Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Exercises to Skip at the Gym

Now that I'm more in the habit of hitting the gym after school, I've noticed that I tend to stick to the same exercises, and that often these specific machines don't really do much. Working out is all about challenging your body to run faster, or bike longer or plank for a minute more, for example. So when you do the same exercises over and over again, your muscles become more used to them, therefore resulting in a less effective workout. I did a little research on this topic (because a) I'm a nerd and b) I'm genuinely pretty curious about the topic), and I discovered there are a few specific exercises many people do that aren't as effective as you might think.


+ Warming up on a stationery bike 
Yes, warming your body up is definitely a great idea, but spending 25 minutes on the bike will end up wasting your time more than anything. Instead, warm up in less time by doing 30 jumping jacks, 30 squats, 15 mountain climbers and 10 burpees. The key is to break a sweat and to get your heart rate to 120 or more, but this doesn't have to take a half hour!

+ Hip Abductor machine
I use this weighted machine religiously, and it recently occurred to me that it literally does nothing to my legs. Instead, try squats, lunges and side lunges if you want to work your inner and outer thighs. By working these muscles while standing instead of sitting, you get in some cardio while also gaining more strength in your upper legs and thighs.

+ Weighted side bends
These sort of weight exercises are so popular (at my gym at least), but they actually make you more buff rather than more toned. Instead, try side planks, bicycles or Russian twists (my personal favorite!) to work deeper in your obliques and abs in general.

By changing a few routines in your workout, you could definitely be getting more out of each trip to the gym! 
xoxo
P.S. I added a tab on the top of the page for all health related posts - they're tagged "Wellness Wednesday" so they're much easier to find now! See them all right here :)

4 comments :

  1. I really need to work out more. I used to work out religiously at the local YMCA. I never lost any weight or gained muscle. All I could do was breathe a bit better. lol. I don't have time to go to the gym anymore so I'm looking for home workouts that don't involve expensive equipment. I'm going to try some of the lunges and the other exercises that you suggested. :)
    Kiersten @ Autumn Country Girl

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  2. This is a really useful blog post. I need to remember these so I can get the most out of my workouts.

    girl C http://www.fromgirlc.wordpress.com

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  3. Great tips! I'm trying to get the motivation to get back into the gym so I need all the help I can get...I think this post is definitely all about working harder, not longer!

    xoxo, SS

    The Southern Stylista

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  4. Love this! I really need to get back into a workout routine so this is really helpful!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com

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Thank you so much for your fabulous comment! xx