If your home workout isn’t delivering the burn you crave, or you’re bored after a long winter of endless push-ups and squats, here are four routines that will keep you challenged through spring.
Adam Maronde, performance manager at the Mayo Clinic in Minneapolis, says a fresh workout doesn’t require new equipment. Small changes such as varying repetitions or adding isometric holds to your exercises can make your old routine feel new. Here, he provides four separate workouts—ones for the upper body, lower body and core, as well as an interval workout for cardio. Perform these throughout the week or string them together for a full-body workout. If you haven’t been exercising regularly, check with your doctor before starting a new routine. As with any workout, listen to your body and modify appropriately.
THE WORKOUT: UPPER-BODY BLAST
“Contrasting repetitions is an easy way to make your same old routine challenging,” Mr. Maronde says. For the workout below, perform loaded repetitions for the first round of exercises. The weight should be challenging. You can use dumbbells or water bottles, and for the push-up, he suggests wearing a backpack loaded with books. For the second round, lighten the load or use body weight and perform at a normal pace. For the final round, use the same load as round two and perform slow and controlled repetitions on a 3:1:3 tempo, where you raise or lower the weight or your body for three seconds, pause one second and then reverse directions for three seconds.
Complete three rounds. Use the stretches as recovery time between exercises. Rest 60 to 90 seconds between rounds.
Doorway Pectoral Stretch
Stand in an open doorway. Raise each arm up to the side, bent at 90-degrees with palms forward resting on the door frames. Step forward with one foot until you feel a stretch in your shoulders and chest without leaning forward. Hold for 20 seconds and switch sides.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend at the knees as if performing a squat, then hinge forward, keeping your back at a 45-degree angle from the floor. Extend both arms straight down in front of you, palms facing forward. Raise both arms up until your body forms a T shape and your shoulder blades feel a stretch. Pause and lower the arms down. Hold light weights or water bottles for an added challenge. Complete 12 sets.
Push-Up With Knee Touch
Start in a plank position with hands slightly wider than shoulder width. Bend the elbows to lower the chest to the ground. Pause at the bottom. Bring the opposite hand and knee to touch, then press back up to the starting position and continue alternating sides. Try to avoid letting the hips drop to either side as the hand and knee touch. A wider stance with the feet will provide more stability. If this is a challenge, start by doing knee push-ups and drawing the opposite hand and knee in to center to touch. Complete 10 to 12 reps
One-Arm Row with Weight
Start in a standing lunge position with your right foot in front and left hand holding a dumbbell, kettlebell or water bottle. Lean slightly forward. Rest your right hand on your right thigh. Lower the weight toward the floor until your arm is fully extended. Lift the weight up toward your torso by driving your elbow up to the ceiling. Keep your elbow close to your…