If you've been working out for months or years, you've no doubt developed a routine--certain exercises you do every day or every week. However, changing things up is one of the best ways to not only prevent boredom from setting in, but it can also work out your muscles in new ways.
Here are a few awesome exercises you might not know that can give you a great workout:
1. Pistol Squats
This is a tough one-legged squat that shreds everything from the core down. It seems simple--squat on one leg, extending the other leg straight out in front of you--but it's incredibly tough. Try to keep that leg and your back straight!
Here's a great exercise to shred those shoulders as well as your upper body stabilizers like the supraspinatus muscle. Hold two very light dumbbells like you're going to do a shoulder press, and press them up and out to form a Y-shape with your arms. Go slow, as it places a strain on the shoulder joints if you move too quickly or have poor form.
3. Sled Pushes
You see this workout done by football players and in some bootcamps, but it's excellent for shredding your leg muscles. You'll need a weighted sled, which may not be available in your gym. You can add as much weight as necessary and then push the sled. Avoid using your arms and shoulders to push it, but feel the power coming from your legs.
4. Ring Flies
To work your chest muscles like no other exercise can, ring flies are the move for you. You'll need rings, but many gyms have them handy. Assume plank position holding the rings at arm's length, and dip into a push-up by moving your hands out to the side. It's an incredibly tough exercise, but it will rip up your chest very effectively.
5. Super Slow Close Grip Chin Ups
Most people do chin-ups with their hands at shoulder width, but bringing them together isolates the muscles a lot more and gives them a workout from a different angle. Do them as slowly as you can, and you'll feel your arms and shoulders complaining before you hit 10.
6. Plank Walk
Tired of doing the plank? Has the exercise gotten too easy? Try the Plank Walk, and be amazed by how badly it hurts by the time you're done. Simply assume the plank position, and walk forward by moving one limb at a time. Focus on keeping your form perfect, and move slowly until you get the form right. Try to go for time instead of distance. Make it harder by moving backwards, doing a push-up between each movement, or bring your knees to your elbow with each step.
7. Horizontal Bench Holds
This exercise is like the "Superman," but for your abs instead of your back. Sit on the edge of a weight bench and cross your legs beneath the bench. Sit back until your torso is parallel to the weight bench--but hanging off the edge. Hold for up to 60 seconds for some seriously shredded abs!
8. Barbell T-Bar Row
This works just like the regular bent-over row, but it's much easier on your back. Get a regular barbell and place one end of it in the corner of the room. Load up the other end with weights. Straddle the loaded end of the bar, and grip it between your legs. Bring the heavy end to your chest, using your bodyweight to keep the empty end safely tucked into the corner of the room.
Why Your Workouts Aren't Getting Results
Some people get lucky and are born with fit, toned bodies. Andy Peloquin is not one of those people... Fitness has come hard for him, and he's had to work for it. His trials have led him to becoming a martial artist, an NFPT-certified fitness trainer, and a man passionate about exercise, diet and healthy living. He loves to exercise--he does so six days a week--and loves to share his passion for fitness and health with others.