HIIT: CORE

HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training – is fast becoming the most popular format for rapid workouts, designed to slot into busy schedules. Sceptics be warned: although the combo of effective and speedy seem a little too good to be true, short bursts of ‘hardcore training’ followed by short stretches of rest do work. And it works seriously well, as I’m discovering.

I’ve designed a core workout in the HIIT format that’s for everyone. Why core? Like Shrek with his onion metaphor “Onions have layers. Ogres have layers. Onions have layers. You get it? We both have layers!” – core muscles include layers extending much farther than the so-called ‘six-pack’. They consist of a complex series of muscles which make up a huge area – think everything excluding the arms and legs – an area which needs to be exercised. In a nutshell, strong core muscles improve your ability to balance, thus, reduce risk of injury.

I’m currently studying GCSE PE where we learn a lot more in-depth about muscles and movements. Since muscles can only pull, not push, they’re arranged in antagonistic pairs, where the agonist contracts as the antagonist relaxes to allow the movement. The core is the latter, acting as a force transfer centre and paramount stabiliser in most movements. Definitely a crucial set of muscles, hence why I finish my runs with a quick core workout.

Detailed below is my post-run core workout. It really burns, but in a good way (feel every muscle working while you imagine how amazing your six-pack is going to look!) Each exercise is performed for 30 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest. Repeat the workout if you feel up to the challenge, but stop if you feel sick, dizzy or in extreme pain (as with all exercise).


1. HALF BURPEE

Target muscles: quadriceps, hamstrings, gluteus maximus, hip flexors, rectus abdominals, pectorals, deltoids, muscles in upper back, arms, chest and shoulders.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Key points: Straight line from head to feet, shoulders slightly over elbows, jump up legs so feet are right underneath body, before softly jumping back.

2. PLANK

Target muscles: rectus abdominis, transverse abdominis, pelvic floor, erector spinae, multifidus, quadratus lumborum, gluteus maximus/medius.

_DSC8782.jpg

Key points: Keep shoulders slightly over elbows, butt low, straight back, locked out knees.

3. LEG RAISE

Target muscles: hip flexors, sartorius, quadriceps, abdominals.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Key points: Lie with hands supporting base of spine, keeping head up off the mat, with straight legs slowly raise up 90° then lower almost to the ground, engaging core.

4. BICYCLE CRUNCH

Target muscles: transverse/rectus abdominis, obliques, pelvic floor, multifidus, quadratus lumborum.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Key points: Hands behind head, elbows out and back for good posture, twist to alternate knee.

5. DORSAL RAISE

Target muscles: transverse abdominis, pelvic floor, erector spinae, multifidus, quadratus lumborum, gluteus maximus.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Key points: lie with arms extended and relaxed shoulders, engaging core, raise arms and legs together and slowly bring back down, hold position for more of a challenge!

6. V-UP

Target muscles: transverse/rectus abdominis, pelvic floor, hip flexors.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Key points: lie flat on back, at the same time, raise legs and arms, keeping back straight with a good posture.

7. SIDE PLANK

Target muscles: transverse abdominis, obliques, pelvic floor, multifidus, quadratus lumborum, gluteals.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Key points: feet one in front of the other for easy balancing, engage core, raised hip, shoulder over elbow.

8. LEG EXTENSION

Target muscles: transverse/rectus abdominis, pelvic floor, hip flexors.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Key points: propped up on elbows with head facing forwards, hands supporting base of spine, legs locked out 45° from ground, open to 45° angle and back in, engage lower core.

9. MOUNTAIN CLIMBER

Target muscles: transverse abdominis, pelvic floor, hip flexors, erector spinae, multifidus, quadratus lumborum, gluteus medius, gluteus maximus.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Key points: straight arms with shoulders slightly over elbows, low butt, head down to keep back straight, kick alternate legs so knees almost touch elbows.

10. RUSSIAN TWIST

Target muscles: transverse abdominis, obliques, pelvic floor, multifidus, quadratus lumborum.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Key points: Sit leaning backwards, straight back about 45°, knees bent with feet raised, twist arms from one side to another.

11. SPRINTER SIT-UP

Target muscles: transverse/rectus abdominis, obliques, pelvic floor, multifidus, quadratus lumborum.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Key points: Alternate with one knee bent and toes touching mat with the other leg straight and raised, sit up keeping back straight and relaxed neck.

12. REVERSE PLANK

Target muscles: glutes, lower back, deltoids, gastrocnemius, rectus abdominis.

_DSC8916.jpg

Key points: straight legs at 45° angle, straight back, head up, shoulders back, straight arms touching as close to toes as possible.


Lastly, I’m including two stretches as a quick cool down to help your muscles recover.

_dsc8924_dsc8927

In case you’re of the inquisitive type…

ADIDAS Logo Tee

Patterned Purple Leggings – ADIDAS

GARMIN Watch

Sofa: SOFADOTCOM

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s