Training with sprints is a great form of exercise. Some of the benefits include improving your heart health and brain function, while enhancing strength and increasing speed. While consistency is commendable, constantly doing sprints can make the workout feel a little repetitive and lacking in excitement. Here are some alternatives to sprint workouts that you can consider:
1. Add weights to HIIT
HIIT is already very intense, but add on weights and you’ll find yourself a workout that is equivalent to a sprinting training. Studies have shown that using weights during high intensity exercise is metabolically intense and can lead to a 25% increase in calorie burning compared to rest. If you’ve been sticking mainly with bodyweight movements for your HIIT circuits, try incorporating some loaded movements to shake things up!
2. Battle ropes
If you are looking for a new exercise that is as intense as sprinting, look no further than battle ropes. Researchers have found that this unassuming piece of equipment makes for a most challenging exercise, and thus more metabolically demanding than other movements such as burpees and squats. As you train with battle ropes, you’ll find that it works more than just your arms. Your entire body works to maintain stability and tension, making it a veritable full-body exercise.
3. Leg press to exhaustion
Best used after strength training, leg presses help to lean out the upper thigh by targeting the beta lypolytic fat cells in that area. It mimics the intensity of sprinting due to eliciting a similar energy demand. Due to the movement’s lack of demand for stabiliser muscles, you can really work your legs to a greater degree (in terms of glycogen depletion and lactate accumulation) than you could with regular squats. Be careful in adding weights to the leg press machine as you wouldn’t want to overstrain and pull a muscle. Experiment with different feet placement to find the one that allows you to hit your legs the hardest. Just remember to NEVER lock out your knees at the top of the movement as it places them at risk of injury. You don’t want to see your knees bend the other way, do you?
While sprinting is a tough and classic example of training that’s short yet effective, there are other exercises that provide the same intensity and results. We all seek novelty, so why not try alternatives to sprint training? They will keep your workout routines fresh and you will see significant results as well!