If you stick to the same exercise routine it will soon suffer from the rule of diminishing returns – he he – technical hey? Basically, you will earn less benefit from the efforts you put in. Also, it will become boring. But if you can follow the same routine and make it more challenging and less boring, and in easy ways, that’s good right? Here are some ideas for how:
1. Add Weights into Your Routine
This doesn’t mean do weight lifting exercises – it means using weights to ramp up the intensity of your regular exercises. This can be done using free weights, a kettlebell or weighted ankle weights or weighted wrist bands. Exercises that are suitable for adding weight to include step-ups, pushups, planks, lunges, squats, rowing, presses and deadlifts.
2. Add an Unstable Surface
Have you thought about using a fitness ball or Bosu ball in your routine? As balls they are naturally unstable, so this means you have to work harder to maintain balance. Either piece will enable you to increase your exercise repertoire and make you work out harder. Using an unstable surface will work muscles you don’t when you work on a flat floor.
3. Make It One-sided
There are plenty of exercises where you can change it up by working just one side at a time by removing an arm or a leg. This doesn’t mean cutting off a limb but putting your bodyweight on just one leg or arm, instead of both. You Tube has some great tutorials on how to do one-sided exercises.
4. Slow It down
It may sound counter-intuitive, especially with the popularity of HIIT, but slowing down your movements aggressively engages and works the muscles. Doing things super-slowly but intensely is harder than you might think, especially while maintaining proper form. This will improve muscle metabolic capability and make them stronger.
5. Shift Your Hand Positions
This is one of the simplest ways to modify your regular exercises to make them more challenging and work harder for you. The position of your legs/feet and hands can dictate which specific muscles are most targeted because they are put to work in different ways if you take a wider or narrower stance, have your hands closer together or further apart etc. You can also consider changing position by introducing an incline or decline into your exercise.
6. Introduce a Squeeze or Pulse
Adding in a squeeze or a pulse to an exercise will help increase the burn. Both will activate the fast-twitch fibers in your muscles, making them fatigue faster, and thereby grow stronger. They are most effective at the end of each rep.
7. Make It Isometric
So you’ve slowed it down, you’ve added in pulses and squeezes, so it’s time to try going isometric. Essentially this means slowing down to the point of stopping and holding a position for as long as you can. This is surprisingly harder than it sounds or looks. Good exercises to make isometric are squats and pushups.
It’s good to know that the routine you thought long and hard about doesn’t have to be altered for your workout to still be challenging. Modifying your usual exercises regularly will avoid you reaching a fitness plateau where the benefits have leveled off. And variety will help keep you motivated.
Do you think these will help you stop getting bored with your workout routine?