After months in lockdown no doubt we are all a bit bored with our current workout regime. 2 week ab challenges found online and Instagram workouts have suddenly lost their appeal and the weights we have sitting in the corner of our rooms don’t seem as interesting now that we have had them for months on end. A lot of that boredom has come from doing the same things with what we have at home. Doing the same reps, exercises and rest time that it becomes so ingrained in our heads that it just doesn’t interest us anymore. That is when it’s time to hit restart on your routine and trial out some different ways to alter your exercises without having to buy more equipment.
7 ways to change your exercise regime
1. Manipulate reps
Manipulating reps allows your body to work in a different way whilst also changing it up for you. Sick of doing 12 push ups? Try elevating your hands onto a box or couch and do 20 reps. The elevation will make it a bit easier allowing you to reach 20 reps without your form dropping. In addition, you can add pulse reps to make it harder. For example, during a squat instead of lowering yourself down then going up straight away, go up halfway go back down then up all the way again. This extra pulse keeps tension on the quads for a bit longer.
2. Change your tempo
Tempo is one of the easiest ways to spice up an exercise without adding weights or reps and can make even the easiest of exercises suddenly a lot harder! Take a bodyweight squat for example. Instead of tasking 2 seconds to lower yourself down, slow it down and count to 4 before being in your lowest phase of a squat then hold for two seconds at the bottom before taking 2 seconds to rise back up again. You can change the tempo for varying phases of most exercises. Another example is push ups. Start on your knees or toes and lower yourself down, hold for 2 seconds then take 4 seconds to come back up. Try it out and experiment with different tempos for all your exercises!
3. Change your stance
Stance often gets forgotten about but can be a great way to feel things a little bit differently! Here are some ways of changing your stance
- B stance or staggered stance: Have one foot slightly more in front of the other. For example, you can do a glute bridge with this stance to feel it in each glute – this is great to identify if you are stronger on one side more than the other too!
- Kneeling: instead of doing upper body exercises sitting on a bench or standing up try kneeling instead! This encourages you to use your core and you’ll feel the burn even more!
4. Rest time
Changing your rest time between exercises is an easy way to switch things up! If you usually take 30-45 seconds between rest breaks, try taking shorter breaks to make it more cardio based (be mindful you may need to decrease your weights that your using). Alternatively try lifting heavier weights with more rest time to change things up with your body!
Adding a pause to a certain part of an exercise can make it more difficult for your body in that it increases the time under tension that the muscle is put through. For example, add in a pause at the bottom of a squat before coming back up.
6. Changing range of motion
Changing your body's range of motion during a certain exercise can create more tension for your muscles to be under. For example, when performing a lunge rather than coming up all the way at the top and locking your knee out, go about three quarters of the way up and then back down (we are decreasing your range of motion to add tension). Another way to do this is by elevating one of your feet during a lunge (this increases your range of motion).
7. Pre and post fatigue
This method can be a great way to fatigue out a certain body part and can be applied two ways. First there is pre-fatigue which involves fatiguing a single muscle group directly followed by an exercise that fatigues a multiple joint exercise that also uses that muscle group. For example, performing lateral raises and then directly following that with push ups. Alternatively, you can use the post-fatigue method which involves performing the multi joint exercise first followed by the single joint movement. For example, performing a squat and then directly following that with leg extensions.
Consistently doing your exercise routine can be monotonous and boring over time so it is very important to change things up so that you continue moving your body!
If you’re struggling on how to change your routine or want to try something new then why don’t you try out 1on1 or 2on1 personal training out at Alma Park!