Think Outside the Gym Box



We all need to exercise and keep our bodies moving. For a lot of people the thought of getting off the couch and moving is daunting.  Adults need at least 3days of moderate to high intensity cardiovascular exercise and at least 2-3 days of weight bearing muscle exercise. You may be thinking “I don’t have the time” but you if you work out smart, 45 minutes is all you need.

 Exercise does not have to be mundane, dull and boring.  Don’t be afraid to try something different from your regular routine or try something brand new. 

 Change the way you perform an exercise and the intensity.  There are many ways to work the same muscle group.  For example, instead of squatting at the smith machine, try free squatting with dumbbells and add a shoulder press, bicep curl or bent over row. To involve your core muscles you can perform squats on an uneven surface such as a BOSU, balance disc or one leg squats.  Create your own mini-circuit, which could be lateral leg lifts off a step, then right to push-ups, plank hold and tricep dips. In between sets instead of resting, do box jumps, jump rope, run for 10 minutes on the treadmill or perform crunches. 

 Compound moves involve several muscle groups and can get you through your work out quickly and efficiently (think lunges with lateral should raise, squats with tricep press, chest press and tricep dips on a fit ball).

 Think outside the typical gym box


Benefits of Compound Exercises

A compound exercise is any movement that includes several joints and several muscles groups.  For example, the bench press is a compound exercise, because you are including the shoulders (deltoids) and chest (pectorals) in the movement.  The squat is also an example of a compound move. The squat involves the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, hips and knees. Other examples of compound moves are deadlifts, push-ups, pull ups, lunges and bent over rows. Since we function using multiple muscle groups, then exercising more than one muscle group makes more sense.  Compound exercises mimic moves that you perform daily, such as climbing stairs. Compound exercise also strengthens your core, a key component to maintaining balance and stability.