Mix things up with unusual exercises that peak your mental edge and prevent you from falling into a rut.
Hitting the gym day in and day out can take it’s toll on any fitness warrior. Even if you’re the type of person that thrives on routine, doing the same exercises over and over again can be boring. For a change of pace, throw in some odd exercises here and there. Not only is it fun, it may hit parts of your muscles that you’ve never felt before.
The debate over whether or not certain exercises are “functional” is tiresome. Lifting weights safely is good for aesthetic purposes and general fitness. If you perform your routine quickly enough, you’ll receive cardiovascular benefits as well. Still, most common gym exercises are not particularly athletic. Throw in some movements that demand attention from the entire body or challenge your lifting in new ways.
SHOCKING YOUR MUSCLES
Changing your routine even a little bit can sometimes illicit new muscle growth. If you’re not making progress on a particular lift, consider putting it on the back burner for a while. Pick a new exercise and start from the beginning. Lift light at first until you have good form. Then start to increase the poundages and reps over time. When you go back to your regular exercise, you may notice your weights going up again.
AFRAID OF NOT LOOKING COOL?
Get over it. Everybody has seen someone doing something that looks crazy in the gym. The fact it, serious people are there for the same reasons. Getting into and staying in great shape. Focus on yourself on your own progress.
This was a favorite of old-timey weightlifters. It’s helpful to grow a handlebar moustache. It was usually performed with a barbell and the pounds were often extremely high. Try it with a dumbbell or kettlebell to get a similar challenge while keeping safe. Clean a dumbbell to your shoulder. Now, push out your hip toward the arm holding the dumbbell. Lower your side and contract your lats and abdominals, moving your body out and underneath the dumbbell until it is locked out. Now slowly stand up straight. There is no real pressing motion here. You’re basically holding the dumbbell in the final position and then adjusting your body underneath it.
Popular amongst wrestlers and combat athletes, this exercise demands total body strength. Lay on the floor on your back and hold a dumbbell or kettlebell above your head with one hand. If you’re holding the weight with your right hand, your right leg will be bent and your left leg pointed slightly outwards. Keeping your arm extended, slowly rise to your other elbow, and then to a standing position. The weight is still raised above your head. Lower in a controlled manner and repeat. Don’t forget to work your other arm as well.
A powerful combination of a pullup and a dip, this gymnastic style move will get you in touch with your simian roots. It can be performed on gymnastic rings or a pull-up bar. Start by pulling up and bringing your legs out in front of you a little bit. Try to begin to get your shoulders over your hands and push yourself up and over the bar. Now you’re in position, to perform a dip, completing the movement. This is an advanced exercise and it may take some time to be able to perform even one rep.
ONE ARM BARBELL-CURL
A cool exercise that will build your biceps, your forearms, and give you a strong crushing grip. Use a normal barbell and place your hand in the center. Now curl. Simple, right? Wrong. The odd balance will really put pressure on your forearms and biceps. Holding the bar position is great to build up the brachialis muscle, the one that lies underneath your biceps. A big brachialis will push out the lower biceps and add size and separation to your arm.
Don’t be afraid to try new things in the gym. Sure, the best exercises are usually the traditional ones. But you never know how you’ll respond to an exercise until you try it.