We often get stuck with the same old exercises we are used to at the gym, especially with the conventional machines we do them on. Exercise machines also double up as security blankets, being more private and less intimidating than the free weights area for most who are just venturing into weight training. But when utilised correctly, free weights provide shorter, more effective exercises than machine-bound movements. Weights also allow the freedom of experimentation, allowing one to utilise a simple barbell or dumbbell in a surplus of forms to achieve different results.
Here are four moves you can attempt at your next gym session to break out of your comfort zone. Engage in them with a friend if you don't feel too confident, there's really no reason why working out should be a stressful affair.
REAR DELT REVERSE FLY PLANK
Shoulder exercises rarely accord enough attention to the rear delts, a detrimental aspect if one is looking to shape up your upper body. This move is one that absolves that issue while doubly working your core. It might seem slightly absurd at first glance, but is well worth the challenge.
Start in a plank position, using a weight bench for support. One of your elbows should be fixed on the bench's surface at a 90-degrees measure. With the dumbbell on the other hand, perform a reverse fly. Keep your elbows slightly bent as you lift the weights, and be sure to contract your shoulder blades together when the move is at the peak. Lower the weight slowly and repeat.
BARBELL HIP THRUSTERS
Photo credit: Style Craze
Ignore any weird looks you may get when doing this intense butt and leg-sculpting move. Rest your head, shoulders and back on a bench behind you at 45 degrees, with your lower body on the ground. Have a barbell positioned between your hips, with a squat pad to cushion it and have your feet placed shoulder-width apart. Use your heels to propel your hips upwards into a 90 degrees position, squeezing your glutes as much as possible.
100 SQUATS SET
Photo credit: I Love Workout
Instead of going heavy with the squats, try lighter weights with a higher volume to really challenge your physique and get your heart rate booming, which is perfect for weight loss.
Have a weight you can execute around 15 reps with, and get to squatting a hundred. You can take breaks, but keep them brief, within 60 to 90 seconds. The best would be to split them up into 10 sets of 10 reps. This is a far more manageable way to keep track of how many squats you have clocked.
If you can't manage the 100, try to lower the goal to 50 or less, and make 100 your final goal to work towards.
Photo credit: Ace Fitness
Burpees are famed for being taxing, but are the best full-body workouts that help you shed fat, while keeping your heart rate up. Utilise the Bosu for this variation, by raising it over your head, bringing it down to the ground, and shooting your feet back. Do a push up before repeating. The Bosu adds weight to the move and challenges your stability, making this a bit of a challenge, but well worth the effort.
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