High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) and Yoga – the two words put together might sound like an oxymoron. The very mention of this duo stiffs the eyebrows of absolute yoga or pure HIIT junkies. Some might even pass it on as the latest fitness fad that too will pass. However, the fusion of these two radically opposites in the fitness world is actually proving to be more sustainable than expected.
HIIT and Yoga effectively complement each other, creating a totally new workout routine. No matter how surprising it may sound, this fusion gains more popularity by offering online and offline HIIT yoga classes worldwide. In 2019 the American College of Sports Medicine claimed Yoga HIIT to be the 3d top trend in fitness.
Let’s take a closer look at how ancient yoga fits into modern fitness needs.
Is Yoga and HIIT a Good Combination?
To answer this question let’s check first what both disciplines offer.
How Does HIIT Work?
Hight Intensity Interval Training is a go-to regime for gym addicts who dream of having a beach body. HIIT workouts are result-driven, and they are opted for by go-getters who have a constant appetite for a high adrenaline rush.
During the usual HIIT session, you get an intense cardio workout followed by a slower pace exercise to recover. An example of HIIT is 30 seconds (or 1 minute) or active cycling followed by slow cycling for a couple of minutes. And during HIIT class, you’ll do 4 to 6 of such repetitions. Exercise will vary: these can be jumps, cycling, treadmill running, etc.
So, HIIT is more of the approach to the training as it relates to the way you do the exercises.
The good thing is that you spend less time and still get noticeable weight loss results which inspire you to work out more. However, this entire process of pumping yourself up over and over again relentlessly become detrimental to your health if you overdo it. Too much of anything is not good. And HIIT workout is one of those things.
Plus, HIIT is not recommended for all due to its intensity. Moreover, people with impaired health conditions, like heart diseases, high blood pressure, can hardly survive the average HIIT class.
So, that is where the idea to combine Yoga and HIIT steps in.
How Does Yoga Work?
Yoga is known as a calm meditative discipline. Although, it doesn’t mean it’s not effective. The thing is that Yoga is not just a workout to achieve weight loss goals but a wholesome approach to the human body and mind. It is a way of life that makes you a completely balanced and well-rounded human being from the inside out.
Yogi is a person who develops body and mind through regular yoga practice. Choosing a yoga path for spiritual or physical reasons, a yogi undergoes changes in how they move, think, and live.
But yoga practice requires time and lots of effort, and patience. Unfortunately, these are not the qualities all gym-goers can boast of. For such people, HIIT Yoga is the best option. It combines dynamic, high-intensity cardio activities with spots of Yoga, stretching, and breathing to calm down and relax.
How Does HIIT Yoga Class Look Like?
At any HIIT yoga, you’ll get these three elements combined in various proportions:
- strength training
Different instructors offer various fusions at their HIIT Yoga classes. While some mix yoga poses with HIIT exercises, others make yoga a part of the recovery phase after completing each circuit.
Nevertheless, it is mostly maintained in a 2:1 ratio (for example, 40seconds of burpees followed by 20 seconds of any calming asana to release the tension, etc.).
One more option that is considered to be of yoga-HIIT type is doing dynamics reps of yoga poses merged with fitness exercises.
Usually, a class starts with gentle warming up flow, then goes HIIT flow. In the end, you get the deserved stretching in a Zen style.
What Yoga-HIIT to Pick?
HIIT Yoga workout easily adjusts to target specific areas of the body you want to strengthen. So whether your goal is to burn calories or get stronger arms, HIIT yoga is a fast way to do that. The duration of the session can also be conveniently adjusted to your busy schedule. Below we’ve included some examples.
Nice-Booty HIIT Yoga
This fast sequence wont let your glutes rest. After first few minutes you’ll feel how they burn and start build new muscle tissues.
Yoga-HIIT Cardio Sequence
You can pick the flow that best suits your fitness objectives.
So, Is HIIT Yoga Effective?
The answer is YES. We’ll explain why (and that’s backed up with science).
- Doing HIIT yoga improves VO2 maximum, which relates to the max amount of oxygen your body can use.
- Stroke volume is another parameter that determines how healthy you can be. When your heart contracts, it pushes a certain amount of blood into the vessels. So, the better your heart works, the more is the stroke volume, the more aerobically fit you become. Interval training is known to increase stroke volume in the long run.
- Activation of fast-twitch fibers in your muscles is another benefit of HIIT yoga. We don’t use our fast-twitch fibers in everyday life, as they are aimed at fast and explosive movements. So with time, they grow weak and lose their shape. During interval yoga training, you make fast-twitch fibers work and remodel. Thus muscles become well-toned and strong and get various movement patterns.
Of course, you should try it yourself and see if yoga HIIT is effective. But the above creates a solid base to make you want to try this workout.
HIIT Yoga FAQs
And before you go, we’ve put together some questions that beginners often ask about this type of workout.
Is HIIT Yoga Better than Cardio?
This workout makes your heart pump faster. So, it’s not better than cardio training, but it allows to pack more profit into a short period of time than simple gym cardio.
Is 20 Minutes of Yoga HIIT Okay?
The shortest HIIT yoga session is 10 minutes. However, it will give the same result as a regular gym workout.
The continuation can be increased from 15-20minutes to an hour, depending on your goal. However, the optimal duration recommended for reaping all health benefits is 25-30 minutes. You can get the whole cycle within this time frame: warm-up, intense training, and the stretch.
This makes it a favorite among people who are hard-pressed for time.
Is Yoga HIIT Bad for Beginners?
Anyone can join a Yoga HIIT class. Just pick the level of the class and you’re good to go even if you’re a beginner.
As we come to the end of the article, the benefits of HIIT combined with Yoga seem to become clear.
However, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Yoga has the power to amplify everything that you add it to. Because it aims at making everything complete and more profound. So, whether you do your Child’s pose after a tough day or burn calories with HIIT yoga sets, you’re already a Yogi. Just remember to be kind to your body!