21 March 2017
| THE HEARTBEAT OF WOMEN'S SPORT

Natalie Tries: Yogabomb

April 2, 2014
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Yogabomb – the word itself is an oxymoron. How can you possibly merge the soothing, relaxing vibe of yoga with the heart-pumping intensity of interval training? Well the ladies at the Hiitgirl studio in North London have managed it, and they’ve proved that yoga and intervals is the best combination since jelly and ice cream. Albeit slightly more exhausting…

Natalie-Yoga-bomb

The Class

As a total cardio fiend I hit the gym the morning before my class, convinced thathalf an hour of yoga wasn’t enough of a challenge. But you don’t get off that easily at Hiitgirl. The 30-minute session is split into two sections – the first half is high-intensity interval training (hence the ‘bomb’ part). And boy did my legs feel it.

I’ve taken part in a Hiitgirl interval class before so I knew what to expect. You bound around the gym, barefoot doing all the cardio moves that you tend to avoid when working out on your own – squat jumps, burpees, mountain climbers. You work each move for 40 seconds with 20 seconds off, and this lasts for 14 minutes. Easy, right? I’ll ask you again when it gets to seven minutes and suddenly 40 seconds seems like a lifetime.

The great thing about doing cardio for 14 minutes is that you have the ability to really push yourself. With just 14 minutes to work you can push yourself almost to breaking point, knowing that the end is always in sight. There’s a lot to be said for short, intense bursts of cardio like this – pushing your heart rate rapidly up into your anaerobic zone is fantastic for building your fitness, stamina and burning fat.

Just as I got to the point where my legs were trembling and sweat was beginning to form a paddling pool at my feet, the lights were turned off, glowing cubes were placed by our mats and we were told to lie down and catch our breath. Bliss. Our yoga teacher took to the front of the class and her soothing tones were a welcome contrast to the music and intense countdowns of the first half.

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I’m essentially a yoga novice, with some experience of the basic moves – but you don’t have to be a yoga queen to enjoy this class. The moves are simple and thoroughly explained, so even complete beginners would be able to hold their own.

It felt utterly brilliant to have a really deep stretch after battering your muscles with the cardio. Not only did it reduce my muscle pain the next day, but also the yoga was seriously relaxing. Evening cardio sessions often leave me buzzing on endorphins, so much that it’s often difficult to unwind. So to finish on a peaceful note was great for my mind as well as my body.

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The Benefits

– Time efficient – you get two different kinds of workout in just 30 minutes!

– Yoga benefits without the boredom – I find an hour of yoga incredibly dull, and a waste of wearing a sports bra. 15 Minutes is perfect for yoga sceptics.

– After-effects – Interval training gives you a fantastic after-burn, meaning that you keep burning calories for hours after the class is over. The yoga has the effect of improving your flexibility and core strength, which is vital for overall health.

My new Moving Comfort kit is perfect for this class. The leggings are flexible enough to be comfortable in the yoga and the breathable material meant I wasn’t drenched in sweat! Get my look at www.movingcomfort.co.uk

Natalie Morris, Sportsister
The Women’s Sport Magazine

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