Hit a plateau? Swap out your tired exercises for new ones!

May 23, 2014

You likely know cross training as a means of getting the most out of of your fitness routine as well as one of the best methods of achieving your goals, but if you only use the same go-to exercises time after time, you’re sure to hit a plateau.

In addition to mixing up your cardio on home gym equipment between different intervals, speeds, inclines and resistance levels, it’s necessary to switch out your strength program every once in a while as well. Aside from becoming incredibly boring, repeating the same exercises over and over will stop challenging your muscles at some point and you’ll hit a plateau with your results.

On the days when you’re not pounding the home treadmill belt like the True M30 Home Treadmill, reevaluate your strength plan. If you feel like you’ve stopped getting stronger or your workouts are a breeze, it’s time to make some changes. Remember, strong muscles also help you improve your cardio workouts.

Try these updated exercises to kick your workout into high gear:

Elevated lunges
If good old fashioned lunges just aren’t doing it for your leg muscles anymore (especially after all of that running and biking), it’s time to elevate them.

  • Grab an aerobic step or step stool
  • Place your right foot on the step and have your left leg wide enough to lower both knees to 90 degrees, then lower down
  • Push through your right heel and return to the starting position
  • Do 10 to 12 reps then switch to the left foot
  • Repeat for three sets

Tricep push-ups
If you’ve been using tricep extensions or kickbacks to work the muscles along the backs of your arms, try these killer tricep push-ups (which also work the chest and abs as an added bonus).

  • Start in a push-up position but bring your hands close together so your pointer fingers and thumbs touch, making a diamond shape
  • You can do a full push-up on your feet or modify the move by dropping to your knees
  • Keeping your abs tight, lower your chest toward the ground, then push through your hands to the starting position
  • Repeat for 8 to 10 reps and complete three sets

Side lunges and Sumo squats
It can be a challenge to work the outside and inside of your thighs, but these two leg exercises target your adductors (inner thigh muscles) and abductors (outer thigh muscles).

  • For sumo squats, start with your feet wider than hip distance apart, toes pointing out to about 45 degrees
  • Squeeze your abs and lower straight down until your knees bend to about 90 degrees
  • Push through your heels to the starting position
  • Repeat 10 to 12 times for three reps
  • For side lunges, start with an even wider stance but keep both toes pointing forward
  • Keeping your left leg straight, bend your right knee to about 90 degrees, transferring your weight to the right
  • Push through your right heel and come back to center
  • Repeat 10 to 12 times, then switch to the left side
  • Do three sets on each side

Dynamic plank
Once you can hold a plank on your hands and feet for at least one minute while keeping proper form, you’ll need to add more challenges to keep working your core.

  • Begin in a plank position with your shoulders over your wrists, and keep your abs tight and back flat
  • Hold for 30 to 60 seconds

Options to make planks more challenging:

  • Alternate lifting your right and left feet
  • Alternate lifting your right and left hand
  • Lift your right hand and left foot, then lift your left hand and right foot
  • Add a cardio element by jumping your feet wide, then jumping back together (like a jumping jack)
  • Walk your plank by dropping down to your elbows then pushing back up to your hands