Are you trying to lose weight and torn between choosing HILIT vs HIIT? HIIT is considered to be the best possible way to lose weight rapidly – but not everyone can do it. This is why more and more people are opting for HILIT – which is a friendlier way of burning calories.

Here’s how you decide which one is better for you:

How is HILIT Different from HIIT?

HIIT or High-Intensity Interval Training is a method of exercising where you give your all during a set period and then enter active recovery.

With HIIT, you move from high-intensity to medium-intensity in rapid succession so that your heart rate maintains that elevated level. This way, you can continue to burn fat even during active recovery.

HILT is suggested for people who aren’t able to perform plyometric movements. It stands for High Intensity, Low Impact Training.

The exercises are therefore more joint-friendly with one or both of your feet always touching the ground. It’s the better option for older generations or those who suffer from leg or joint injuries due to past problems.

The main difference between HILIT vs HIIT, is the character of the workout itself. HIIT requires fully-body routines like jumping jacks, burpees, or running. HILIT, on the other hand, focuses on less strenuous movements but still with high intensity such as boxing or kicking.

What is HILIT?

HILIT is characterised by bursts of high-intensity workouts and then followed by short recovery periods. Like HIIT, it requires you to sustain high-intensity movements for a short burst of time before going into short recovery periods and then repeating the process all over again.

Since the movements by themselves are very joint-friendly, there’s a lower chance of injury as opposed to using HIIT. This is one factor that makes us differentiate HILIT vs HIIT.

A good example of HILIT is swimming. If you’re using HILIT for a swimming workout, you’ll swim your best for 30 straight seconds and then perform a restful paddle for 15 seconds before swimming again. So what makes this different from HIIT?

Well, the low-impact nature of swimming makes it an ideal HILIT workout since the water allows for very little wear and tear on the joints. As a result, you still get a workout without putting your body through the possibility of an injury.

Why is HILIT Gaining Popularity These Days?

The attraction of HILIT rests on the fact that it’s a safer alternative to faster weight loss. Everyone wants to shed pounds quickly and for the longest period; HIIT has been the best way to do that. However, high-intensity, rapid-fire workouts through HIIT have an injury prevalence of 46.5%.

HILIT, which offers the same weight loss benefits, has the added advantage of keeping the joints and muscles intact and therefore limits the chances of injury.

Is HILIT As Effective as HIIT?

When it comes to the effectivity between HILIT vs HIIT, the short and simple answer is – YES. Studies show that short bursts of intense exercise can burn more calories compared to long-endurance routines.

Assuming that you’re doing your best with each repetition of the workout, then you’re burning calories just as effectively as HIIT does.

Keep in mind though that the keyword here is: full intensity. If you’re following HILIT with a swimming workout, then each stroke should be packed with power to trigger the calorie burn.

A leisurely swim may not offer you the same fat-burning benefits even if you perform the task twice as long.

6 Reasons Why You Should be Trying HILIT

So why exactly should you try HILIT over HIIT? Here are some reasons why this might be the better choice for workouts:

1. Friendly on the Joints

HILIT is designed to include only low-impact workouts which makes it so much easier on the joints. There’s no jumping of any kind but you’re still giving your muscles a good workout with consistent repetition.

When seniors are to choose between HILIT vs HIIT, it is pretty obvious that HILIT is the safer option, especially since joint problems are prevalent during this age. It’s also the better choice for people who have a high BMI but still want to lose weight fast.

A heavy weight combined with a HIIT workout can cause more harm than good as it goes through the tendons and weakens the cartilage. With low impact, however, you’re getting the workout without causing irreparable damage to the knees or elbows.

2. You Get a Full Body Burn

While HILIT workouts are low-impact, the workouts themselves can be sophisticated enough to include the whole body. It might not seem like it but some routines engage large muscle groups which leads to a full-body workout.

There are hundreds of possible low-impact movements that can be incorporated into a HILIT workout. Depending on your target body parts, HILIT can engage the legs, the arms, the upper body, and the core.

3. Not Age Specific

The beauty of HILIT is that it’s very friendly to people who are limited in their movements. HIIT in most cases is reserved for people who are in the prime of health age-wise.

Individuals who are in their teen years or those in their 20s will benefit the most from HIIT because of their relative health. Jumps, runs, burpees, and high-impact routines can be easily performed since the body is in that perfect space to develop.

HILIT on the other hand is more inclusive. Since the low-impact routines are designed to keep the body injury-free, even adults, seniors, or those who suffer injury can try them out. This opens up doors on who can use this technique and allows more people to participate in a HILIT class.

4. Mild Approach to Increased Heart Rate

The goal of HIIT is to increase your heart rate to a point where it triggers calorie burning. Unfortunately, in order to do that, you need to push your body to its limits using high-impact exercises that can also cause damage when performed incorrectly.

For years, this is how the fitness world saw successful weight loss. However, low-impact exercises performed at high intensity provide the same results with less risk. You will find that if performed at high intensity, you can still get an elevated heart rate and therefore get the calorie burn you need.

5. Improved Alignment of the Posterior Chain

The posterior chain is composed of the gluteus, the hamstrings, the erector spinae or the spine, and the calves. This set of body parts has been known to help boost performance in sports, increase power when it comes to explosive movements, prevent injuries, and of course, help maintain posture.

Funnily enough, these same sets of muscles get a lot of attention during low-impact workouts when incorporated into HILIT. Since these are the muscles that rarely involve joints or cartilage, you get HILIT routines that put more focus on these muscle groups.

