90.9 WBUR - Boston's NPR news station
Top Stories:
PLEDGE NOW
Summer’s On Its Way: Exercise Questions Answered
Petty Officer 3rd Class Abimelec Apolinaris, a machinery technician at Coast Guard Station Philadelphia, does high intensity interval training with his crew at the station, Aug. 2, 2012. The station's entire crew does the training together every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Cynthia Oldham, U.S. Coast Guard/Flickr)

Petty Officer 3rd Class Abimelec Apolinaris does high-intensity interval training with his crew, Aug. 2, 2012. They train together every Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning. (Petty Officer 3rd Class Cynthia Oldham, U.S. Coast Guard/Flickr)

During our hour on high-intensity workouts, we spoke with fitness experts about everything from warming up to modifying exercises for those with injuries. So, before you head to the gym, take a moment to review these important tips.

Chris Jordan, co-developer of the 7-minute workout, cautions that high-intensity workouts aren’t for beginners:

High-intensity training is not for beginners, and I think most peopel would agree with me there. These are hard, vigorous workouts really for the intermediate or advanced exerciser. There’s a chance, there’s a risk that someone, a beginner, might try these workouts without appropriate guidance and get themselves possibly injured. One thing we recommended in our original article is that these workouts aren’t for everyone, and anyone’s that interested should get pre-screened medical clearance and go see a certified personal trainer or fitness instructor to get guidance on the first time they go round at the very least.

Exercise physiologist Jessica Matthews emphasized that both high-intensity and moderate exercise share the same benefits:

They both provide great benefits — that’s the take home message that I will always mention to individuals. If somebody has an established routine of physical activity and it involves 30 minutes, 45 minutes, 60 minutes of moderate, steady-state exercise, continue doing that. There’s great benefits to that. And, at the end of the day, whatever we choose to do in terms of being physically active, in order to reap all these great benefits — whether it’s high-intensity training, whether it’s moderate, continuous steady-state — we have to regularly stick with it.

If you have injuries and struggle through some exercises, Jordan recommended finding someone qualified to assist you:

The best thing you can do is get some help from a certified professional. If you go to a local fitness center, YMCA or something like that, and ask a certified fitness professional to help them guide them through alternative, modified exercises that they can do in a safe, effective manner. There are many exercises you can do that will allow someone to work around – not through – an injured part of the body or a part of the body that shouldn’t be stressed. So it’s really about getting professional guidance.

Matthews explained the the importance of a dynamic warm up and a static cool down:

What is best suited for a warm up is a dynamic approach to warming up. That’s kind of preparing the body, it’s increasing core body temperature, taking the joints through the full range of motion. It’s basically giving your body — an easy way to think of it is a preview of what’s to come during the actual workout.

The dynamic warm up is going to be key when we’re talking about high-intensity training. So that could include doing something basic primary movement patterns, such as half squats, doing this like cat and cow pose — or cat/camel as it’s often called — just beginning to warm the spine. There’s a number of different exercises — bird/dog’s a great one when you’re on hands and knees and extend opposite arm and leg, really promoting core stabilization, that spinal stability that’s so important.

We’re now seeing that there’s benefits too at the beginning of a workout, before we do that dynamic warm up, we’re now seeing benefits to doing like myofascial release — if you ever see people using foam rollers, tennis balls, different devices. Those now research is showing is an important part of a warm up.

The static stretching is fantastic. It’s really best reserved for after the workout is done, while your body’s nice and warm, your muscles are more pliable. So we reserve now to the end of the workout.

After the show, Matthews tweeted a guide to tissue density/myofascial release exercises (PDF).

For more advice, here’s our full hour on high-intensity workouts:

Please follow our community rules when engaging in comment discussion on this site.
ONPOINT
TODAY
Sep 19, 2014
No campaigners celebrate as results come in at the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh,Scotland,Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Scottish voters have rejected independence and decided that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom. The result announced early Friday was the one favored by Britain's political leaders, who had campaigned hard in recent weeks to convince Scottish voters to stay. It dashed many Scots' hopes of breaking free and building their own nation. (AP Photo/David Cheskin)

ISIS and arming Syrian fighters. Scotland rejects independence. NFL turmoil. US troops and Ebola. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Sep 19, 2014
Joseph O'Neill (courtesy of the author)

Author of “Netherland,” novelist Joseph O’Neill is back, with “The Dog,” on globalization, capitalism, and self-discovery in Dubai.

RECENT
SHOWS
Sep 19, 2014
Joseph O'Neill (courtesy of the author)

Author of “Netherland,” novelist Joseph O’Neill is back, with “The Dog,” on globalization, capitalism, and self-discovery in Dubai.

 
Sep 19, 2014
No campaigners celebrate as results come in at the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh,Scotland,Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Scottish voters have rejected independence and decided that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom. The result announced early Friday was the one favored by Britain's political leaders, who had campaigned hard in recent weeks to convince Scottish voters to stay. It dashed many Scots' hopes of breaking free and building their own nation. (AP Photo/David Cheskin)

ISIS and arming Syrian fighters. Scotland rejects independence. NFL turmoil. US troops and Ebola. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
Our Week In The Web: September 19, 2014
Friday, Sep 19, 2014

Lots of big, contentious topics on the show this week — from Zionism to early education, corporal punishment to development in the Grand Canyon.

More »
Comment
 
Talking Through The Issue Of Corporal Punishment For Kids
Wednesday, Sep 17, 2014

On Point dove into the debate over corporal punishment on Wednesday — as Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson faces charges in Texas after he allegedly hit his four-year-old son with a switch.

More »
2 Comments
 
Our Week In The Web: September 12, 2014
Friday, Sep 12, 2014

In which you had varied reactions to the prospect of a robotic spouse.

More »
Comment