It is so easy to get into a monotonous gym routine or do the same 4-mile run every other day. Studies show that changing up your workout semi-frequently will lead to better results.
Both your body and mind get used to a certain workout routine, and while you still may be burning calories, you are not getting the maximum amount of benefits or muscle growth out of your workouts.
These 11 exercises are often forgotten about, and are great ways to keep things interesting physically and mentally so that exercising doesn’t become boring. Step out of your comfort zone and mix up your elliptical routine with these exercises.
Jumps are so important for both muscle strength and bone density, especially for women. Star jumps, squat jumps, frog jumps or any kind of jumps will suffice. Adding 10-20 in after your workout 3 times a week is enough to improve bone density and fight osteoporosis later in life.
2. Jumping Rope
Jumping rope isn’t just for kids. This is a classic cardio routine that is so often ignored. Add in 15 minutes of jumping rope to your workout to make your heart rate go through the roof.
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. These workouts are short and sweet, but push you to your extreme limits with short bursts of various intense exercises. Instead of getting your cardio through repetitive machine workouts, give HIIT a try. It requires no equipment, is time efficient and helps you burn calories longer throughout the day.
It feels a little awkward at first, but strengthening your back is key when looking to increase overall body strength. Supermans will also strengthen your back for those long hours spent at a desk.
5. Walking on an incline
It is commonly forgotten that walking is just as beneficial as running. So for those of you that hate running but want to increase your cardio, you’re in luck. Hop on that treadmill, up the incline and sweat it out.
6. Calf Raises
Calves are the muscle group that everyone seems to forget to train. However, calf raises are useful when trying to increase running strength and also add to the overall appearance of your legs.
Stairs are a tough and fun way to add to both your cardio and strength workouts, and I’m not just referring to the StairMaster. Find a long set of stairs around your campus or neighborhood and run them a couple of times to increase speed, glute and hamstring strength and your heart rate.
This will benefit you in your everyday life; you won’t get winded every time you need to go up those stairs to your apartment on the fourth floor.
8. Gliding Discs
Gliding discs are the hidden gem of fitness equipment. Numerous exercises can be done with these small portable disks to work your abs, arms, legs… just about everything. Look for them at your gym to add in a killer burn to your workouts.
Can’t find the gliders? Paper plates work too.
9. Rowing Machine
This is the machine that everyone sees at the gym but ignores. The rowing machine is not just an arm workout, which is a common misconception. It also works your glutes, hamstrings, abs and your heart. Try this next time you are looking to spice up your cardio workouts.
10. Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebells can be seen laying around any gym, but few know what to do with them. To make your squats even harder and break a major sweat, pick one up and do kettlebell swings. Kettlebells can also be used with lunges, triceps and ab exercises.
These are last for a reason: everyone loves to hate them. Burpees are an ideal exercise because they work your whole body and get your heart rate up fast. They can be done in a short amount of time and anywhere.
I know they suck, but add 20 burpees to the end of your workout, and you will thank me later.
Whether you are looking to get healthier or to get beach ready for the summer, be sure to keep your workouts interesting and add in these exercises. Don’t forget to fuel up with the right food before and after each workout.