How HIIT Keeps You Strong For the Slopes (And Other Winter Activities)

Members working out in Studio 1

With Southern California ski escapes like Big Bear, Mountain High, and, of course, Mammoth Mountain just a few hours away, many Swell members are prepping for fresh powder this season. But what’s the best way to transition from sunny Santa Barbara beaches to your favorite winter sport? Whether you’re a hobbyist or a serious shredder, HIIT will give you the strength, balance, and endurance you need to take on the slopes.

What is HIIT?

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) asks you to give 110% for short bursts of full-body or targeted movements. Typically, that means 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for up to 30 minutes. This type of training gets your heart rate up and teaches your body to recover quickly after exertion, even during active rest.

Benefits of HIIT

Because it’s an intense, cardiac and bodyweight workout, HIIT can help you build muscle. It also improves how your body uses oxygen, and lowers your resting heart rate and blood pressure. Plus, a HIIT routine takes ten to thirty minutes and usually requires little to no equipment. That means it can be game time, anytime, anywhere.

And it complements your other training strategies

If you think HIIT sounds like a solid choice just for fitness’s sake, wait until you hear how it complements your other training goals.

Helps with balance and overall strength

Many HIIT moves are full-body— think burpees, mountain climbers, squats, and star jumps. That means you’ll engage your core, hone your coordination, and strengthen your major muscle groups.

Boosts your endurance

The key to high intensity interval training is giving your all for every active set. That means if you hit twenty squats in the first round, you’d better shoot for twenty squats in the final round. Trying to maintain consistent outputs requires incredible endurance and helps build resilience. In fact, studies have shown that HIIT, in conjunction with distance cardio, improves endurance faster than long-distance running, cycling, or swimming alone.

Improves your reaction speeds

HIIT can increase your number of fast twitch muscle fibers. These are the muscles associated with sprinting and other anaerobic activities. Working those muscles trains your body to move faster, and with more control—a great skill to have on this winter’s black diamond slopes.

Hit the slopes with confidence

Here at Swell, we’re all about supporting your Santa Barbara lifestyle—both in the club and outside it. Looking for a HIIT routine that’ll get you on your winter A-game? Check out this handy guide.