Challenging exercise variations are a powerful tool to make sure your workout keeps performing as it should. Unfortunately, all too many people don’t realize how effective and essential it is to be ready to level up your moves as needed. After all, as convenient as it would be to repeat the same steps over the long-term while still losing weight and getting fitter, that simply cannot work. There are many reasons for this, and you should learn them if you want to enjoy ongoing advantages.
If you keep doing the same exercises all the time, your muscles will start to adapt to the movements and will basically learn how to perform those workouts more efficiently. This means that you will stop seeing the same results from your efforts in terms of weight loss support and toning. But by incorporating some challenging variations to your favorite exercise moves, you can start testing your muscles in new ways.
What Are Good Challenging Exercise Variations?
It’s all well and good to want to add new challenging exercise variations to your routine. However, unless you know how to recognize them, they’re not going to do you a lot of good. There are a number of components that go into an alternative move that is actually worth your while.
Consider the following as you decide on the ways you’ll be boosting your next workout with challenging exercise variations:
- They’re moves you can actually do – They need to be within your ability to complete them without injuring yourself. It’s all well and good to boost your workout challenge, but only if you can do so safely.
- They need to be more challenging than the ones you’re already doing – Doing something different isn’t the same as doing more challenging exercise variations. Just because you change something doesn’t mean it will give you more benefit.
- It needs to be something you’re willing to do – We all have parts of our workouts that we like more than others. That said, if you dislike something enough that you end up putting it off or skipping it altogether, it won’t offer you any real benefit. An exercise is only beneficial if you do it.
- They need to target the same muscles – When you choose more challenging exercise variations, it means you’re looking to make changes to the workout for a specific part of your body. This means that you can’t replace the cardio you get from walking with bicep curls using hand weights. Similarly, you can’t replace your burpees by using a punching bag. Make sure your upgrades target the same outcomes.
A New Bridge Exercise
Bridge pose is a great way to boost the strength in your glutes, but if you want to try one of the more challenging variations of this move, try the one-legged bridge. You will be working just one leg at a time, rather than both like you would in a traditional bridge, and you don’t even need any equipment to target your glutes and thighs.
This is one of the most straightforward exercises moves, but it will deliver results when executed correctly. Start by lying on your back with your knees bent and your feet flat. Lift your hips into bridge and then lift one of your legs off the floor and point your foot to the sky. Drive the weight into the leg that is holding you up but keep the hips squared. Hold there for a few seconds and then bring the hips down to the ground before lifting again and performing 15 reps.
A New Burpee Move
One of the most intense exercise moves that uses your own body weight to challenge you is the burpee, but once you have mastered the standard burpee, take it to the next level.
This is one of most challenging variations of the burpee because you are going to double up each move. Start by doing two squats, then get into the usual burpee plank position by jumping your feet back. But instead of coming back up after the first plank, just hop your feet forward to your hands and then hop back to plank. Then come back to the standing position, finishing off the burpee.
A New Way to Work Your Core in Plank
Plank is a great workout to test the strength of your core, but once you’ve nailed it, it’s time to take it to the next level.
Work your abs by getting into forearm plank and holding for 30 seconds. Then lift your right foot off the floor a few inches and bring your right knee to your right triceps to target the obliques. Hold there for as long as you can before bringing your foot back to plank. Do the same on the left side.
Adding some variations to your usual workout moves is a great way to bring a new challenge to your exercise routine and keep things interesting. After all, if you don’t stop forcing your muscles to strengthen in new ways, what’s the point of spending time at the gym?