10 Fitness Swaps

If you’re hitting a fitness plateau or simply bored of your current routine, then read on! We all know that it gets harder and harder to see results once your body is used to what you’re doing and it may be time to shake things up with a few easy swaps. Certain exercises are more effective than others and these fitness swaps are recommended with that fact in mind. Make sure to let me know if the comments if you’re making any of these changes to your own routine!

1. Do planks instead of crunches. Do you remember that I mentioned in this post that crunches may not be the secret to six-pack abs? Give planks a try instead to work your entire core. Extra points for holding it for a minute or longer!

2. HIIT workout instead of a relaxed run. Great job on that 30-mile marathon… but now let’s try a 20-minute interval run that will get your heart pumping and your body soaking in sweat. Interval runs involves lots of sprints with walking in between. It’ll save you time and be much more effective for toning up and shedding pounds!

3. Incline instead of flat treadmill. You know that flat roads rarely exist int he real world, so why would you only walk or run on flat incline on the treadmill? Add some hills to that treadmill run by cranking up the incline, and feel the muscle-building burn!

4. Zumba instead of elliptical. Okay, we can’t deny the power of an elliptical. But if you’re one of those TV-watching, non-stop texting, or loudly chit-chatting people moving in the same pace for the entire session, it’s time to trash that routine and surprise the body with a fun, calorie-burning cardio session. Sure beats staying stuck to a machine.

5. Dynamic stretching instead of static stretching. Stretching out cold muscles could lead to injury. So incorporate some active movement into your pre-workout routine — try lunges, jumping jacks, or a quick 10-minute run to warm up. Also don’t forget to stretch out after you exercise! 

6. Opt for free weights instead of machines. I told you in a previous post that not all workout equipment are created equal! So stop waiting around for the machines and go for the little guys — free weights are more versatile and allows for a fuller range of motion in the joints.

7. Squats instead of leg press. Amp up your workout routine with squats to strengthen all your leg muscles at once! Make it even more interesting by doing squat variations like the jump squat or pistol squat, and play with different types of weights (barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, etc.).

8. Foam rolling instead of static stretching. You must stretch after every workout. But sometimes, plain stretching might not do it for your tired muscles. Try using a foam roller instead of sitting and stretching to really get in the knots and give your sore body the attention it deserves. 

9. Walking further instead of running shorter. Don’t be discouraged if you can’t run for a long time. Instead of focusing on the time, keep your mind on the distance. Walking for a longer distance is a great cardio workout even if you can’t runt he entire way. Hold some light weights to help up the intensity!

10. Working out with a friend instead of exercising by yourself. Grab a buddy and hit the gym together! Working out with others may strengthen your relationship and you can help motivate each other through that final set of squats!

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