Adding Variety to Your Workouts by Ridempowered Heather Nielson
Heather Nielson races bikes, crashes the gym and eats chocolate. "Just like K'UL chocolate's high quality dark chocolate base, if you're basic plan is solid, then adding variety will only enhance the flavor and overall experience of your work-outs" confesses Heather.
Here are some tips we got from her on how to add variety and fun to your workout routine:
"It won't take much more time either on top of your basic aerobic exercises each week. Challenging your core, stabilizing muscles, becoming more proficient in your form and movement will only make you a better endurance athlete as you will certainly find that each step or pedal stroke you take is that much more efficient, stable and economical which will enable you to go further, faster!
I have a long list of core and movement exercises that I pick from 3-5x/week that I do on top of my other training regimen that adds about 15 minutes but since the list is long and I choose a different set of exercises each time, the variety is almost endless! This keeps my body constantly adapting to the neuro-muscular patterns which only increases my efficiency as an athlete.
Below is a list of ideas for core, movement and plyometric exercises with videos or links to help explain the movement patterns. Try a group of 4-8 exercises, completing 2-3 sets of 10 reps for each exercise to start off with at the beginning of your normal routine to help with activation.
Jump rope: Simple and fun! I always warm up with jump rope for as long as I can. Great activation and gets you ready for the rest of your work-out!
One of my favorites that I do year round. The key to this exercise is to power from your legs first and use the momentum to carry the bar up over your body. In other words, don't lift the bar with your upper body first, use your legs first. I'ts a great plyometric and rotational core exercise.
The key to this one is maintaining 90 degree angles in the non-moving knee and hip and keeping your lower back in contact with the floor through the entire movement pattern.
Single leg squat:
The key to this exercise is making sure your knee doesn't go past your foot at the bottom of the squat and engaging your core and glute through the entire movement pattern.
Monster walks with resistant band:
The key to this exercise is moving your knee and ankle at the same time in a parallel fashion and engaging your glutes and core through the entire movement pattern.
The key to this exercises is maintaining a flat back and not letting your hips drop to one side.
I love this one. You need to activate your entire core and body to maintain a proper position and stability.
Dynamax ball hammer rotations:
You can also do this against a wall behind you without a partner. Again, a great upper body and rotational core exercise.
Laugh. Workout. Eat Chocolate. Sleep. Repeat.