Cardiovascular strength is essential for success in figure skating and only running long distances
isn’t going to get you to where you want to be. Interval training methods, like HIIT (high
intensity interval training) and Tabata, are the most efficient way to improve your
cardiovascular system and can be modified for sport specificity.
What are HIIT and Tabata training?
HIIT (high intensity interval training): “Bursts” of exercise in intervals that will push you near
your maximal exercise capacity. Bursts can last anywhere from seconds to minutes and are
followed by short rest periods.
Tabata: Exercise bursts that push you beyond your maximal exercise capacity done in 20 second
bouts with 10 seconds of rest in between for 4 minutes total.
What are the benefits of HIIT and Tabata training?
1. Time efficiency
Due to the intensity of the bouts/bursts of exercise, workouts usually only last between 15-30
minutes! Although this may not seem like a lot, Tabata and HIIT will push you to your limits and
leave you with time to spare!
2. Increased VO2 Max
Your VO2 max is your body’s ability to use and distribute oxygen to your muscles. The delivery
of oxygen allows your muscles to work as hard as you want them to. A higher VO2 max means
your muscles will be able to meet greater demands and “last longer” at higher intensities of
3. Increased energy expenditure
HIIT and Tabata training are known for being more efficient at burning fat than long distance
endurance! In basic terms, the increase in epinephrine in the body (adrenaline) during these
workouts assists in fat burn. Additionally, HIIT and Tabata training result in excess post-exercise
oxygen consumption (EPOC). Essentially, EPOC means your body is using more energy at rest
than normal after you are finished exercising.
Long distance training is still beneficial to incorporate into your training but balancing it with
interval training will give you the cardio improvements you are looking for!
Note: Flexafit includes Tabata routines in our monthly workout plan. Inquire about training with