Quick HIIT Exercises
These days, HIIT is the hot ticket in the fitness industry. Not only because of the intense workout, but because of the variety of movements that you can utilize to make your workouts super fun and always challenging. Although, I’m finding that sometimes when teaching classes, participants tend to aim for speed to get the work intensity they want, and at times it can distract from proper form and control. But HIIT workouts don’t always need to be about speed. By choosing HIIT drills that require proper control and slower, deeper movements you can get the same desired heart rate threshold as the shorter, quicker drills. By focusing deeper, people have the ability to exercise proper alignment and body control while getting that same HIIT intensity. Here are some drills I’ve fallen in love with that enhance overall control and depth of movement – plus they are all butt kickers!
Standing in a low sumo squat, holding the platform in “shield” position, lower the dome down to the floor with weight in your hands and thrust both legs back to plank and then back in, then rock back into your sumo “shield” position. The key here is a controlled soft placement of the dome to the floor (to avoid too much impact on the shoulders) combined with the fast firing back of the legs out and in.
Mountain Climb 1,2,3 Cross
From plank position with hands holding the platform, do three quick mountain climbers, then on the third one, cross the lifted foot under to slightly twist the torso without collapsing in the shoulders. Go for control here rather than simply speed. Be sure to keep the elbows softly bent and not locked straight, because the key here is controlling the rocking of the dome without collapsing!
Hand to foot “Touchdown” skaters
Start standing behind the dome to the side. Skate side stepping behind the dome as the opposite hand touches the center of the dome, then skate back. Then side skate to “jump stick” on one leg and hold momentarily, then back to the start position. The goal here is to find the dynamic change of fast skaters when the feet are on the floor and then stopping and holding with control for a second in the “jump stick”. Go fast but stick the landing!
Lunge Switches with Kickstand
Normally, the “kickstand” position is considered a regression for balance and control when standing on the dome, but here, it adds another layer of challenge to a pretty well-known exercise. Standing behind the dome, step forward to lunge on the dome. Then jump vertically to switch legs in the air, trying to land both feet in the opposite side lunge (both feet landing at the same time). Then, stay low as you bring the back foot in to your “kickstand” position with the ball of the foot connecting to the back of the dome behind the standing leg. To make this exercise more challenging, try getting to the “kickstand” position as quickly as possible once you land the jump. It’s harder than you think!
Up, Down, and Straddle
This one combines two common Balance Trainer exercises: The “Jump Stick” and the “Straddle Down”. By combining these two exercises, you have the ability to elevate your level of control both with speed (the straddle down) and deceleration (the jump stick). Start by standing on the dome and do one jump stick landing on the dome, then one jump to straddle the feet down as your hands touch the dome in low squat, then jump both feet back up to the dome, staying low. Then run the feet quickly down, down to straddle, then up, up to the dome.
This one is a great one for plyometric control in the upper body. This one does involve a bit of risk for the hands and shoulders since it does involve a plyometric landing. For that reason, I’m demonstrating three levels for this exercise. You should not continue to the next level until you have mastered the previous level as the landing on the hands can be a lot of impact if you are not ready for it. But it is a fantastic exercise to build up upper body and core control, and it’s a killer!
Starting behind the dome in a quadruped position with knees floating off the floor. Level 1: Walk both hands to the top two quadrants of the Balance Trainer, then walk both feet to the floor outside of the bottom two quadrants. Then walk the feet then the hands back to the floating quadruped position behind the dome.
Level 2: From standing position behind the dome, lower down to place the hands on the top two quadrants of the Balance Trainer, then hop both feet to the bottom two quadrants, then hop the feet back and stand up.
Level 3: From the floating quadruped position, hop both hands to the top two quadrants, then hop both feet to the bottom two quadrants to the Bulldog position on the dome. Then hop the feet back, then the hands to get back to the floating quadruped position.
Ken Scott is a BOSU® Master Trainer and runs an online fitness gym at Ken Scott Fitness, where he provides a variety of weekly live-streamed classes and online fitness resources.