I’m really getting back into my routine so I thought I’d share some ways I’m trying to vary some exercises and make my time spent in the gym the most efficient.
Swapping out using your fixed weight machines for free weights is a great way to use more muscles and burn more fat. So here’s my top ones to swap out!
1) Seated Leg Extension. This trains your quads, the huge leg muscle at the front of the thigh.
Now I think we all know that isolating your quads from other leg muscles isn’t going to get the results that you want very quickly.
Squats will most definitely help your quads and glutes together, ranging from wide leg squats to one leg pistol squats………….ooh err!
2) Seated Chest Press. This trains your pectoral or chest muscles.
Using your upper body muscles is much better when you use them all at the same time, performing push ups will not only use your chest muscles but your core and shoulders too. Doing them on a box as an incline push up will maximise all of these muscles and help you build up to full push ups when you’re strong enough.
3) Seated Leg Press. Another that targets the leg muscles, including quads, glutes and hamstrings.
As mentioned above, squats are the best exercises for these muscles groups. Starting with body weight squats get used to the movement and ensure your form is perfect before progressing to holding weights in each hand or even a barbell.
4) Bicep curl machine. Pretty self explanatory, but I have to admit I really don’t get this one!
I’m not sure why you’d use this fixed weight machine when you can pick up a pair of dumbbells and perform a better bicep curl and engage more of your muscles therefore burning more calories and fat.
The same goes for the tricep version, you can do so much more with tricep dips!
5) Any Ab machine such as a Seat rotation or Cruncher. I used to use these all the time and I can honestly say that I never saw any results from using them.
I hate to stick with everyone else but planks are the signle best exercise you can do for your core, you see progress really quickly and just need to persevere. I try to alternate normal planks with side planks, with and without pulsing my hip up and down and curling my arm underneath and back out again.
Using bodyweight exercises are so much better than fixed weight machines. Not only do you use more muscles because you engage your core and require more muscles to help balance your body during the exercise, but you can see faster results and that’s something I can agree with having experienced it myself!
What’s your favourite bodyweight exercise? Do you have any favourite routines?