Athletes accustomed to a life on the move may wince at the thought of slowing down to practice yoga — which is exactly what makes the discipline's latest trend such an attractive option for those eager to reap the benefits without compromising their urge to "go go go!"
Merging the intense bursts of cardio characteristic of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) with the restorative properties of yoga asanas, HIIT yoga provides a fast-paced workout that is not for the faint of heart.
IS HIIT FOR ME?
For athletes training up for a marathon, half marathon or 5k, Hartman recommends doing HIIT yoga for 30-60 minutes three to four times a week. For ultrarunners, however, she recommends trying a slower, more restorative style of yoga, such as yin yoga. “You probably don’t need anymore cardio,” she explains.
WANNA SEE MORE?
Visit getoutchattanooga.com to check out more of Hartman’s step-by-step sequences.
"You should be breathing pretty hard," huffs local yoga teacher and fitness trainer Kimber Keplinger Hartman, grinning as she hoists herself from the final pose of her favorite workout sequence.
Though designed as a way for yoga enthusiasts to build strength while burning fat, HIIT yoga has a different lure for runners, who get in plenty of cardio while pounding the pavement, Hartman says.
One such perk comes from yoga's ability to stretch out muscles that runners rely on the most, such as the hamstrings.
"A lot of times, as runners, we're strong on our legs but we're not as flexible on our legs," says Hartman, a marathoner and ultrarunner herself. "The yoga poses help build some of that flexibility back into your body to help prevent injuries and potentially make you a better runner."
The practice also helps strengthen and support muscles that often go underutilized while prepping for race day, she adds.
"Runners can be weaker in their upper bodies," Hartman admits. "But if you're doing a well-balanced sequence of poses, you'll build some upper-body strength at the same time, making you just a little bit more balanced within your body. And that's the goal."
For those ready to go go go and get started, Hartman demonstrated a few of the sequences yogis might tackle during her high-intensity power yoga classes at Sportsbarn.