This is a good thing as the posterior chain essentially contributes to your overall core – which aids with balance and power. Consistent routines that involve this chain through HILIT can have a full-body advantage that you can’t get with just running or jumping jacks.

6. Less Exhausting

Comparing the amount of exhaustion between HILIT vs HIIT, HILIT requires you to do your best during that short interval of time. It doesn’t cause you to feel overly tired at the end of the workout.

The movements included in HILIT are fairly low-impact and are therefore more manageable compared to traditional HIIT. At the end of the workout, you’ll have the benefit of an elevated heart rate without being overly exhausted.

6 Examples of HILIT Workout

There are tons of possible HILIT workouts with swimming being just the tip of the iceberg. Here are some of the most popular HILIT workouts today:

1. Cycling

The pandemic led to a boom in cycling as a socially distanced leisure sport. As a workout, it places very little pressure on the knees with most of the job done by the legs and the core.

While it might not look it, cycling is a workout that successfully engages the whole body, especially your balance. By far, this is perhaps the most enjoyable HILIT workout today. You can also engage in HILIT workouts by using a stationary bike. Find out more in this guide on exercise bikes.

2. Yoga and Pilates

Yoga and Pilates may seem like a series of uneventful movements that barely scratch the calories. If you try it once, however, you’ll realise that both workouts can be very strenuous. It requires strength, balance, and concentration unlike any other workout in the world.

This is why even a beginner routine can start you sweating and leave your muscles shaking the next day. On the plus side, however, both workouts focus on stretches, strength, and balance while keeping movements slow and controlled. This helps limit the impact on the joints.

3. Golf

Golf is another sport that translates beautifully into a workout. It involves lots of slow-paced walking combined with leisurely arm movements that contribute to aim and balance.

Golf is all about concentration, getting your bearings, and making the perfect swing, which is why it’s such an effective HILIT activity. You still get your workout through the walk but it’s done at such a leisurely pace that you barely have to worry about your joints.

4. Walking Lunges

They look so simple but they can be absolute killers. Walking lunges place much focus on the upper thigh muscles and the core. With each lunge, you’re targeting the abs, the gluteus, the legs, and the spine.

NOTE: The video below is not the exact how-to on walking lunges, but a snippet of how to do a dumbbell reverse lunge, which is similar to a walking lunge.

5. Light Weights

Light weights when repeatedly used can be incredibly effective in burning calories. Emphasis should be placed on calories since the use of light weights may not contribute to muscle development.

With the repetition, you are extending and contracting your muscles at a repeated rate to create the feel of exercise without the risk of injury.

6. Band Workouts

The beauty of band workouts is that there’s resistance without the weight. The risk of damage or injury while using bands is very little but the resistance you get with each pull has a power of its own.

Even better, bands can have an increasing resistance that lets you consistently upscale your workout without using weights.

HILIT Tips for Beginners

If you’re not a fan of the HIIT workout but still want to reap the benefits of a good and quick burn, HILIT may be the one for you. Don’t be fooled by the “low impact”, however, HILIT can still be a challenge, especially for absolute beginners.

If you’re just starting with HILIT, try to stick to a short routine of 30-second intervals or less. Focus on workouts that target the core area first because this will give you better results when you do expand to other exercises.

Other tips to keep in mind include:

  • Never skip your warm-up and cool down. Despite the low-impact character of HILITS, the warm-up can still help prevent possible injuries
  • Place focus on the posture you use during the workout. Most injuries in low-impact exercises are because of improper posture during execution.
  • Try to keep your HILIT routine spaced out. Do not train on two consecutive days as this may make you less careful and therefore lead to injuries.

The Popularity of HIIT

The popularity of HIIT has spawned numerous workouts that rely on this single principle. It’s not a bad thing since HIIT has been proven time and again to be one of the most effective weight loss methods.

Even today, HIIT is still a popular regimen for individuals who want to push their bodies to peak performance. However, the slow introduction of HILIT is starting to shift the demand, especially since it’s been proven that HIIT has some downsides.

The Downsides of HIIT

Perhaps the biggest drawback of HIIT is the fact that it can quickly cause injury when done improperly. Over time, HIIT can lead to sprains, torn tendons, or joint problems which have no way of being reversed.

Injuries can be common with HIIT especially since the focus is on the number of repetitions you do each time. As a result, individuals pay little attention to form and go straight to counting their reps.

Which is Right for You?

So which of these two, HILIT vs HIIT workout approaches should you choose? It depends on your assessment of your body. If you’re confident about it and the resilience of your joints, then HIIT is a good option.

For long-term workouts, however, HILIT is strongly recommended, even if you’re in your early 20s. This is because even with a healthy body, HIIT can put stress on your joints. While you might not feel it now, using HIIT over a long period can take its toll on your joints by the time you reach your 30s or 40s.

1. What to Know Before Trying HILIT?

The first thing to keep in mind is that not all exercises can translate to HILIT. Just because you’re jogging slower doesn’t instantly turn the routine into an acceptable HILIT exercise. Even before getting started, you should be able to pinpoint exactly what routines fall under the descript of low impact.

2. How does HILIT fit into your current workout regimen?

Assess your workout regimen as it stands. The beauty of HILIT is that while it is low impact, it consumes just as much time as HIIT. Hence, if you’re doing 15 minutes of HIIT each day, 15 minutes of HILIT will give you practically the same results with fewer risks.

3. Why HILIT is more effective than HIIT workout?

HILIT is more effective because it has fewer chances of causing injury. An injury during your workout can completely derail your fitness progress and cause you to go back to zero. However, a low-impact workout HILIT means there’s less chance of injury so that you can continue chasing your fitness goals.