The warmer weather is right around the corner, which means it’s time for a bit of spring cleaning! We’re not talking about cleaning your cupboards and wiping down the skirting boards (though this is a great idea as well). I’m saying it’s time to spring clean your fitness routine! That’s right – it’s time to bin those not so great exercises and replace them with better ones!
We don’t like to say that there are any ‘bad exercises’. We believe it comes down to a number of other factors that can make the exercise ‘bad’ such as technique and posture. There are definitely exercises that you can spice up to make them more beneficial for your health and fitness journey this spring. Let’s dive into them!
Replace Shallow Heavy Squats with Box Hold Squats
We’re big believers in the squat. It’s one of the most versatile exercises, as long as they’re done right! If you feel like your squats aren’t deep enough or are lacking technique, try doing a box hold squat. A box hold squat is when you perform a squat with a chair or a bench. Take your feet shoulder width apart and go down as close to the chair/bench as possible. Make sure your chest stays lifted, your shoulders are down and your abdominal muscles are pulled in.
This is a great variation of the squat as it targets so many areas in the lower body. The benefit of adding a bench or chair to your squats allows you to become aware of your squat depth and perform better.
Replace Side-on Deadlifts with Basic Deadlifts
Side-on deadlifts can be so poorly done – that’s why the form here is super important. Try adding in basic deadlifts to your routine. Start by standing with your feet shoulder width apart and hold the barbell/dumbbells just outside your legs. Bring your hips forward and lift the bar all while maintaining a flat back. Lower the bar down, then repeat. Make sure you keep those shoulders down and your core nice and strong. You really want to make sure that your glutes and hamstrings are doing all the work here! No curved, slouchy backs please!
Replace Floppy Push Ups with Brace Push Ups
Floppy push ups can cause serious damage to your lower back and shoulders. There are no benefits here if your technique isn’t on point. You’ll just be doing a bad exercise which will leave you in bad pain! Try replacing a floppy push up with a brace push up. Start by coming down as if you were doing a normal push up, but release your hands, bring your shoulders down and brace your body. Keep those abs and thighs tight and power up into a push up position. This kind of push up is a great way to get a good range of movement and intensity into your workout!
Replace A-Frame Planks with Fully Body Planks
Sometimes when we see people doing an A-frame plank, their bodies curve like they’re a banana! Worse is when they end up in a downward dog position! The downward dog is great when you’re warming up or cooling down, but if your plank is looking more like a yoga pose, then you’re doing it wrong. Next time you’re doing a plank, try to do a Full Body Plank. Keep that core engaged, raise your body up so it’s in a straight line and try to hold for at least 30 seconds or as long as you can hold the position in its correct form.
Replace Sloppy Twists with Lower Body Rotations
No sloppy twists here! Lower body rotations aren’t only a great stretch, but they’re a great exercise for your abdominal muscles. Make sure you’re keeping that core nice and tight as you go from left to right, with your knees and ankles glued together. The slower the better, for both the movement and breathing!
So there you have it – 5 exercises to spring clean from your fitness routine, and 5 moves to add in! There aren’t bad exercises, but there are definitely ways to improve what you are doing. Stop and take a look at your technique, form and tempo. Try slowing down a bit and really focus on those muscle groups and the exercises you’re doing. Once you start concentrating on the form, the intensity of the exercise should increase and we guarantee you’ll get a lot more out of your workout this season!