I think the important thing to point out with interval training is that the intensity level for both pre and postnatal needs to be safe.
The words ‘safe and effective’ are often paired nicely together when we talk about pre/postnatal exercise, aren’t they?
Today, I’m sharing my Top Tips for Making Interval Training Effective for your Postnatal Clients.
So, here goes:
INTERVAL TRAINING = HARD WORK
When we mention ‘interval training’ or ‘circuits’ to the lay person, they’ll perceive this as ‘high’ intensity and ‘hard work’.
Remember, it’s the intensity of the exercise, its duration and its effectiveness to the client group that counts.
I actually don’t offer much ‘high impact’ work to my postnatal clients at all.
So, no skipping, jogging on the spot, shuttle runs and definitely NO star jumps.
TIP: Those of you who teach aerobics/Bootcamp classes to the general public, please, please, please offer an alternative like single side taps instead. Anyone, young or old, male or female with pelvic floor dysfunction will NOT be able to perform a jumping jack without wetting themselves or causes a further injury, ok? Save them the embarrassment and do your bit for pelvic floor health.
SWAP HIGH FOR LOW
When you’re putting your lesson plans together, the same fat-burning goals can be achieved with your postnatal clients, but you just need to make a few adjustments here and there to ensure they’re working at a lesser intensity level.
So, play around a bit.
Swap high impact for low impact exercise.
Alternating lunges are fine. Jumping lunges aren’t.
Why add impact to a squat when you can get probably better results by fine-tuning your clients’ ‘squatting’ technique by getting their knees on top of their ankles, rather than over their toes?
SWITCH FAST FOR SLOW
Similarly as above, switching fast, explosive movements for slow and controlled sequences will not only be safer, but more effective.
Don’t be scared to use resistance bands to add multi-planar and/or extra core-based challenge for your pre and postnatal clients.
So, lunge backwards with the band in a low position, then lift the resistance band over your head as you step the feet back into standing. And, then watch your clients wobble about! Tee hee.
Or, do an upper body resistance band exercise and lift one foot off the floor during or between each rep. And again, watch your clients switch on their core instinctively.
When it comes to the work/rest ratio, if you want to, insert a longer rest period eg 40 seconds work, 20 seconds rest, please do so.
Although to be honest, my clients, both pre and postnatal tend to almost always do 50 seconds work, 10 second rest, regardless!
I want my clients to get a good, effective workout whilst keeping it safe and effective.