Have you stopped seeing results from your weight lifting routine? Over time, our bodies become accustomed to performing the same types of exercises over and over again. |
Consequently, adding variations of classic weight lifting exercises can help you bust through a plateau and jumpstart new gains.
Try these three variations and see results!
If you’re used to doing lunges, try:
Reverse Lunge from Step
To perform this variation of the classic Lunge, select a set of dumb bells or load a barbell with the weight that you would normally use for a set of lunges. Stand with both feet on a six-inch high box or step, and take a long step back with either leg. Drop your hips until the knee of the leg that you stepped back with is almost touching the floor, then step up with both feet on the box. Because this movement causes your thigh to go lower than parallel to the floor, it places a greater workload on your hamstrings and glutes than they’re used to. Perform three sets of eight reps with each leg.
If you’re used to doing Lying Triceps Extension (a.k.a. Skull Crushers) on a flat bench, try:
Lying Triceps Extension on Exercise Ball
Similar to the classic Lying Triceps Extension, performing this exercise while lying on an exercise ball provides instability that engages your core while working your triceps. Load an E-Z Curl Bar with the same amount of weight you would normally use for Lying Triceps Extension, and lie with your torso parallel to the floor, core tight, and glutes engaged. With your arms locked out and the weight above your chest, bring the bar down so that it nearly touches your forehead, and then extend your arms back to the starting position. Perform four sets of six reps, using the maximum weight you can lift while maintaining proper form.
If you’re used to doing Dumb Bell Row, try:
To perform this variation, set the bar on a Smith Machine or another place where you can secure a bar bell slightly higher than arms width from the floor. Lying underneath the bar, maintain a grip that’s a little wider than shoulder-width apart. Pull yourself up to the bar, flexing the muscles in between your shoulder blades as you do so. The bar should touch in the middle of your chest. Because this is a body-weight exercise, the recommended sets and reps varies from person to person, so perform as many as you can for three sets with good form.
The importance of varying your routine is an often-overlooked component of a successful exercise regimen. If your routine has become stale, perform these exercises in place of your usual leg, triceps, and back movements to see new gains.
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