Sunday, May 4, 2014

4 creative ways to "Spring Clean" your workouts

As we roll into the month of May we tend to focus on "spring cleaning"; such things as fertilizing the lawn and laying down some fresh dirt around the flowers, cleaning the garage, dusting the house and washing the windows.  Sound familiar?

The same should be said for your daily strength workout routine.  Have you been doing them same workouts for the past month or two?  If you have, it's time to spring clean your workout and give it a fresh look. Spring cleaning your workout/s can add some motivation that may have been lost, or prevent strength plateaus that may have occurred.  It's time to transform your body so that when summer rolls around you can feel good about participating and performing well in your sporting events, or even feel good about taking your shirt off (if you're a man) or wearing your bikini at the pool (of course if you're a woman).

Now I'm not saying that you have to completely change your workout.  All I am saying is slightly add some new variety to your workout; and that can mean many different things.  An example of this would be something as simple as switching the days up that you do certain workouts on.  For instance, if on Monday's you always do Legs, change it up and do upper body that day instead.  Or, if you normally do your weights routine and then cardio afterwards, change it up and do your cardio before your weights workout.  Now these are very simple changes that can be made, but will make each week feel a little different.


Here are 4 creative ideas to spring clean your workout.

1.  Instead of always using machines or the barbell for your exercises, switch to using Dumbbells or Kettlebells

2.  Instead of performing all bilateral exercises (using both legs or arms during the movement, switch to unilateral movements (using only 1 arm or leg during the execution).  An example of this could be performing a single-leg squat vs. a traditional squat.

3.  Try to incorporate supersets into your routine.  Supersets are 2 exercises performed back to back without rest, followed by a short rest, then repeated for "X" number of sets.  Try this superset pair...
15 KB Swings and 10 Pushups - 3 sets of each (a great push and pull combo)

4.  Perform some cardio/plyometric exercises in between your strength exercises.  This is a great way to keep the HR elevated and reduce rest periods and is a great addition to those who already have good fitness.  Try mixing in Jump Rope, Jumping Jacks, Box Jumps or High Knee Runs for 20-30 sec. in between each exercise.

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