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
May 26, 2016
This Jan. 26, 2016 file photo shows a "For Sale" sign hanging in front of an existing home in Atlanta.  Short of savings and burdened by debt, America's millennials are struggling to afford their first homes in the face of sharply higher prices in many of the most desirable cities. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, File)

No more ’empty nest’. A third of millennials now live at home with their parents. We’ll look at what’s still pushing that trend.

May 26, 2016
This March 16, 2015 photo shows portraits of now-retired U.S. Army Sgt. 1st Class Marshall Powell, right, and his wife, Arasi, at their home in Crescent, Okla. Powell suffers from a psychological wound called "moral injury" after serving as an Army nurse in Iraq and Afghanistan. Arasi, also a soldier who served in Iraq, had received treatment for PTSD. (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

In advance of Memorial Day, we’ll talk with Sebastian Junger about vets coming home and missing their “Tribe.” Plus, a WWII veteran remembers life on and off and the battlefield.

RECENT
SHOWS
May 25, 2016
Police gather in a cordoned off area where a possible murder suspect fired shots at officers surrounding a South Side home where he is barricaded Thursday, May 12, 2016, in Chicago. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)

Predictive policing. With violence on the rise, Chicago has turned to big data to predict gun and gang violence.

 
May 25, 2016
This April 29, 2014, file photo, shows an Exxon sign at a Exxon gas station in Carnegie, Pa. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

How will the oil giants do business in the climate change future? Shareholders at Exxon, Chevron and more want to hear their plans. So do we.

On Point Blog
On Point Blog
WWII Vet Larry Kirby Reflects On American Values
Thursday, May 26, 2016

Looking ahead to Memorial Day, a World War II veteran looks back at the relationships that mattered to him, both in and out of war.

More »
Comment
 
Gloria Steinem Explains Her ‘Bernie Boys’ Comment
Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Feminist activist Gloria Steinem explains why her apparent diss of female supporters of Sen. Bernie Sanders was anything but.

More »
Comment
 
‘Best Of’ 2016 Commencement Speeches
Monday, May 16, 2016

Excerpts from a few of the best commencement speeches delivered to the graduating class of 2016.

More »
Comment