The Low-Down on LIIT
The new fitness fad on the block is LIIT, inspired by the infamous HIIT workout which is known for its calorie scorching reputation. Low intensity interval training offers an alternative that is gentler on your body and joints. So if you dreaded going for a high intensity workout because of all the burpees and squat jumps, this might be your new thing! Though it moves at a slower pace, this training method is equally designed for fat loss.
How does it work?
Just like with HIIT, a LIIT workout involves a number ofintervals of exertion followed by internals of active rest. The difference is all movements are low impact (we’ll give some examples below), thereby reducing the risk of injury. The focus is also on movement, so similar to any barre or pilates classes, it’s going to be slow controlled movements. Rest periods are longer giving you more time to recover so you’re never out of breath.
What’s the catch?
You’re going to lift heavier to make sure you’re feeling the burn. These workouts are also going to be longer if you want the same effects of a HIIT session. HIIT is super popular for being quick, but a good LIIT session is going to be about 45 minutes to an hour.
What are the benefits of LIIT?
With continued practice LIIT has similar benefits to HIIT. Yes you’ll lose fat, but additionally you’ll have increased cardiovascular health, stronger bones and muscle tone. It’s also been linked to increased cognitive health in older individuals.
Example LIIT exercises:
Standing upright with a slight bend in the knees and weights in each hand, bend forward from the waist and push your bottom back. Keep your arms close to your body and gently slide them down the legs as you push back. Stop about mid calf, pause for 3 seconds and return to standing squeeze your glutes on the way back.
Either sitting or standing, take a dumbbell in each hand at shoulder height, with your arms out wide and elbows bent so the dumbbells are level with your ears. Slowly push the weight straight up until your arms are fully extended, and your palms facing out in front of you. Slowly return to your starting position.
Weighted Hip Thrust
Lie down on your back with your legs bent and feet pressed into the floor. Tuck your pelvis in, making sure your entire back has contact with the ground. Rest your weight on your hips and hold it in place during the movement. Drive into your heels and push your hips up towards the ceiling. Squeeze your glutes at the top and hold for 3 seconds before slowly releasing.
LIIT is a great fitness program if you’re injury prone or just getting back into fitness, but really everyone can benefit from a LIIT workout no matter what your fitness level is. Some people just prefer the gentler pace of the workouts after a day at work. Read our blog on HIIT for a comparison to get an idea of what might be a better workout for you.