Combining HIIT and Yoga for a Killer Workout

Author: Lauren Abbott

HIIT, or high-intensity interval training, is all the rage right now. With this type of a buzzword surrounding the fitness and wellness arenas, it’s easy to see how a workout like this could burn calories, sculpt muscles, and increase your metabolism, just to name a few benefits. But how does a high-power workout correlate with yoga…or can it?

If you’re a yogi, have no fear – after all, there are multiple studies showing us that yoga not only helps protect from injury, increases flexibility, and improves breathing capacity and energy levels – but who would think that this type of mobility exercise can be paired with HIIT, and with increased mental and physical results?

What Is The Difference Between HIIT and Yoga?

Although HIIT might be a term that could scare people away, according to, “It’s actually a very user-friendly exercise routine. Essentially, you are doing your specified work/movement for a set amount of time at a hard pace, and then taking periods of rest (or lighter work) in between.” For example, this could be 20 seconds of burpees, then followed by 10 seconds of rest, for a set amount of time. This type of routine is perfect for those looking to work out in a short timeframe and can have unlimited combinations of strength, endurance, and flexibility movements incorporated together to make for a full-body workout.

When it comes to yoga, we think of a slower-paced, more mind and body-oriented exercise. With muscle lengthening poses, challenging strict holds, and learning to correlate the breath with movement, it’s no surprise that yoga is equal (or even better) in most fitness outcomes today – except for those movements that challenged physical fitness levels.

This is where a combination of HIIT and yoga comes into play – but, does it work? Can we combine these two methods of training into one workout, and have it be productive and effective?


Benefits of Combining HIIT and Yoga

In one word – yes. Since HIIT typically doesn’t utilize any gym equipment (and neither does yoga), you’re getting a full workout with the use of bodyweight exercises. With programming that combines different strengthening movements with the breathing, coordination, and flexibility typically seen with yoga, you’re getting a stellar combination of strength and mobility in one – and in a very short amount of time.

Also, HIIT exercises get the heart rate up and going pretty quickly – which is fantastic news, and even better if you know how to practice being mindful with your yoga routines and can create the mental energy needed to power through your exercises. Not only will this leave you feeling accomplished after your workout, but you’ll have the same (if not more) energy than you would with just a yoga practice by itself.

Many people do yoga in order to stay relaxed, and thankfully, that state of mind can still be achieved, even with the HIIT intervals thrown in! You’ll have the intensity and heart-pounding movements of HIIT, and then the relaxing yoga part afterward, and bonus, the focus on the mind, body, and breathing can all help to prevent injuries and can get you more in tune with how your body is moving and working.

Lastly, your heart is going to love the yoga and HIIT combination; with a ton of work put into such a short timeframe, your cardiovascular system will most definitely stay healthy and strong, and your body will reap the benefits of building muscle while also maintaining or even increasing flexibility.

Essentially, there is more muscle activation when doing yoga and HIIT together, which is going to challenge the aerobic system much more than if yoga was done by itself at a normal pace – and therefore boosting heart health, increasing metabolism, and burning calories and fat!

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