OK, you know I’m a big proponent of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) over normal, long cardio sessions where you keep your heart rate at a certain level for 20 to 45 minutes or longer. The latter burns fat, but it also burns muscle mass while HIIT has even shown to increase muscle mass. “You’ll lose weight, build muscle, and boost your metabolism. Plus there’s a post-workout bonus: Your body will burn calories for about 2 hours after you exercise.”, according to Kara Mayer Robinson’s article on WebMD.com.
Now I’m going to share with you one of my favorite HIIT workouts to not only give a great cardio workout but also happens to be a HIIT glute exercise. In fact, it’s my favorite of all glute exercises. For this exercise, I use the stair machine. The stair machine works out the quads quite well, but with a little alteration you can really focus on the glutes during this workout. Here’s how I do it.
- Select Interval Training once you start stepping
- Set your high intensity and moderate intensity times evenly about 1 to 2 minutes in duration
- Set total time to 20 minutes.
- Warm up for two intervals or 4 to 5 minutes.
- When you start the high intensity interval, set it so that you make it fast enough that you will be stepping on every other step briskly.
- Hold on to the handrails and lean your hips and midsection back so that your legs are hitting the stairs at about a 90 degree angle (the stairs are at about a 45 degree angle). Your foot should hit each step in the center of the foot at a 90 degree angle from the angle of the stairs.
- As you take each step, slightly turn your torso into the upcoming knee and really concentrate on pushing the leg down using the glute.
- Focus pulling your leg down with your glute on every step in the high intensity intervals, but keep your midsection leaning back.
I know this sounds counterintuitive, and you’ve been told to not support your weight with your arms. However, I promise you’ll feel this in your glutes and you WILL sweat. I put the high intensity interval to the highest level so that I’m stepping at a fast pace, but adjust the speed to meet your fitness level. By leaning back you will lengthen your forward stride and when your foot hits the the step it will be in the middle of the arch of the foot at a 45 degree angle from the floor (not the heal or ball of foot). Also, this will also allow your leg to make a right angle with the lower leg perpendicular to the floor and the upper leg parallel to the floor.
Get a good sweat from this one…I do. Enjoy! If you enjoy this HIIT workout, check out this post on a another of my favorite HIIT workouts emphasizing quads and hamstrings.
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