Pilates and High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) are two very different exercise modalities. However, they are ones that complement each other well. HIIT is a popular form of exercise that concentrates on providing a cardiovascular workout. The high-intensity intervals are performed in short bursts and are alternated with low-intensity movements. Pilates, on the other hand, concentrates on improving strength and flexibility. In addition, it is generally not counted as a cardiovascular form of exercise.
The fitness world is one which keeps evolving. One thing which many people are realising is the efficacy of combining different modes of exercise together. No longer does it makes sense to stick to only one form of exercise – unless you’re specialising in it. Not only do you restrict yourself but trying to separate everything into separate sessions takes up quite a bit of time. In this day and age, time is definitely money.
Why Pilates And HIIT Work Well Together
What makes interval training a great cross-training choice with Pilates is that interval training offers a great aerobic workout. It also does it quickly — in as little as 20 minutes. Interval training is one of the fastest methods of building aerobic capacity in addition to total endurance. Studies have demonstrated that interval training can be safe for many age groups and levels of fitness.
Pilates and HIIT complement and support each other in terms of their beneficial impact on the body. HIIT concentrates on large, global muscles while Pilates works on the core. So, when they are combined, they work on both large as well as small muscle groups. This ensures a total body focus.
As HIIT provides a quick and effective cardio workout, this is helpful for:
- Burning tonnes of calories,
- Slowing down ageing process, and
- Increasing the metabolism.
How Does It Work?
The one pattern that Pilates instructors notice most among many clients is how many of them love Pilates but hate cardiovascular exercise. The problem with this is that they’d all be incredibly strong, flexible as well as aware of their body movements but they would all confess to not being able to run up the stairs.
The only way to fix this is to put some cardiovascular elements into your sessions. Surprisingly, there are ways to do so without too much complaining. This technique makes sure that you are strong enough from a musculoskeletal and cardiovascular sense. This means that HIIT Pilates makes perfect sense.
Here are a couple of moves to start you off in your Pilates HIIT workout.
- Start in a full plank. Exhale and pull your right knee in towards your hands.
- Inhale and then extend the leg back into plank.
- Repeat on alternating sides and climbing as quickly as you can.
Modification: Bring your knees into your chest at a slower pace or, alternatively, drop to a plank on your knees and then bring them into your chest gradually, one at a time.
- Lie supine with your legs in tabletop and your hands behind the nape of your neck. Your elbows must be in a wide position.
- Exhale and then lift your right shoulder off the mat and then bring it towards your left knee.
- Inhale, return to your starting position, and alternate.
Modification: Keep your head, neck as well as shoulders on the mat. Only perform the exercise with your legs.
Wide High Knees
- Stand up tall, with your feet wider than hip distance from each other.
- Jump from one foot while you bring your opposite knee up as high as you can.
- Then, jump with your other foot and then repeat.
Modification: Take out the jump and simply bring one knee up as high as possible while alternating legs.
As you can see from this article, Pilates and HIIT are a match made in heaven. If you would like to discover the basics of Pilates then you need to do our Pilates Instructor Course. For more information, please follow this link.