Hit a Rut? Add These 7 Moves to Your At-Home Workout

Hit a Rut? Add These 7 Moves to Your At-Home Workout

Like anything worthwhile, the best at-home workout doesn’t exist within your comfort zone. To avoid boredom and the dreaded fitness plateau, you should constantly assess, tweak, and intensify your routine to ensure you’re spending your time most effectively.

If you’d rather leave that kind of calculation to the pros, check out Openfit’s live and on-demand workouts. But if you’re intent on going it alone, scroll to the bottom for questions to ask yourself when re-assessing your regimen.

In the meantime, break out of your routine routine by cycling into your workouts some of the following moves, which collectively hit many of the major muscle groups.

Break a workout rut in 10 minutes with 600 Secs! Start for free today.

1. Plank jack

plank jack - high - woman

  • Start in push-up position: feet together, body straight from head to heels, arms straight, hands line with but slightly wider than your shoulders.
  • Keeping your core engaged, jump your legs outward, and then back to the starting position without letting your hips drop, as if performing a horizontal jumping jack.
  • That’s one rep. Perform as many as you can with good form in 30 seconds to complete one set. Do three sets total.

 

2. Burpee

Program: TOUGH MUDDER T-MINUS 30

Workout: Burpee Challenge

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  • Push your hips back, bend your knees, and squat down, placing both palms on the floor.
  • Jump your feet back to a push-up position (hands and balls of your feet on the floor and your body straight from head to heels).
  • Do a push-up: Keeping your elbows close to your sides, lower your torso until your chest is a few inches from the floor, and then quickly push back up.
  • Jump your feet back to your hands, and then explode upward, jumping into the air.
  • Land softly, and immediately begin your next rep. Continue for 30 seconds to complete one set. Do three sets total.

 

3. Squat pulses

Program: Xtend Barre

  • Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart and your arms by your sides (or hold a medicine ball in front of your chest for a greater challenge.).
  • Keeping your back flat, chest up, and core braced, simultaneously lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the floor and bring your palms together in front of your chest in a “prayer position.”
  • Pulse up and down in that low squat position, repeatedly raising and lowering your body a few inches. Continue for 30 seconds to complete one set. Do three sets total.

 

4. High knees

Program: Rough Around The Edges

Workout: COREdio

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and your arms at your sides.
  • Lift your right knee as high as you can (aim for hip level) while simultaneously raising your left arm in a running motion.
  • Now quickly switch arms and legs, running in place for 30 seconds to complete one set. Do three sets total.

 

5. Plank hip dips

Program: 600 Secs

  • Start in a forearm plank (body straight from head to heels, weight on your forearms, elbows below shoulders).
  • Keeping your core engaged and your shoulders still, tilt your pelvis to lower your right hip toward the floor. Return to center and repeat with your left hip.
  • Continue alternating sides for 30 seconds to complete one set. Do three sets total.

 

6. Mountain climbers

Program: TOUGH MUDDER T-MINUS 30

Workout: Sheriff Abs

  • Start in a high-plank (i.e., push-up) position.
  • Keeping your back flat and core engaged, bring your right knee toward your chest, tapping the floor with your toes.
  • Return to a high-plank position and repeat with your other leg.
  • Continue for 30 seconds to complete one set. Do three sets total.

 

7. Side lunge to curtsy lunge

side lunge to curtsy lunges woman dumbbells

  • Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart, holding a pair of dumbbells in front of your shoulders (palms in) with your elbows tucked. This is the starting position.
  • Keeping your chest up, back straight, and core engaged, take a large step to your right with your right foot.
  • Keeping your left leg straight, lower your body until your right thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Pause, and then push off with your right foot to your left, stepping it behind and to the outside of your left leg to transition into a curtsy lunge. Lowering your body until your left thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • That’s one rep. Push off with your right leg to transition immediately into your next one, starting with the side lunge.
  • Do 10 reps, and then repeat on your other sides. That’s one set. Do three.

 

How to Make Sure You’re Getting the Best At-Home Workout

Ask yourself the following questions when evaluating your routine.

Am I getting a good mix of strength training and cardio?

It’s not uncommon to naturally favor cardio over strength training (or vice versa), but the best at-home workout includes both. Short on time? Pete McCall, C.S.C.S., host of the All About Fitness podcast, suggests using Tabata interval training to get your blood pumping after a strength session. “A brief bout of high-intensity cardio does not take long and can both burn calories and improve aerobic capacity,” he says.

You can find Tabata classes on Openfit LIVE.

Am I gradually increasing the difficulty of my workouts?

As you improve your conditioning and gain strength, resist the temptation to coast through increasingly easy workouts. Up your weight, add reps, move faster, shorten your rest periods — make it harder. The best at-home workout will challenge you just as much on day 65 as it did on day one.

Is my equipment (or lack thereof) limiting my workouts?

Dumbbells, resistance bands, and other popular workout tools can certainly expand your exercise options and make it easier to challenge yourself, but you don’t need a ton of equipment to get in a solid sweat session. Indeed, your home is likely filled with everyday objects that can stand in for fancy fitness equipment (just try squatting while holding a case of bottled water in front of your chest.)

And thanks to gravity, your own body weight is an excellent source of resistance, too. “Bodyweight workouts work,” McCall says. The key is to perform an bodyweight exercise variation that challenges you to complete the same number of reps as you’d perform with a loaded exercise. Instead of banging out 40-plus reps of the bodyweight squat, try performing just 10 reps of the single leg squat with perfect form, for example.

“To increase the intensity, you can also set a timer for 30 to 45 seconds and do as many reps [with perfect form] as possible during that time,” says McCall. “This can make bodyweight exercises like push-ups, lunges, and squats more challenging.”

Bodyweight exercise is central to hundreds of Openfit LIVE and on-demand workouts.

Am I continuously mixing in new moves?

The human body is remarkably adaptable. “Doing the same exercises with the same weight and reps for too long will lead to a plateau where the muscles stop growing,” McCall says. “To keep making the desired changes to your body, you will want to change the exercises every six to eight weeks.”

Jenessa Connor

About

Jenessa Connor has written for Men’s Journal, Shape, Runner’s World, Oxygen and other health and fitness publications. When it comes to exercise, she’s a bit of a dabbler, but she always comes back to running, CrossFit and yoga. Follow her on Twitter.

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