Are you at a plateau in your fitness efforts? It's time to rev-up your workouts.
An exercise physiologist in
Darien, Connecticut, Tom Holland, M.S. suggests that you keep your muscles guessing by stressing your muscles now and then.
During this period, work every muscle three to four days in a row. Perform each set with little or no rest in between.
this fast-paced circuit. Complete 8-12 reps of each exercise while going from one exercise to the next with little or no rest.
Repeat the entire circuit three times, resting for two minutes at the end of each circuit. Choose a dumbbell that will fatigue
your muscle by the 10th or 12th rep.
Pushups - Lower yourself to your hands and knees. Hands flat on the ground shoulder-width
apart, with fingers facing forward or slightly turned in. Straighten arms and legs and tighten abs. Slowly lower body toward
the ground elbows flared out slightly. Press up until arms are fully extended. During the entire exercise, keep head aligned
with spine. Do not allow lower back to sag or bend from the waist.
Forward Lunges - Stand with feet together,
hands on your sides. Step forward with right leg into a lunge. Focus on dropping hips toward the ground rather than driving
hips forward. With back straight, lower body to a comfortable position until front thigh is parallel to the ground. Firmly
push off with your front leg to return to start. Switch legs and repeat. 8-12 repetitions per leg.
Dumbbell Chest Press
on Ball - Grab a pair of dumbbells and sit on a stability ball. Walk your feet forward until your head and shoulders
rest on the ball. Feet flat on the floor, knees bent 90 degrees, squeeze glutes and abs tightly throughout the set to
stabilize your body. With palms facing forward, raise dumbbells to chest level. Press weights up over chest, then lower to
Squats with Dumbbells - Stand shoulder-width apart, holding a heavy dumbbell on each side with arms
hanging straight down. Bend knees until thighs are just past parallel to the floor. Back should be at roughly 45 degrees,
eyes looking straight ahead. Extend your legs, straightening back up to return to standing position.
Dumbbell rows -
Position one knee and one hand on a workout bench, stability ball, or a large chair. Your back should be parallel to the floor.
Align head with your spine. With your free hand, lift the dumbbell straight up to your torso. Keep the elbow close
to the body and point it slightly toward the ceiling. Concentrate on your back muscles. Hold for 1 second before slowly
lowering the weight to a dead hanging position. Switch to the other side after 8-12 reps.
Crunches on stability ball
- Sit on a ball then walk your feet forward until the arch of your back rests on the ball. Place your hands on your chest
or behind your ears while you tighten abs. Exhale and gradually raise your shoulders towards the ceiling. Lower shoulders,
inhale and repeat. Do 15-20 reps.
Lunges, shoulder press and dumbbell curls - With palms facing forward step forward
with one leg into a lunge. Follow the instructions above on correct lunge technique. As you drop down, curl the dumbbells
to your chest while elbows are glued to your sides. Turn wrists so that palms face forward then push the dumbbells overhead
as you return to the starting position. Bring feet together and lower your arms. Repeat, stepping with the other foot
forward. 8-12 repetitions per leg.
Mix any of the following exercises to spice up your circuit:
after each set, add plyometric drills that work the same muscle groups. For example, after a set of squats, execute 10 squat
jumps. Start in the squat position then jump up while you extend your arms overhead. Land carefully with your knees
bent and arms swinging behind you.
2) Add a minute of cardio, such as jogging in place between sets. Or, try 30
seconds of intense cardio, such as jumping rope or high knee lifts. You'll burn a higher percentage of calories from fat,
than if you add your cardiovascular exercise at the end or at the beginning of your routine.