I am sure that I am not the only one who has ever experienced a plateau in their strength training. Here are 5 strategies to wake those muscles up and get some results out of your strength training.
1. Move Quickly from Upper to Lower Body
Alternate upper and lower body exercises without rest in between to up your caloric burn. Moving quickly from biceps curls to squats, for example, can raise your heart rate by forcing blood to shunt from you arms to your legs. Work this technique into your routine once a week.
2. Drop the Weight
Squeeze every ounce of effort out of your muscles with drop sets. This technique recruits more muscle fibers for faster results. Start with weight heavy enough to fatigue muscles in 10 reps. Use a slightly lighter weight for a second weight for a second set. Then go even lighter for a third set (for example. 10 pounds to 8 pounds to 5 pounds). Do this only once a month, as it can cause significant muscle soreness.
3. Work Two Muscle Groups at Once
Same time and burn more calories with a series of total-body moves targeting several muscle groups together. Try adding triceps presses to squats or front shoulder raises to lunges. This technique isn't highly fatiguing, so try it once a week.
4. Balance on One Leg
Using one foot instead of two during strength moves will recruit the muscles in your core, helping to sculpt flat, strong abs. Stand on one leg from everything from shoulder presses to squats. Because you have to work harder to maintain your balance, you may need to use slightly lighter weights with this technique.
5. Team Up on One Muscle
For "those" body parts that you really want to whip into shape, do back to back exercises for the same muscle group. For example, blast your legs with a squat followed by a lunge. To attack your abs, do bicycles followed by reverse crunches. This pushes your muscles to total exhaustion, so don't try it more than twice a month.
Try shaking your routine up a little. You will recruit muscles you forgot you had.
Who out there likes the feeling of getting stronger? I know I do.
Give these techniques a try and let us know how you and your muscles feel:)
How many times a week do you strength train?
What is your favorite body part to train? Least favorite? Why?