Why most of us choose to do the same old exercises every time we train instead of experimenting with better, more underrated exercises is, frankly, baffling. Shouldn’t variety be the spice of life? In the gym, like everywhere.
Because there is nothing to say, you have to stick to the tried and tested. In fact, one study found that when it comes to achieving goals, flexibility could be the key to success. Another, in The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, found that mixing your workouts not only leads to an increase in muscle size, but also greater strength.
I want more? A study published in the journal Frontiers in psychology found that enjoying your workout will keep you coming back to the gym. And to do that, you have to keep it fresh. So if you’ve found yourself in a fitness slump, this might be the fix you’re looking for.
Fitness is all about pushing your body out of its comfort zone. It’s where we grow up. So do yourself a favor, next time you’re gearing up to lift a barbell, swing a kettlebell, or listlessly perform the same old core circuit, why not add a random exercise, loved by our favorite PTs, from the underrated list of exercises here. under? Start with just one trade per session and see where it takes you.
Holly Balan, Study Director at F45 Chelsea
“Most people go back to classic core exercises like crunches and sit-ups,” Balan says. But it doesn’t have to be that way. “The Bird Dog strengthens the core and adds extra value by improving posture, stability and muscle strength in the shoulders, glutes and back,” Balan explains. “It’s an incredible exercise for people at any stage of life and at any fitness level, including those experiencing back pain, as it strengthens the muscles that support the spine.”
“Start in a tabletop position on your hands and knees. He stretches one arm and the opposite leg in alternating reps. I recommend adding three sets of 30 seconds at the end of your workout. If it’s too easy, try adding a resistance band around your thighs or increasing the tempo.
Farmer carrying with kettlebell
Andy Cannon, personal trainer at the wellness community app TruConnect
“This move is a game changer for targeting multiple muscle groups, improving grip strength, posture and stability, making it a MUST for athletes and people looking to improve their training.” says Canon, strongly suggesting it’s time to get KB Farmer to bring (ahem) Canon into your workouts.
“Simple and effective to perform, the movement involves picking up kettlebells in each hand and walking. What makes this exercise a winner is how functional it is. It mimics real-life movement patterns, like carrying groceries or picking up luggage.” says Canon. “Improving grip strength is extremely beneficial for people who want to progress in rock climbing, weightlifting, and gymnastics.”
Make it more difficult by trying an “offset” variation, trying to stay neutral when using only one KB instead of two.
Counter move jump
Mitch Raynsford, PT at groundbreaking performance
“Most workout programs follow a traditional approach of squat, hinge, push, pull, and brace movement patterns,” explains Raynsford. Tired of going through the motions? It’s time to get dynamic. “Plyometric exercises are often overlooked, but they should be a staple of any power-focused training plan, especially in the lower body,” Raynsford says.
“The simple CMJ doesn’t require any equipment as it’s just a full-effort jump with hands on hips.” In other words, you’re jumping in place, as high as you can. Are you feeling silly? Not. “Practicing the CMJ can generate more power and can help increase your squat 1RM especially through the strike point,” advises Raynsford.
Chris Antoni, founder of Tailor Made Fitness
“This squat variation is a very underrated exercise and not one you see many people doing in the gym,” says Antonio. “The reason for this is that it’s a tough exercise that requires a lot of upper body strength and balance to stay upright.”
Scared? It’s worth it. “Master the overhead squat and you can improve your ankle, hip, and shoulder range of motion, while also gaining strength, mobility, and flexibility that you can transfer to other exercises and everyday life.” If you want to increase your heavy training capacity, give it a try.
Grab a barbell, holding it above your head so your arms form a “V.” Do not lock your elbows. Squat by pushing your hips back, bending your knees with your core tight and back straight. He tries to bring his thighs parallel to the ground. Push back, through your heels and hips, to return to the start. If you’re struggling to keep the charged bar straight, try an empty one, or even a band taut in your hands, to start with.
Manual release push-ups
Farren Morgan, founder of the Tactical Athlete training method
“This is a very underrated workout that many people don’t incorporate into their routines,” Morgan explains. “As a variation of the standard push-up, they benefit the muscles of the chest, shoulders, abs, back, hips, glutes and arms.”
Easy, right? Well no. “Hand release push-ups are more challenging because they require you to increase the force you apply to push off the ground, making the contractions within your pectoral muscles significantly stronger and expanding your range of motion by 10 percent,” Morgan says.
Do you want to strengthen your core and upper body while improving your ability to perform shoulder exercises? Of course you do.
Perform a regular push up, pausing to lift your palms off the floor at the end of the downstage. This destroys the rebounding motion, making it harder, but don’t even think about stopping until you’ve hit four rounds of ten, okay?
Single Leg Romanian Deadlift
Veronika Caskova, trainer at F45 Training Southend on Sea
“This is the most underrated exercise when it comes to building glutes,” Caskova says. “The foot-supported unilateral Romanian deadlift is an isolated, single-leg exercise that helps correct any imbalance in strength and muscle size (which can be quite common when it comes to the legs).” Basically, it’s the ideal exercise to build glutes and legs.
“Place your back foot laces on a bench for support. This is just to help with balance, so don’t reduce more than 10% of your weight. Your front (working) leg is on the ground, positioned close to the bench. Hold a pair of dumbbells along your body. Hinge at the hips as if you are about to sit down. When the weights are lowered almost to the floor, squeeze your glutes, driving your hips forward to bring you back to the starting position.
Let’s see 10 per leg, please. Once you get the hang of it, leave the bench and rely only on balance…
First published on gq-magazine.co.uk
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