A Balanced Workout Routine Leads to Better Results
Have you gone through an audit of your workouts lately? I’m talking about looking back and seeing if you’ve been doing the same workouts or the same classes, on the same days, at the same times, for longer than two to three months. Don’t be surprised if you’ve found that you’ve been doing the same workouts for the past six months or more! Most people tend to gravitate to workouts that they excel at or are comfortable with, and stick to them. Trying a new type of workout may be just the thing you need to re-motivate yourself and freshen up your routine.
Although we tend to gravitate to things we’re good at, there are a few problems with sticking to our guns. Our body gets caught going through the same movement patterns over and over, which may lead to poor movement quality and muscular imbalances. By doing the same workouts repeatedly we tend to either plateau and stop seeing results, or we become overtrained and see diminished returns.
Let’s use lower body training as a basic example. Imagine that for the next three months, the only lower body exercise you did was a goblet squat. Assuming your increased the load each week, you would most likely have overdeveloped quads and an underdeveloped butt and hamstrings. Not exactly the best way to stimulate the lower body. Incorporating movement in all planes of movement (think lateral lunges and curtsy lunges) will work the front of the leg in different ways. Incorporating more hinge movements (glute bridge, deadlift) will lead to a greater development of the backside (glutes and hamstrings) and lead to greater overall symmetry.
Lack of recovery is all too common in a gym setting. It’s easy to think that five straight days of HIIT workouts may be the answer to your fitness goals, but not giving your body adequate recovery might hinder your progress rather than help it. Mixing in active recovery days or lower-intensity workouts with your higher intensity ones will often lead to greater improvements and less injury.
Every few months, it might be a good idea to try a class or program you might not otherwise would have. A lifter taking yoga classes for a month might be able to find new ranges of motion in their squat depth. A yogi who has trouble getting to certain poses may benefit from a strength program. Opening yourself up to new activities can give your body the rest it deserves and may help to push through plateaus. You might even find something new you never thought you would like! What new fitness activity will you try next month?