Not seeing the results you expect from your time in the gym? You could be wasting your time on workouts that are simply ineffective. If you want to get the most out of your time at the gym, stop spending so much time on these exercises:
Treadmill warm-up: An effective warm-up should get your heart rate up to at least 60 to 65 percent of your max. It’s more than likely that spending a few minutes trying to warm-up on the treadmill won’t get your heart rate into that target zone.
Seated machine exercises: The seated chest press, shoulder press, leg press and hip adductor and abductor machines work the muscles they are designed for, but that’s it. With these (and other) machines, your exercise is reduced to a single-plane, one-direction movement, meaning you get less burn for the time spent doing the move. To get the most burn for your buck, so to speak, focus on exercises that require you to engage your core.
Crunches and sit-ups: Most people struggle to keep good form when doing crunches or sit-ups, using their hips to pull up rather than their core. Crunches and sit-ups are simply less effective than other core exercises.
Do these exercises instead:
Bodyweight warm-up: Jumping jacks, mountain climbers and burpees are a few examples of bodyweight exercises that are ideal for a proper warm-up. A five-minute circuit of these exercises will get your blood flowing and your muscles warmed up for your workout.
Squats: Rather than wasting your time on the leg machines in the gym, opt for squats instead. Not only do squats strengthen your legs, but they also require your core to be engaged for stability. For an extra challenge, hold weights at your side for more resistance. Be sure to practice good form. Keep your chest up and your weight in your heels.
Lunges: Like squats, lunges work your legs and activate other muscle groups like your core, hamstrings, glutes and calves. For an added challenge, and to work your inner and outer thighs, add side lunges to the workout. When doing lunges, keep your forward knee directly above your ankle (your knee should not extend past your toes).
Dumbbell shoulder press: A standing dumbbell shoulder press also requires an engaged core, which means you’re working on increasing stability while working your shoulders—and burning more calories, too.
Planks: Not only do planks activate the core, but planks also require the spine for stabilization, which will work your core muscles than a basic crunch or sit-up. When doing planks, be sure to keep your backside down and your body parallel to the floor.
Don’t rely on machines to do the work for you. A high calorie-burn workout requires little to no equipment. All you need is your body, a set of hand weights, and some open space to get your workout on.
For more fitness information and tools to help you on your weight loss journey, check out our full scheduled of fitness classes.