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Tuesday, 27 January 2015

Boost Up Your Strength Training

If you just can't stand a certain exercise in your strength-training plan!

You don't have the equipment it requires, or just want to have a little control over which moves you do in the weight room, good news: You can make tweaks to your plan on your own, so long as you swap apples to apples, so to speak. In fact, a new study in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that muscle activation during these two moves is actually identical. (Find out the differences between a narrow grip bench press and a wide grip bench press.)

There are of course many other exercise “pairs” that work the same or similar muscle groups and are essentially interchangeable, explains Joel Sanders, performance coach at EXOS. 

Sanders paired five swappable moves, modelled by Lacey Henderson, American Paralympic Long Jump Record Holder who trains at EXOS (and, when done together, make up a killer total body workout). “These pairs include one more 'loaded' strength movement (meaning it uses weights) and one that works the same muscles but uses less equipment,” explains Sanders.

If you are aiming to get stronger, do 6-10 reps of each move (with the heaviest weights you can stand, adding weight to any bodyweight movements or placing a medicine ball between your knees for knee raise.) If you are looking to expend calories and keep your heart rate elevated, aim for 8-12 reps and keep the weights lighter/body-weight, says Sanders. Move from one move to the next with little to no rest. Rest two minutes, then repeat the circuit for a total of three cycles.  

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