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If you’re looking to add a few tough moves to your current exercise routine and boost your workout, here are a few suggestions that are sure to make you sweat.
It’s easy to get comfortable in the gym and do the same workout routine, over and over. However, if your current sessions are getting too easy, there’s a chance that you may hit a plateau and stop making progress with your exercise. If you want your body to continually adapt and improve, you must gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Also, be consistent and ensure that you have a good nutrition and recovery strategy in place.
If you’re ready to kick-start your results, consider adding in some of my favorite workout boosters to your current routine.
Running fast is a great way to improve your cardiovascular fitness level and your muscular strength. Just a few short bursts of fast running can surely increase the intensity level of your routine and get you sweating. Jump on the treadmill and aim to do 5 x 20-second bouts of fast running in between each set of your current weight training routine.
Sprint for 20 seconds, rest for 60 and repeat. (For safety, ensure that you wear the treadmill’s auto-stop clip whenever you’re running fast.)
This exercise is a great total body move. A burpee is a combination of a squat, step back, plank, push-up and jump-up at the end. This intense move can help to enhance your coordination and strengthen almost every muscle in the body at the same time. You can add burpees to the end of your workout or add them in-between weight sets. I like to perform burpees in a challenge format, where you do as many as you can before you start losing your form. However, if working to fatigue is too intense for your current level of fitness, consider adding 4 sets of 15 burpees with a short rest in between each set.
Squat down, place both hands on the floor and jump both feet back into plank position. Perform a push-up by lowering your chest to the floor, jump your feet back in and, as you come up to stand, add a tuck jump.
Performing push-ups is a great way to add intensity to your workout, especially when you make them a little more difficult than a standard push-up. The chest and back benefit greatly from doing push-ups, but it’s considered a total body exercise as the core, arms and glutes are all working hard, too.
Take a plank position. As you bend your elbows out to the sides and lower your torso toward the floor, bend your left knee and touch it to your left elbow. Straighten your arms and come back to plank position with your left foot next to your right. Lower again, and touch your right knee to your right elbow. Return to plank position. Add in 3 sets of 10-12 at the end of your workout.
Spending 5-10 minutes of your workout dedicated to jumping rope is a great cardio-boosting exercise. Jumping is considered high-impact in nature, so you get the muscle and bone strengthening benefits that are associated with high-impact exercise.
If you decide to add in some workout booster exercises to your current routine, you must also ensure that you make the necessary dietary changes to your nutrition plan, so that you are supporting your new increased energy output. If you’re working hard in the gym without an added focus on your diet, you risk breaking down muscle tissue, getting dehydrated and feeling lethargic during the day.
When you challenge yourself in your workouts, there’s a good chance that you’ll be sweating a lot more than usual due to your increased workload. This is especially true if you are exercising in a warm indoor space or outside in the sun.
The amount that you sweat can dramatically increase when you increase the intensity of your workout. So, it’s essential that you pay extra attention to your hydration needs and replace fluid both during and after your workout. Staying hydrated can help you perform at your best and help with the exercise recovery and rebuilding process.
Remember that it’s important to push yourself enough to elicit change, but not too much that you can’t be consistent due to exhaustion or overly sore muscles. Finding your own personal balance is the key to long-term success, and quite often we learn by trial and error. Listen to your body and have fun with each and every workout that you do.
Samantha Clayton is responsible for all activities relating to exercise and fitness education for Independent Herbalife Members and employees. Through in-person training sessions, educational tools and materials, and her blog (www.discovergoodfitness.com), she ensures that the important role of exercise as part of a healthy, active life is understood by all. She also helps create, organize and promote employee fitness programs and activities as an integral part of the company’s corporate wellness program.
A native of Liverpool, England, Samantha initially worked as a consultant for Herbalife for two years and led the Herbalife24-Fit program, the company’s first comprehensive fitness training program and DVD series.
Before joining the corporate ranks, Samantha was a professional athlete. She represented Great Britain in the 2000 Sydney Olympics in both the 200m and the 4x100m relay events. Prior to the Olympics, she won two medals in the Olympic AAA trials – a silver medal for the 200m and a bronze for the 100m – as well as a silver medal in the 4x100m relay during the European Junior Championships in 1997. Her personal records include 11.40 seconds in the 100m and 23.02 seconds in the 200m.
Samantha is a personal trainer and group exercise coach through the American Fitness and Aerobics Association (AFAA) and International Sport Science Association (ISSA).