6 exercise tricks to stretch and grow your physical limits
Whether you’re a seasoned fitness guru or an exercise newbie, everyone eventually gets to a place where their workout routine begins to feel stale. Your muscles start to know what to expect from the gym each day, so you cease to get stronger or, at the very least, start to dread another boring sweat session at the gym. If you feel like you’re hitting a wall with your workouts, maybe it’s time to try something new. Here are six ways you can push your physical limits and breathe new life into your fitness routine.
- Start lifting or mix up your routine. If you usually stick strictly to running or tend to gravitate toward the same set of weights each day, then you may have fallen into a fitness rut. In order to reinvigorate your routine and stretch your body’s boundaries, you’ll have to add something new. Incorporate elements of weight-lifting into your routine to build strength. If you’re already used to lifting, then add more weight or try different strength-training machines.
- Try a new piece of cardio equipment. On the other hand, if you’re a regular in the weight room but not as keen on the elliptical, perhaps injecting some cardio into your gym session will help you smash through a plateau. Any exercisers who are already acquainted with the cardio machines can still mix it up and try a new one, like the step machine or the rowing machine.
- Sign up for a CrossFit class. CrossFit combines bursts of high-intensity cardio with sets of muscle-testing weight lifting, all rooted in functional everyday movements like squats and jumps. So regardless of what your workout routine looks like now, if it doesn’t include CrossFit, adding a few classes to your week is a surefire way to create change in your body and discover what your muscles are made of.
- Enlist a personal trainer. If you’re having trouble taking your fitness routine to the next level without some help, then ask a personal trainer to be your accountability buddy. He or she will do much more than just that. A personal trainer can customize a new fitness regime specific to your goals and won’t let you avoid a challenging workout.
- Break out of the gym. Maybe it’s not the routine itself but the setting that’s preventing you from reaching your full potential as an athlete. If this is the case, skip the treadmill and the weight room and head outdoors instead. Go for a run at your favorite park. Find an outdoor yoga class and join in on a Saturday morning. Try a local boot camp with a friend. The workout itself isn’t as important as pushing yourself and trying something new.
- Live by the mantra “mind over matter.” Sometimes the hardest part about working out is getting yourself mentally prepared to sweat. And if your brain isn’t into it, then your body probably won’t be, either. So play some tricks on your mind, even when it’s not into the gym. For instance, avoid looking at the clock and take your workout in small time periods. If you just focus on finishing one set as opposed to 10 more, it should be easier to get your head into the workout.
7 plateau-busting tips from the expert [Women’s Health and Fitness Magazine]
4 Plateau-Busting Tips [My Fitness Pal]