Step It Up

For a few, working out is fun! For the rest of us, it is a necessary evil as we battle with our scales and feverishly race against the summer clock, praying that this year we will be able to get into that bathing suit and look half decent. While some see working out as a true hobby-one where they actually enjoy feeling the burn, the majority of us just want to hit that target weight.Tweaking your current workout regime is highly recommended in the working if you are aiming to see results sooner rather than later. A few simply alterations can truly make a difference and get you to reach your goals faster. Check out these ho-hum regimes and commit to making modest changes for a fast tracked new program and stellar results.

Current: Dumbbell Work

Bicep curls, shoulder press, tricep extensions, etc. There are many dumbbell exercises that you've probably done hundreds of times. You may feel comfortable doing these exercises and have probably increased your weight load many times. The problem is that you're muscles will get bored and your results will plateau.

Tweaking

Instead of using a dumbbell pick up a kettle bell. By performing the same exercises with a kettle bell you'll notice two things. One: you won't be able to use the same amount of weight as you could with the dumbbell. Two: Your muscles will fatigue much more quickly than with the dumbbell. The reason this occurs is because of the change in your grip when holding the kettle bell and the difference in the balance of the weight.

Current: Push- Ups

It may surprise you to know that a large percentage of people doing push-ups, which is a great all over body exercise, are actually doing them incorrectly because they are only utilizing partial range of motion and doing them too quickly. By doing so, the results are nowhere what they could be.

Tweaking

Instead of using the partial range of motion technique, opt for a full range motion and slow down the pace of each push-up. Begin by starting at the floor level and pushing your entire body weight all the way upwards, so that your elbows are able to get into a locked position.

Your elbows should ideally be at a 45 degree angle so that you aren't overextending. Keep your body flexed and straight in the plank position and as you lower yourself to the floor do so in a count of "three seconds" on the way down and "three seconds" on the way up.

This will target specific muscles and use all of your body weight evenly. Remember to inhale on the way up and exhale as you lower to the floor.

Current: Walking

Walking and running are excellent cardio exercises and they can also help to build muscle. However, leisurely walks offer less results and if you really want to burn calories you need to ensure that your heart rate is elevated or else the walk will accomplish little.

Tweaking

Anyone can turn their walking sessions into a calorie-burning workout by adding these simple tricks:

When walking, be sure to swing your arms constantly. To do this, bend your arms at the elbow at a 90 degree angle and pump your arms as you as you walk. This will burn about 15 percent more calories and will also help elevate your heart rate.

You can also add wrist or ankle weights of two or three pounds which will force you to expend more energy and help with toning the various muscles throughout your body.

Walk different paths occasionally so your body doesn't hit a boring rut and you will be utilizing different muscle groups. It's best to choose a path that offers both inclines and declines along the way. This will challenge your muscles groups, elevate your heart and tone the body.

Also listen to music as you walk as the beats will automatically put a little pep in your step.

Current: Sit-ups

We all want flat abs and most of us kill ourselves doing crunches to the point of exhaustion. Recent studies show that crunches are actually less effective than we once thought. The abs consists of many different muscle groups, and crunches only address one.

Tweaking:

Ditch the crunches and start doing planks. Not only are they easier on the neck and back, this exercise will target every region in the abdominals at one time and will be more effective.

Another amazing ab exercise is the Pilates Hundred. This also targets all the muscle groups in the abdominal area and will reach the core areas quickly and efficiently. To perform these exercises do the following:

Lie down on a mat with your knees bent and your palms facing down. Gently lift your shoulders off the mat and with your arms still extended out, palms down, pump your arms about six inches up and down in a rhythmic motion, exhaling with each pump. Arms should remain close to your sides and don't go beyond the six inches with your range of motion.

Continue until you have reached a hundred pumps.

To make this more challenging you can keep your head and shoulders off the mat and at the same time your bent knees can also be elevated off the floor which really targets the core muscles.

Be sure to keep your lower back pressed into the floor and your lower abs should be pulled in tightly for the best results.

By adding these minor tweaks to your regular workouts you'll break through that plateau and start seeing results faster.

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