Since my workout yesterday was so disappointing, I was planning to go for a run today instead of yoga. But my right quad is still very tight, so I thought I’d mix it up a bit and do a bit of Tabata before yoga.
For those of you who haven’t heard of Tabata training, it’s a form of high intensity interval training (sometimes referred to as HIIT). It was invented by Dr. Izumi Tabata at Japan’s National Institute of Fitness and Sports. The whole workout is 4 minutes long. Which might not sound like much, but Dr. Tabata’s studies found that in those 4 minutes, participants built as much muscular endurance as 45 minutes of normal cardio training. Talk about getting the biggest bang for your buck! And these participants weren’t average Joe’s off the couch, they were highly trained, fitness experts.
Tabata training works by having participants perform 20 seconds of a high intensity exercise (for example, high knees or tuck jumps) followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times for a total of 4 minutes. You can vary up the exercises as you’d like. You can have 2 exercises that you repeat 4 times, or 4 exercises that you do twice….it doesn’t really matter. You can just do it with sprints if you like, similar to what my daily sprint routine is. Just make sure that you’re working major muscle groups to get the most out of the workout (legs, chest, back..that sort of thing).
Here is a link to the exercises I did today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AimPOSXe7n4 I found it on Socially Fit‘s blog so I thought I’d give it a try. Go ahead and try it and let me know what you think. It’s definitely a great way to challenge yourself when you don’t have much time and still want to get your heart rate up. There are lots of other Tabata combinations out there so go take a look to keep your workouts varied or make up your own.
So after raising my heart level and making sure my body was warmed up, I put in the P90X Yoga workout video to get my yoga in. As a Yoga instructor I’ve watched my share of yoga videos and P90X’s isn’t bad. It doesn’t really follow one type of yoga, I’d call it Power Yoga if I had to find a place for it. The one thing I don’t like about it is that they start the stretches right away. I don’t think anyone should begin stretching without being warmed up. The gauge I always give participants is if you’re not feeling a sweat, you’re not ready to stretch. Do some jumping jacks, do some high knees, do Tabata for 4 minutes…something that’s going to get you start to sweat (a little is fine, I’m not asking you to sweat buckets here) just get flushed so your muscles are warmed up and ready to stretch.
I’m all for following yoga videos in the comfort of your own home, I don’t think you need to go to an expensive yoga studio, but I will caution you that the directions that an instructor can give over a video are never as good as what you’ll get in a class. While yoga seems simple, there are a lot of ways to do it wrong and there’s always a risk of injury so you need to make sure that you know the proper form for each posture, the modifications and how to transition between them safely. I’d recommend you try a handful of classes at a yoga studio or even at your local gym, so that an instructor can correct your postures and tell you what you should be focusing on for your level.
That’s the end of my lecture for today :) Tomorrow I might take you through how to work out a tight muscle if my quad is still acting up!
12 done, 168 workouts to go…