Just like a symphony is made up of multiple instruments playing together, each high-intensity interval training (HIIT) Mojo workout is comprised of multiple muscle groups working together as one unit, otherwise known as compound muscle strengthening.
The benefits of this technique provide a masterpiece of benefits.
What is compound muscle-strengthening?
The majority of HIIT regimens focus on increasing cardio benefits. Compound muscle strengthening methods focus on working multiple muscle groups at the same time (lunges, squats, shimmies, etc) versus isolation exercises that focus on one muscle group at a time (traditional bicep curls, calf lifts). As a result, one workout can combine both cardio and strengthening benefits, simultaneously. It’s a win-win!
Mojo’s secret: While it’s common for trainers to incorporate compound exercises into their programs, it’s rare for a regimen to incorporate both upper and lower body “exercises” into each and every movement – throughout the entire 15, 30 or 55-minute session – as we do in a Mojo workout. This training method provides our HIIT workouts with a trifecta of advantages…
- More efficient for building muscle and strength. When we work multiple muscle groups at the same time, we are lifting more weight and getting a better workout. Since Mojo uses the body as a virtual weight machine, we are better able to access hard-to-reach accessory muscles. Without weight to inhibit us, we have an infinite library of movements that helps prevent plateauing,
- Improves coordination and balance. Compound exercises require us to use multiple muscle groups in a coordinated way, which improves our coordination and balance. Whether we are navigating an icy sidewalk or a feisty game of pickleball, balance and coordination are crucial “muscles” that we cannot take for granted.
- Burns more calories. Compound exercises burn more calories because we are using more muscle mass and increasing our heart rate. Since Mojo incorporates high-intensity interval training techniques into every routine, we are also reaping the benefits of a longer afterburn and increased metabolism.
- Reduces the risk of injury. Compound exercises help to reduce the risk of injury by strengthening multiple muscle groups, instead of repetitive and focused attention on primary muscle groups which can be hard on joints and lead to injury.
- When you like doing it, you can do “it” longer and with more intensity…Scientific research has proven that when athletes synchronize their movements to music, at just the right tempo, it boosts motivation and reduces their sense of exertion, increasing endurance up to 15% and energy efficiency up to 7%.
Whether or not you are in a Mojo class or simply walking at Valley Forge, try thinking of your body as a compound muscle-strengthening apparatus. The more muscles invited to the party, the merrier.
Tips to take your workout to the next level:
- Form is everything! Head up, shoulders back and core engaged all the way around in every single movement.
- Your whole body needs to be involved, not just the limbs being exercised. Make sure your entire core is fully engaged – glutes tight, tummy engaged.
- You gotta do the time Whether it’s five or 15 minutes a day, every little bit counts.
- Put some muscle into it The goal is muscle fatigue. That’s when your body starts to get stronger. If it’s easy for you, you are focusing too hard on the steps and going through the motions. Lean back further, lift your knees higher, squat a little lower, and reach a little farther.
- Create your own muscle memory If locating certain muscles is hard for you, try becoming more familiar with them. We all know how to flex our biceps without weights. Try learning how to flex (squeeze) your deltoids, and triceps so they know when and how to come out and ‘play’ when it’s their turn. It might sound silly, but it’s like learning a new instrument or golf swing. You’re creating muscle memory and it may take a little practice.
- Don’t give in to momentum to help make arm movement easier (flailing). Gravity is your friend as long as YOU are the boss. Defy gravity by keeping movements tight and controlled.
- Don’t forget your Punch-uation Adding a colorful punch, kick or squeeze in your movements is like throwing in bursts of intensity throughout your workout (it’s also more FUN!) It’s surprising how much more you can burn and build with little tweaks.
- Strong Hands = More Muscle Groups Fists, pancake hands and flexing are all ways to add intensity, which means you’re burning more calories and accessing hard-to-reach muscles.