so look good and feel great for some spring time fun.