Improving your aerobic capacity is important for almost all athletes, but we know that cardio is not everyone’s cup of tea. Sticking to a strict cardio routine, where you spend 45 minutes running on a treadmill everyday is not only boring, but it is also not the most efficient way to increase your heart rate and improve your performance.
HIIT and Tabata workouts are a great alternative to steady-state cardio. The best part? They are also quicker and can be performed anywhere. Did that get your attention? Great. Now, let’s learn more about how you can implement these two cardio options into your training routine.
Get more done in less time with High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). The basic framework of HIIT is short periods of work at an all-out, high-intensity pace, followed by slightly longer active rest periods. The timing and ratios of work and rest periods can vary, but the key to getting the most out of your HIIT routine is to give all you’ve got during those periods of work.
Your HIIT routine can be performed on a variety of cardio machines, a stair climber, bike, or treadmill, for example, or simply sprint a set distance outside of the gym and rest on the walk back.
An example of a good HIIT routine is: 30 seconds sprint followed by 45 seconds active rest (walking or slowly jogging). Repeat this anywhere from 8-15 times. Work towards increasing your rounds by 1 each week.
Perform a HIIT routine 1-3 times each week depending on your fitness goals.
Similar to HIIT, Tabata is interval training in which you perform an exercise at an all-out pace for 20 seconds, followed by 10 seconds of low intensity recovery. This routine is repeated 8 times for a total of four minutes.
Tabata can be performed on cardio machines or with body weight exercises, such as burpees. For example, do as many burpees as you can in 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and then repeat for a total of four minutes. Once finished, follow the same format with a different exercise, such as box jumps.
Make sure to properly warm up your body before beginning any exercise program to help prevent injuries.
Improving your cardio can help you to not only improve your health be overall but can also help you to improve your game. Try adding these two cardio options to your training routine for endless benefits.