Don't Get Down with your Routine; Elevate your Workout with these Simple Exercises

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Routine is great. Having a consistent training program is necessary for making long-term progress. Despite this, sometimes progress levels off, improvement slows and motivation lacks. When you find yourself reaching a training plateau, try one of these elevating exercises to take your training to the next level.

Incline treadmill walking

  • Nothing against counting laps or standard treadmill use, but when looking at increasing training and health benefits, bumping up the incline on a treadmill can lead to significant improvements. Incline walking requires greater muscle recruitment to push you up, not just forward.
  • Find a comfortable walking pace and increase the incline every two minutes. Continue until you find an effort level that makes it challenging to hold a casual conversation.
  • “Bonus Points” if you walk at the incline without holding the treadmill handles – swing those arms!

Turkish Get-Up

  • If you are looking for one of the best “bang for your buck” exercises, the Turkish Get-Up (TGU) is one of them. The movement involves holding a weight above you while lying on your back, then methodically moving to a fully upright, standing position. With a number of large and small muscles working, the TGU reinforces joint range of motion, core stability, and total body awareness.
  • “Bonus Points” if you talk through the movement with a qualified fitness professional – let’s do it right!

Stairmill

  • Getting up a flight of stairs is a daily routine for most people. A never-ending staircase is much less routine. Climbing stairs requires significant lower body activation to push you up, and challenges your core to hold you up and in place. Consider the cardiovascular challenge that comes with the stairmill and you have a training tool sure to get results.
  • The most important recommendation is to start slow. It may feel great to cruise up your first few flights, but pace yourself early to get farther and higher in the long run.
  • “Bonus Points” if you climb the stairs without leaning forward – stay upright!

Squat to Overhead Press

  • Combining two great exercises can be a recipe for successful training. A properly executed squat and an upper body push/reach overhead requires total body strength and coordination. Repeating this movement adds in a muscular endurance component that directly transfers to everyday life. Training your body to handle this workload will make you more resilient and capable in and out of the fitness center.
  • Master the movement with light weight before moving on to heavier. Once comfortable, try changing up the weight (dumbbells, resistance bands, etc.), grip position (two hands on a weight, one hand at a time, etc.), and tempo (slower or faster).
  • “Bonus Points” if you come to a complete pause at the bottom and the top of the movement – be strong!

A complete overhaul is not necessary, but adding one of these exercises into your routine will elevate your workouts. Try one out, maybe all of them, and see how high you can raise your fitness!


Nick Rozek Greater Green Bay YMCA
Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist