An awesome strength-training session will make you feel butt-kicking good and blissfully wiped out, but unfortunately, not all workouts are created equal. Especially if your body has started to adapt. If you find yourself longing for the endorphin rush and sweat-drenched hair of days past, it’s time to tweak your moves.
Janelle Tank, certified personal trainer and owner of Nell Nation Fitness, says that she often encourages her clients to do variations on the classics: “I love taking your traditional squat, shoulder press, or row, and turning them into fast-paced movements.”
Here are a few of Tank’s favorite workout move updates:
If you like burpees…
Try: Weighted Burpee Squat Jump
One of Tank’s go-to moves to jumpstart a stagnating routine (or just torch some extra calories) is the weighted burpee squat jump. Not for the faint of heart, this move does not mess around.
Here’s How: Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart. The weights (the weight is your choice) should be at the ground in front of you. Squat, and then jump your feet back and do a push-up. Next, pick up the weights. Push upward toward the roof with a jumping motion while holding the weights. Do as many as you can.
If you like lunges…
Try: The Kettlebell Lateral Lunge
The kettlebell lateral lunge strengthens your core and back on top of promoting hip flexibility. This movement plays on the traditional lunge by working your muscles and cardiovascular system even harder.
Here’s How: Hold the kettlebell (the weight is your choice) with two hands straight out in front of you. Step to the right using your right foot and lower into a lateral lunge. Push through the hip to return to starting position. Stand with your knees bent slightly and feet apart, placed beneath your shoulders. Finish 10 reps on the right, and then switch to your left. Do this three times.
If you like glutes exercises…
Try: The Lateral Band Walk-Out
Lateral band walks are crazy-great for that hard-to-work part of the butt: the gluteus medius (a.k.a. the side of the butt). You’ll feel the burn immediately!
Here’s How: Place a mini workout band just above your ankles. Begin stepping sideways in one direction. Continue stepping in that direction for 10 or more reps before switching to the opposite foot. Repeat three times.
If you like the ab roller…
Try: The Barbell Push-Out and Roll Up
This move is going to work your core and your arms, so get ready for the burn.
Here’s how: Kneel on the floor and place your hands shoulder-width apart on a barbell. Lower down on the barbell into pushup position, holding the bar in place with your hands. End with your chest two inches above the bar. Roll the bar forward with by straightening your arms until you feel it in your core. Keep your arms straight and your back flat, and roll the bar back to the starting position. Do this as many times as you can until you burn out.
If you like crunches …
Try: Bicycle Crunches
Not for the weak of ab, bicycle crunches work your internal and external obliques, as well as the rectus abdominis (your largest ab muscle).
Here’s how: Lie on your back and bend your knees. Place your hands behind your head, leaving your fingers separate. Slightly lift your head. Twist your left elbow toward your right knee while extending your left leg. Pull your left leg back in and extend the right, while twisting your right elbow toward your left knee. Do 15 reps three times.