Plateaus are a common obstacle in any kind of fitness program. After weeks and weeks of training, the body adapts and what was once hard is now easy. Exercise programs need to be changed regularly to continue to see progress and results, but it can be difficult to learn a new series of exercises and stick to a new routine.
You need to give your body new demands and stimuli, but don’t have to change your entire workout. A simple swap of one exercise for one that is similar in movement and style could be just what you need to give your body a new challenge. By adding small challenges, such as jumping or rotation, or by changing body position, these exercise swaps will kick up the intensity of your existing program.
Swap #1: Squats for Squat Jumps
Squat exercises mimic real-life movements and target the entire lower body, including the glutes, quadriceps and hamstrings. Squats also aid in joint flexibility through the hips, knees and ankle joints. A staple exercise in any strength-training program, squats can be performed anywhere and with no equipment necessary.
The squat jump takes the basic squat to the next level by adding explosive power. Use this exercise for a quick cardio pick me up, to increase your vertical jump, and to improve your daily and overall functionality.
How to: Squat Jump
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, arms hanging by your sides. Squat down until your knees are bent to 90 degrees; swing the arms behind you. Immediately swing your arms overhead and jump up as high as you can. Land softly back into the squat and immediately perform another jump. Perform two to three sets of 10 jumps.
Swap #2: Push-ups for Burpees
Whether you love them or hate them, there is no question that push-ups work, targeting the entire upper body, core, and even your glutes and quadriceps.
Swap out the push-up for a burpee and now you are talking about a serious return on your exercise investment. It also provides an ego boos, unrivaled by any other exercise.
How to: Burpee
Squat down and place your hands on the floor in front of you. Jump or walk both feet back to a high-plank position. Perform one push-up. Jump or walk both feet back in toward the hands. Jump up, reaching your arms overhead. Perform one to two sets of 10.
Swap #3: Lunges for Lunge Mountain Climbers
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