Looking to freshen up your fitness regimen? Many of us tend to fall into a pattern at the gym, leading us to plateau earlier than necessary. Repeating the same thing over and over will lead your body to acclimate and adjust, which can be great for proficiency but bad for long-term growth and progression. By changing it up frequently, you keep your body guessing: decreasing your chances of an early plateau.
"With the rising popularity of crossfit, spin and other class types, we're beginning to see a lot of unique exercises popping up." (Image by Camera Eye Photography)
Here are our top gym exercises to keep your workout fresh and exciting:
Around the worlds
Grab two dumbbells and lay on your back on a bench. Place the dumbbells on your upper thigh with your palms facing the sky, keeping your elbows slightly bent. Similar to a snow angel, move the dumbbells to the top of your head and back to your thighs, completing one repetition. This movement creates constant tension through all of the areas in your chest muscles. Keep in mind this exercise can be tough on the shoulders. Use caution, especially if you have issues with your shoulders.
This one’s incredibly tough, but very effective. On a pull-up bar with a shoulder-width overhand grip (knuckles pointing to the sky), perform a pull-up and bring your chin above the bar. Now, bring one side of your body down, so that side’s arm is fully extended and the other is still in the completed pull-up position. Now alternate by extending the constricted arm and constricting the extended arm.
Lying Triceps Extension Across the Face
Holding two dumbbells, lie down on your back on a bench and bring the dumbbells up to a completed bench press position. From that position, one arm at a time, bring the dumbbell down across your body, while holding your elbow in the same position (the dumbbell should be right by your jaw on the opposite side of that arm). Bring it back up to the top, utilizing your triceps to complete the motion.
Begin in the squat position. Bring one ankle to your opposite knee and perform the squat as you would normally. This one is great for plateau busting, as you recruit many stabilizer muscles that are not usually utilized to that extent. Keep in mind that squats performed with poor form can be incredibly dangerous. Please make sure you know how to do one with proper form before you attempt this one.
Exercise Ball Roll-Ins
Begin by placing your shins on an exercise ball, while putting your upper body in a push-up position (you should be in a push-up position with your feet elevated by the exercise ball). Now roll the exercise ball by lifting your butt in the air and bringing your knees closer to your upper body. Make sure you use your abs primarily to make this motion; flexing your abs while doing the motion helps.
What are your best gym exercises that are not practiced by most?