After so many weeks or months of the same workout, your body may reach a plateau unless you shake things up a little. Summertime offers an ideal season for boosting your workout routine and improving your fitness level. Incorporating different types of exercises into your usual workout — or changing up your routine altogether — not only helps jumpstart your motivation to stay fit but also lowers your risk for injury.
Signs That Your Workout Routine Needs a Boost
Since it is hard to get into a regular exercise routine, the last thing you want to do is break the momentum. Still, doing too much of the same thing day after day can quickly land you in a slump. As with most aspects of life, trying new things is the key to keeping your workout interesting and getting the most out of your exercise regimen. Recognizing the right time for a change in routine is half the battle.
Here are a few signs that your workout routine is ready for a new approach this summer:
- Loss of interest or motivation to workout
- No longer feeling challenged by your current routine
- Muscles no longer feel sore or worked after working out
- You’re showing little to no improvement
- The same sets of muscles are always sore
- Physical imbalances, as in overdeveloped triceps and underdeveloped biceps
Ways to Boost Your Summer Workout Routines
Strength training, also known as resistance training, offers a range of benefits for both men and women. Even if building muscle or “bulking up” may not sound like your cup of tea, strength-based exercises work wonders for sculpting and trimming areas of the body. Not only that, but strength training offers long-lasting benefits when it comes to maintaining your ability to live independently as you age.
These exercises can be done with or without weights as long as some form of resistance is working targeted muscle groups. Here are a few strength training options to consider:
- Resistance bands
- Tossing a medicine ball
- Using your body’s weight, such as with push-ups or leg squats
- Weight machines
- Make sure you have instruction on proper form
Vertical and Horizontal Training
As the names imply, vertical and horizontal training involves exercises that move the body across a vertical or horizontal plane. Both forms of exercise build power and endurance in the affected muscle groups. Some of these routines also allow you to take your workout into different environments. Examples of vertical and horizontal exercise include:
- Hill climbing
- Stair mill
- Mountain running
- Elliptical machine
Speed Training Drills
If you’re into running or team sports, speed training drills offer effective ways to fine-tune your performance. Speed training drills help develop four key aspects of your performance: stride length, acceleration, stride frequency and speed endurance. Expect to see noticeable improvements when incorporating speed training into your weekly summer workout routines.
Types of speed training drills include:
- Forward bounding – doing long forceful, running strides for 30 yards
- Medicine ball, push and sprint – using a not-too-heavy medicine ball, throw the ball out as far as possible then break out into a 30-yard sprint
- Interval sprints – alternate short, all-out sprints of 20 to 40 yards with short resting periods
While running and strength training are great body workouts, these routines tend to leave the muscles tight afterward. Power yoga offers an alternative approach to cooling down while at the same time boosting strength and flexibility. Unlike routines that tend to target certain areas of the body, yoga makes the body’s muscles work together in a coordinated fashion, which is good both fitness-wise and for learning how to incorporate breathing into your workouts.
Combine Strength and Cardio
Cardio training seems to be all the rage these days with runners and bikers taking to the trails to enjoy the summer weather. Cardio-based routines do have incredible calorie-burning benefits, but combining strength with cardio in your workout routines can deliver noticeable muscle toning results in a short time. In effect, combining the two works more muscle groups, which in turn will boost your endurance and challenge your heart and cardiovascular system even more.
Combination strength and cardio routines might go something like this:
- Bench press reps and push-ups followed by running a half mile as fast as you can
- Jumping rope followed by sit-ups, an overhead press, and squats
- 60 seconds of running followed by 60 seconds of jumping jacks
Including a couple of days of interval training into your weekly workout offers another way to boost your summer workout routines. Interval training involves combining short, high-intensity bursts of activity with short recovery phases. An example of this would be alternating all-out sprints with walking. This approach is designed to challenge targeted muscle groups to the max on a repeated basis while allowing short intervals for recovery. Since the routines are high-intensity, 20-minute sessions, two or three times a week should be more than enough to boost your overall fitness level.
Staying Active on Recovery Days
In the grand scheme of fitness, recovery days are just as important as workout days. The heart and muscles need time to heal and rebuild, which is how strength and endurance come about. While the body may well be sore on recovery days, plopping down on the couch for the duration only sets you up for tight, stiff muscles when workout day rolls back around. Instead, try engaging in light activities, such as a long walk, a slow jog or a leisurely swim.
Let the Whole Beauty Institute Help You Achieve Your Fitness Goals
At the Whole Beauty Institute, our team of medical and aesthetics professionals abides by a naturalistic approach to health and well-being. We not only have ideas for boosting your summer workout routines but can also offer non-surgical and surgical options for dealing with stubborn areas of fat that resist diet and exercise. Trimming these areas can help keep you motivated to stay with your exercise program and healthy habits. We offer many options to improve the form and balance of your body.