Your fitness routine can become dull and redundant over time. Doing the same thing again and again just because it works can demotivate you from pursuing it further. To avoid this from happening, transform your fitness routine with these five techniques.
1. Find A Workout Buddy
Friends make everything better, and exercise is no different. Every sweat session will double as a chance to hang out! Plus, having a workout buddy motivates you to work harder. In a 2012 study in Annals of Behavioral Medicine, researchers found that women exercised longer with a partner. Their overall performance also improved.1
This is excellent news for your fitness goals, whether it’s losing weight or gaining muscle. The tricky part might
2. Listen To Upbeat Music
Music has more of an impact than we think. There’s a reason why a movie’s soundtrack is so important! During a workout, good tunes will make all the difference. According to a 2010 study, upbeat music has the best effect. A faster tempo not only increases performance but also increases heart rate as well.
Furthermore, the entire experience becomes more enjoyable.2 The Internet is a great source of playlists and suggestions. Even if it’s not your taste, give it a chance. It might
3. Buy A Weightlifting Belt
You don’t have to be a professional lifter to benefit from the weightlifting belt. It’s one of the best things you can do for your back. A weightlifting belt provides extra support and decreases the risk of back injuries.
This is especially useful if you’re serious about lifting more weights. However, wearing a lifting belt doesn’t mean you can necessarily lift more. Look at it as protection for your practice, not a “cheat” tool.3
4. Walk Or Run Backwards
Retro-walking (or running) is a foolproof way to spice up your routine. This might seem silly, but it’s a real exercise with real benefits. As you move backward, muscles are put to work in a different way. The outcome is stronger, more power gains.4 Better yet, you’ll work out muscles that you normally wouldn’t when moving forward.
You’ll also burn more calories by going backward. Since muscle activation is higher, more energy is used up burning more calories.5 At the same time, shock absorption is lighter, so it’s actually gentler on the body.6 Just be sure to try it in a clear, open space.
5. Use Waterballs
You’re probably familiar with the medicine ball, an exercise tool that opens up countless strength training possibilities. It adds resistance, improves flexibility, and increases the range of motion.7 But if you’re sick of the traditional medicine ball, try water balls instead. As the names suggest, water balls are full of water, which moves around as you work out. Controlling the balls calls for serious muscle strength, but it’s an awesome way to upgrade your favorite moves.
Every week, aim for 2 hours and 30 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity. Resistance training should be done on two or more days a week.8 With these tips, meeting these goals will be a little easier.
|↑1||Irwin, Brandon C., Jennifer Scorniaenchi, Norbert L. Kerr, Joey C. Eisenmann, and Deborah L. Feltz. “Aerobic exercise is promoted when individual performance affects the group: a test of the Kohler motivation gain effect.” Annals of Behavioral Medicine 44, no. 2 (2012): 151-159.|
|↑2||Waterhouse, Jim, Pollyana Hudson, and Ben Edwards. “Effects of music tempo upon submaximal cycling performance.” Scandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports 20, no. 4 (2010): 662-669.|
|↑3||Smith, Elizabeth B., Amy A. Rasmussen, Deborah E. Lechner, Marilyn R. Gossman, Jose B. Quintana, and Bruce L. Grubbs. “The effects of lumbosacral support belts and abdominal muscle strength on functional lifting ability in healthy women.” Spine 21, no. 3 (1996): 356-366.|
|↑4||Terblanche, E., C. Page, J. Kroff, and R. E. Venter. “The effect of backward locomotion training on the body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness of young women.” International journal of sports medicine 26, no. 03 (2005): 214-219.|
|↑5||Cavagna, G. A., M. A. Legramandi, and A. La Torre. “An analysis of the rebound of the body in backward human running.” Journal of Experimental Biology 215, no. 1 (2012): 75-84.|
|↑6||Terblanche, E., C. Page, J. Kroff, and R. E. Venter. “The effect of backward locomotion training on the body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness of
|↑7||Strength Training With Medicine Balls. University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture Research & Extension.|