The Prerequisites of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

December 11, 2020

Many people walk into our physical therapy office with injuries from sports or exercise classes where they participate in activities that are too advanced for them. A main example of this is when people participate in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercises. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think that HIIT is a great form of exercise. There’s actually very few forms of exercise I don’t approve of. The exercise isn’t the problem, it’s the individual’s preparedness for it. Do they have the prerequisite strength and motor control for those fast paced movements.

HIIT classes involve movement such as burpees, squat jumps, plank jacks, kettlebell swings, box jumps, lunge jumps, and mountain climbers to name a few.

While there is nothing wrong with these exercises, those who are about to participate in this form of exercise need to make sure that they can perform these movements with control and good form before making it a plyometric (jumping/fast/ powerful). You need to be able to perform the foundational movement before picking up the speed.

So, before you do the exercises shown in this first video... burpees, squat jumps, plank jacks, kettle bell swings, box jumps, lunge jumps, and mountain climbers

... can you do the prerequisite exercises below and feel the work in the right place without pain?

✅Plank
✅Pushup
✅Squat
✅DeadLift
✅Step up
✅Lunge

If you can, then make sure you can perform the same amount of reps slowly for what you’re about to do fast. If you start to lose form or get sloppy, you’ve hit YOUR limit, regardless of what the instructor is asking you to do.

If you can’t do these without pain or without the correct technique, then come in and see me! I’d love to help you figure out the best way to achieve the results you’re looking for in a SAFER and SMARTER way in order to make you STRONGER.

Disclaimer:  The views expressed in this article are based on the opinion of the author, unless otherwise noted, and should not be taken as personal medical advice. The information provided is intended to help readers make their own informed health and wellness decisions.

Need help? We're here for you. Contact us today to request an appointment. Also check out our telehealth offerings to get help from the comfort of your home.

Dr. Adrienne Jensen

Center Director | Physical Therapist
Adrienne Jensen is a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) and Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS). She works at Activcore in Princeton, New Jersey, located just 2 miles from Princeton University. Besides athletics, Adrienne has a special interest in orthopedics and breast cancer rehabilitation.
Read more

MORE BLOGS BY AUTHOR

All Blog Posts

We're Not Just About Those Red Ropes. But They Sure Do Look Cool In Pictures.

I’ve heard so many clients of mine, Princeton locals, and physicians call this place Redcord. We’ve even had people call and insist they weren’t sure if they should come here because they were afraid of all the red ropes. Well, I’m here to set the record straight...

LEARN More

Do Those Inversion Tables Work? A Physical Therapist's Perspective

Someone asked me this question the other day and I immediately wrote it down. That's because it was probably the 800th time I’ve been asked about inversion tables. And while I have answered this question many times, I've never done any formal research on it.

LEARN More

We're Not Just About Redcord: Why Manual Therapy is an Essential Part of PT

In the first article of this blog series, I talked about what I aim to accomplish during a client's first visit. I also described my education which enables me to practice physical therapy, with or without a prescription from a physician. I am now going to lay the groundwork to then build the rest of this blog series, detailing common treatment techniques I use and why.

LEARN More

The Prerequisites of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Many people walk into our physical therapy office with injuries from sports or exercise classes where they participate in activities that are too advanced for them. A main example of this is when people participate in High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) exercises. Now, don’t get me wrong, I think that HIIT is a great form of exercise. There’s actually very few forms of exercise I don’t approve of. The exercise isn’t the problem, it’s the individual’s preparedness for it. Do they have the prerequisite strength and motor control for those fast paced movements.

LEARN More

The Real Reason Your PT is Having You Do 3 Sets of 10

When you’re in physical therapy school, the professors fill you with pride. “You’re a Doctor of Physical Therapy,” they said. They encourage continuing education and research so you can deliver the most innovative, evidence-based care possible. “Never tell your patients to do 3 sets of 10,” they instructed. A physical therapist should appropriately dose each exercise to maximize strength gains and minimize recovery time.

LEARN More

Out-of-Network vs. In-Network: A Physical Therapist’s Perspective

I am a physical therapist who works in a physical therapy clinic that doesn’t participate in any insurance plans. So what does that really mean? What happens when a physical therapist is out-of-network? Many insurance companies deter people from going outside of the insurance network because of the higher expense.

LEARN More