The more comfortable your body gets with your workout, the less it will respond and only a few calories will be expended. Before you know it, you’re in plateau city! That’s not fun. Here are 8 critical exercises you can use to spice up your workout routine. They’re often overlooked, but it’s definitely worth switching these out with those boring workouts you’re doing right now. Because both you and your body will get tired of the repetitiveness. We understand that knowing a workout can help you get it done faster, as opposed to having to learn a new routine every time. You only need to tweak it a little to get back to the days when you were pumped for your workout. Use these 8 critical exercises to transform your workout .
Here’s your plan
Grab yourself two sets of dumbbells. One should be a bit on the lighter side and the other should be heavier. Complete each of these exercises once. Once you have completed this entire set, start from the beginning and this time around you’ll be more confident in your performance.
1. The Overhead Pull
This is an exercise that is overlooked. It is so beneficial to the body and helps a lot with toning and strength. If you practice this with heavier weights you can be sure that you will feel the burn the next morning. Make sure that you take your time with this one and keep your back against the ground during.
• Lie down with your body facing the sky and your knees bent. Stretch your arms out from your chest and in front of you. Make sure that your back is firmly pressed against the ground.
• Bring the dumbbells towards your head and have your elbows bent a little. Keep your core tight and bring the dumbbells back to the front of your chest.
Repeat this movement 12-15 times. NOTE: You can also lay on top of a bench so that you have more room to lower your arms.
2. The Stationary Lunge
You may already be familiar with the lunge exercise. You probably think there’s nothing new or different about them. That might be true in a way, but not entirely. Most people don’t put in the most effort when performing the lunge so it is never really completed correctly. At most, they get halfway there. In order to perform this correctly, you have to lower yourself so much that your legs are bent at a 90-degree angle. If your body is flexible enough you should feel your lower leg lightly touching the ground as you get back up to standing position.
• Start with bringing one leg in front of you and the other behind you, as if you are about to do the splits.
• Keep your body tall and straight. Bring your back knee towards the ground. You should try and get it to touch the floor completely but it is fine if you can’t. Try your best.
• Use your foot to get back up by pressing into it.
Repeat this movement 12 times total on either side.
3. The Renegade Row
I bet that you don’t really pay attention to your back muscles. Well, most people don’t. If you aren’t in a gym with certain types of equipment made for back enhancement, then you can’t give that much attention anyway. You need to perform certain exercises in order to really give your back the proper amount of attention. This particular exercise is wonderful for strengthening and challenging your rear deltoid and lat muscles. It also challenges your whole body, even your core. Just make sure that you are keeping your abdominal area nice and tight while you perform this exercise. If you start to get tired and can’t continue on your feet, you can get on your knees for this as well. You also need to make sure that the weights you use for this exercise are the heavier set.
• Start with getting in the plank position. Have your dumbbells in your hands. Extend your arms and keep your stomach sucked in or drawn in towards your back.
• Draw one elbow towards the sky. Hug your side to feel how much your arm is engaged. Following that, return the dumbbells to the ground softly. Don’t drop them, lower them with ease.
Repeat this movement on both sides for 24 times total or 12 times for each side.
4. The Pile V-Raise
There are three main benefits to this exercise. When you have your weight extended forwards while you squat, you are giving your core more attention and action. Lowering while in this pose really targets the glutes as well and gives you more of a challenge. The next benefit is that the shoulders and flexibility are worked as well. They get even more of a workout when you combine it with the movement mentioned earlier. Finally, your inner thighs and major muscles in your lower body are worked. For this exercise, you need to use the lighter weights.
• Start by standing with your dumbbells in your hand. Spread your feet apart far enough that they are just a bit farther out than the shoulder points. Turn your toes outward and lower your knees. Keep your spine nice and extended. Don’t collapse the spine or slouch.
• Squeeze your legs and stand up. Keep your core muscles tightened and alert. Next, you want to extend your arms out on either side of you into a ‘V’ shape. Bring your arms down and start once again.
Repeat this exercise 12 times. NOTE: Make sure that you are taking your time and not swaying your arms back and forth.
From the pages of the CDC: Physical Activity and Health
Benefits of Exercise
A helpful article by Harvard Health Studies: Exercise & Fitness
5. The Spiderman Push-Up
There are many different types of push-ups. Push-ups are a very important part of an exercise and should definitely be included in your workout. Yes, beginners are not a fan of push-ups because they take a while to get used to. However, that is a part of the change. If you want to change, you have to be ready for challenges. Losing weight and getting in shape will never be easy, no matter what. So get ready! If you’re interested in the different types of pushups, take a look at some and try to attempt a couple. If this exercise is difficult, try the modified version. But don’t resort to this just because the exercise is difficult. Even if you do the modified version you will still strengthen the major parts of your upper body and your chest. However, you will still experience some burning. It’s fine, that’s what makes a workout fun! Enjoy yourself, you’re making your body better.
• Place your hands on your mat and space them wide enough that they are a bit wider than shoulder width. Keep your legs apart and extended your core tight, and your body in the plank position.
• Perform a push-up by lowering your body to the mat while your elbows are bent to the sides. Bend your knee in the direction of the elbow. Hold this position for one second and then return to the plank position. Repeat on each side and that will be one rep.
Once you complete 6 reps, you will have done the push-ups!
NOTE: If you wish to perform the modified version, stay on both of your toes and raise each knee to meet each elbow while you lower yourself into a push-up. For example, pull your right knee into the right elbow as you lower into the push-up. Do the same thing with the other elbow and knee.
6. The Shoulder T
The move is great for targeting the shoulders and the deltoid muscles. Your body also takes the shape of the letter ‘T’ during the exercise. When you extend and open the arms and hold the weights at the same time, you target the tissues around the rotator cuff, which strengthens them. This particular area of your body is more fragile than the rest, so it is a good idea to work this part often to prevent damage. Use light weights during this workout and don’t move too fast. You don’t want to take a trip to snap city.
• Keep your feet together and have your dumbbells on either side.
• Keep your core alert and raise your arms to meet your shoulders. Spread your arms out wide open and have the dumbbells parallel to the floor.
• Bring the dumbbells back towards the front of you and downwards so that they are by your sides. Make sure that you are working the shoulders as well.
Repeat this for 12 reps.
Get ready to transform your body. Surrenders aren’t very popular but they are perfect for toning and firming your backside. When you perform the exercise your entire body weight is raised along with whatever weights you may be using. Make a goal to perform this exercise 12 times on each side. Be wary, as this one can be pretty tough and will definitely leave you a bit sore if you haven’t worked out in a while.
• Begin to kneel while you hold the dumbbells on either side of your body. Use a mat or pad for comfort.
• Bring one foot forward and stand up while bringing the weights overhead.
• Kneel down once again and bring the weights to either side again.
Repeat this 12 times on both sides.
8. The Reverse Plank
The is a wonderful way to conclude a hard workout. This exercise is crucial because it strengthens and opens up your chest, along with strengthening parts of your back.
• Start by sitting on the ground and extending your legs out in front of you. Put your hands behind your hips and keep them in the direction of your feet.
• Lift your center and look up towards the sky. Make sure that you don’t strain your neck to do this. Keep your entire body in line and keep your feet tension free.
Hold this pose for 30 seconds and bring your body back to the ground. Rest for another 30 seconds and then do it once more.
Now that you’ve gone through these awesome workouts, are you ready to start your transformation?
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