Add Excitement to Your Workout with Training Variations
At some point in your training you may have run into the problem of doing the same thing multiple times. If you change your entire workout to find more interesting lifts, you could lose the benefits of the lifts that you are doing. If this is your fear, try to change how you are performing those exercises.
Each exercise can have multiple variations that have the following benefits:
- Provide different stimulus for your training
- Change the workout enough to keep you interested
- Keep the benefits of the base variation of the exercise
Change in Variation
Strength coaches and exercise physiologists throughout the years have developed different variations of exercises that can focus on different aspects of the main lift.
Some well-known examples of change in variation:
- Perform a hang clean in the place of the power clean. This works on the power emphasis of the pull from the knee to the power catch position.
- Perform a front squat in place of a back squat. This puts more emphasis on the quadriceps or the thigh muscles than it does on the hamstrings and glutes that are worked more during a basic back squat position.
Change in Dimension
Another option of changing your workout and exercises would to perform the exercises in different ways. Some of these changes would also be considered variation changes as well while others are the same workout performed in a new way.
Examples of change in dimension:
- Perform different variations of lunges by performing them in different directions. Forward, lateral, reverse, crossover, or an open step lunge are all different variations that you can perform in different dimensions. These different lunges work different muscle groups and provide extra need for balance and proprioception training.
- Rowing exercises can be performed by pulling from different locations relative to the body. Whether you pull from high to low, low to high, or straight in front of your body will work stabilizing muscles in different ways while still working the shoulder, latissimus, and pectoralis muscles with the rowing movement.
- Pressing exercises can also be performed by pressing in different directions. Changing the incline on a bench, moving closer to a vertical press, can help vary a simple exercise enough to offer different stimulus for your workout.
Finding new ways to perform certain exercises can add excitement to your workout. For more inspiration on changes in variation and dimension, you can always look online or ask a trainer or strength coach.
By Paul Lundgren, MS, CSCS, USAW Level-1