If you exercise regularly, you already know the fantastic physical and mental benefits your workouts provide. However, it’s easy to get in a holding pattern when you work out every day (or almost). Here are seven tips to take your fitness routine to the next level.
- Add Power Moves
Whether trying a new routine such as 75 Hard or just beefing up your existing training, you can benefit from throwing in some power moves. Add some heavy-duty kettlebell swings, squat jumps or box jumps to wake up your routine.
Power training can build more resilient connective tissue in your tendons and ligaments. The added strength can make you more resistant to injuries such as sprains and strains. Use light weights and keep your reps low. This approach helps you complete your repetitions as fast as possible. Perform your power moves when your muscles are fresh — preferably before the heavier activities that fatigue your muscles.
- Time Your Rest Periods
Do you find yourself scrolling through emails on your phone or chatting with the person next to you during your rest periods? You may be easing into longer breaks than your muscles require.
You only need one to three minutes between sets. Keep an eye on the gym clock or your watch so that you don’t take too long of a break. Leave your phone in the car if you think it will distract you.
- Train Muscle Sets More Frequently
If you go to the gym two or three times a week, your routine may look like this: Work out your arms on Monday, your legs on Wednesday, and your core on Saturday. However, that means you’re only working on your major muscle groups once per week.
You can give your muscle groups more opportunities to grow if you split your routines into two smaller workouts each week. It shortens the period between rest and recovery.
- Add More Reps
Adding more repetitions per set can really wake up your muscles, primarily if they are used to doing the same amount each time you exercise. Just add on more reps without increasing the weight to help prevent injury.
- Use the Right Fuel
Your body needs the proper fuel before, during and after workouts. Eat a healthy breakfast and finish one hour before your exercise session. Carbohydrates improve your performance. They may help you work out longer or with more intensity. Don’t eat a large meal before working out, though, or you may end up feeling sluggish.
You can have a light snack during your workout to restore energy. Try a smoothie, yogurt, fresh fruit or a protein bar.
After a workout, your body needs calories to recover. Eat something with carbohydrates and protein within two hours of your exercise session.
Water is also essential. Drink two to three cups before a workout, about one cup every 15 minutes during your activity, and two to three cups after your session. If you exercise longer than 60 minutes, opt for a sports drink to rebalance your system’s electrolytes.
- Mix Up Your Routine
Your body can adjust to your fitness routine if you don’t change your movements. Try using different equipment, adding weight or varying your moves. If you jump rope, try doubling your speed or hopping on one leg. Switch to free weights if you usually use resistance bands. Even small changes can add a challenge for your mind and body.
- Get Back to Basics
Have you gravitated toward the exercise machines at the gym lately? Try using free weights for a few workouts. You can work the same muscle groups, but you add the benefit of balance and stability as you stand or sit through the exercise. It’s good to use your body weight for some of your activities, too. Being able to use the right form of pushups, from experts like ProperPushups.com, can do wonders for your chest and triceps.
Shaking up your workout routine can keep you mentally engaged while adding benefits for the rest of your body. Try a few new moves the next time you exercise and see how you feel afterward.