5 new exercises you can try to improve your fitness routine

Changing your exercise routine can help revitalise your routine and improve your fitness. Honing in on new areas of the body and pushing yourself that 10% can make a huge difference. There are a number of different exercises you can try out that all have great health benefits and can add something new to your workout, especially if it has become a little monotonous.

Whether you currently enjoy running, weights or yoga, there are a wide variety of activities that can take your current training to the next level by supporting similar muscle groups and movements, not just adding a new dynamic to your routine but also improving your current training overall.

Interval Training

High-intensity interval training is well-known for being one of the most gruelling but most effective forms of exercise for any runner or athlete. The exercise is an extremely efficient workout, wasting very little time and is a great way to burn fat all over your body.

Interval training really strengthens your heart and makes it easy to lose weight and tone your body while also increasing your metabolism which helps prevent you putting weight back on in the future.

The training involves alternating between intense bursts of activity and fixed periods of recovery. For example, running as fast as you can for one minute and then walking for two minutes after that on a larger scale. This can be a really challenging form of training and getting the right support and source of motivation can really help make it easier. Livefit personal trainers are a great source of motivation that can help make the challenge easier. They have a wealth of knowledge with training and nutrition that can really help improve the effectiveness of interval training and other forms of exercise.

Single-leg bench squat

This movement is great for runners as it helps strengthen your glute muscles. Weak glutes can lead to lower-leg problems and increases the risk of injuries to the knees and hips therefore it is important to remember to exercise your glutes when you are increasing your running mileage. For example:

  • Stand facing away from a bench or chair that is at around your knee height
  • Raise your right foot off the floor slightly, reaching out in front of you with your arms to help you balance
  • Sit down slowly on the bench or chair with your arms outstretched
  • Hold the sitting down position for one second and the push off using your left heel to return to the original standing position
  • 2 to 3 sets of 10 to 15 reps on each leg each day, on two or three non-consecutive days a week

Swimming

Swimming is extremely enjoyable and the number of different health benefits make it so popular amongst the fitness conscious folk, professionals and newbies.

The main health benefit of swimming is that it helps maintain your weight. Swimming breaststroke for around 30 minutes will burn approximately 367kcal, depending on weight and speed. Swimming also helps lower your stress level and increasing self-esteem, improve your mood and strengthen your muscles. You will find yourself sleeping better after swimming and the fluid movement through the water really helps strengthen your core muscles and your heart especially.

Planking

Hold on a minute, I'm not suggesting you start lying down in strange places and take a number of photos; this is actually a very beneficial exercise. The planking movement is extremely effective at building your core muscles which are very important for running, swimming and cycling. This makes the plank a great exercise for triathlon runners and those interested in trying a bit of everything. This is a great way to build the lasting strength you'll need for the best performance during all three parts of the race. How to do it:

  • Position your forearms on the floor so that the body forms a straight line from shoulders to heels
  • Balance your body on your forearms and toes only and hold the position for two minutes, taking rests as necessary
  • Carry out this exercise three non-consecutive days a week as part of a pre-race training regime
  • A good target to aim for is two uninterrupted minutes of planking

Burpees

Burpees are a fusion of some of the most popular workout staples, including star jumps and push ups, and can push yourself to the limit quickly. This total-body move requires all of your effort to successfully perform making them the perfect option to quickly raise your heart rate and breathing. To perform a burpee:

  • Stand up with your feet hip-width apart and lower into a squat position until your thighs are parallel to the ground
  • Place your hands on the ground and quickly kick your legs back into a plan position
  • Perform a push up with your body remaining a straight line from your heels to your head, while keeping your abs clenched
  • In the same movement jump straight back up into a squat position and then jump straight up, swinging your arms overheard like in a start jump
  • Land in a squat position and repeat the entire movement straight away
  • Carry out this movement for 15 to 20 reps each day

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Pete White Pete White

Love Shrewsbury editor and chief developer at The Web Orchard, find out more on petejwhite.com

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