A regular routine at the gym is great, but once in a while, you should switch up the type of exercise you do. Too much of the same can become a mindless habit rather than a focused workout. You can liven up your workout and challenge yourself by incorporating exercises you may have forgotten about. Your body will reap the benefits, too.
Strengthening your core can benefit your posture, improve balance, and help prevent injury. Your core includes several large muscle groups in the trunk of your body, including the abs, glutes, obliques, and hip flexors. Each of those muscles needs special attention to stay strong.
Plank exercises are highly effective in working the core muscles, and they can be done at a gym or at home.
When doing a plank, you’re using your own body as resistance against the natural forces of gravity. Beginners can start with a forearm plank and eventually move to a full plank with arms extended. For a bigger challenge, try side planks.
Lap swimming provides both cardio and strength training. Swimming makes great use of your back and abdominal muscles. It also provides aerobic exercise that can increase your lung capacity, boost your circulation, lower blood pressure, and build stamina.
Swimming 20 to 30 minutes, three days a week, should be sufficient to maintain maximum benefits. Freestyle will give you a solid overall workout, but backstroke can work your core and contribute to good posture. The butterfly stroke burns the most calories. Increase your swimming pace for a good workout.
Flexibility training focuses on the connective tissues and small muscles that support the joints and help them move smoothly. Good flexibility not only contributes to your overall strength and balance but also helps prevent injuries and makes your other workout exercises more effective.
Stretching is the simplest and most effective way to improve flexibility. Static stretching consists of extending a muscle as far as you can and holding it for a period of time. In dynamic stretching, you gradually increase your range of motion. Arms, circles, lunges, and trunk twists are examples of dynamic stretching.
Mixing up your workout routine with some long-forgotten exercises can target parts of your fitness that you may have been overlooking. New exercises can also lift your motivation and keep you going toward your goals.
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