18 Aug Variety can improve your workouts
Variety is the spice of life. It can also help jumpstart your workout programs.
If you feel they have fallen a little bit flat lately, or that you’re having trouble getting over the hump to reach certain fitness goals, consider changing things up.
Here are five tips to change up your fitness routines.
Switch up your exercises – Although this seems obvious, some people continually do very similar workouts week after week, month after month and even year after year. Take advantage of the versatility of a home gym by tweaking the way you perform lifts of certain body parts, or find different ways to work out with free weights. Find a different way to work out the body parts, such as doing a pushup circuit at different angles instead of always doing bench presses to build the chest muscles.
Change your workout length – If your workout normally lasts 45 minutes or an hour, change it up every few weeks by shaving 15 minutes off the time.
Increase the intensity and amount of weight used for sets, but do fewer sets and take less time between exercises. This will create muscle confusion, force you to step up your effort and make it more interesting because it will be different. And the best part is you’ll get done a little bit quicker.
If you use a treadmill or elliptical machine a lot, change the speeds and lengths at which those workouts are conducted.
Change your techniques – Many lifts on a home gym are done with both arms or legs at the same time. To change things up a little, though, do lifts where you exercise one arm at a time, for example, on triceps extensions or one-legged extensions. This will work your muscles in a more concentrated way and serve as another way to change things up.
Change your workout time – If it’s getting harder and harder to stay motivated to work out, consider changing what time you exercise for a week. If you usually exercise in the morning, try working out at night after work a few times. Maybe you’ll like one better than the other, but a change even for a few days can make a difference in the quality of workouts.
Change your music – A small, but sometimes helpful tip is to change up the music you’re listening to. Take some time and think of songs that will get you pumped up to work out. If you don’t usually listen to music, then consider putting a CD on that will get you moving a little quicker.
At Home Fitness consultant Aaron Dorksen’s blog deals with a variety of fitness topics, ranging from workout tips, motivational ideas and feature stories on how exercise impacts people’s lives. E-mail him with comments, questions or ideas for future blogs at firstname.lastname@example.org