Spring is upon us, and with this change in season comes the opportunity to clean house—both figuratively and literally—as you liberate yourself from the things that no longer serve you. If your current workout routine has stopped producing results, kick up the intensity of your next sweat session by swapping out stale moves for these alternative exercises that give your soon-to-be-old favorites a new twist.
If you currently do: Side plank
Try: Rolling planks
With a focus on mobility, this exercise combines the side plank and a variation on the forearm plank into one fluid move that will take your core training to a whole new level.
How: Lie on your stomach on a mat and fold both forearms in front of your chest so that they are parallel with the top edge of the mat. Press up into a plank position by tucking toes under, engaging quadriceps and lifting body off the floor, keeping abs engaged and head aligned with spine. Shift your weight onto your left forearm as you open your body toward the right side of the mat, coming into a side plank, stacking feet either one in front of the another or one on top of the other as you drive right elbow up and back. Slowly come back to center with both forearms on the ground and then repeat the movement to the opposite side.
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If you currently do: Lunges
Try: Sprinter pulls
This high-intensity twist on the tried-and-true lunge will not only strengthen your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves, it will also kick your heart rate into high gear, helping you to burn more calories and sculpt a sexier physique in less time.
How: Begin in a lunge position with right foot forward and left leg back, elbows bent. Keeping abdominals engaged, draw left arm forward and right arm back to prepare. As you exhale, explode upward, driving left leg forward to waist height while driving right arm forward and left arm back, keeping both elbows bent and close to the sides of the body. As left knee drives through, jump with right foot for an explosive, plyometric move (see photo) before returning to starting position. Do all of your reps on one side before repeating with left foot forward and right leg back.
If you currently do: Dumbbell overhead triceps extensions
Try: Triangle pushups
While both moves target the triceps, the triangle pushup was shown to elicit more muscle activity in a study by the American Council on Exercise. Couple that with the fact that this exercise also strengthens the muscles of the shoulders, chest, and core, and you’ve got one effective move that will give you better bang for your buck—plus there’s no equipment required.
How: Begin in a kneeling position, placing thumbs and forefingers together in a triangle shape directly underneath chest. Extend legs behind you, tucking toes under and pressing heels back as you keep your core engaged. As you inhale, lower down by bending elbows, allowing them to flare outward just slightly and avoiding sagging your low back or hiking your hips upward as you lower your chest toward the floor. To come up, exhale as you press through your arms, pushing through the outside surface and heel of your palms until arms are fully extended.