Are you tired of the same old routine? Do you sometimes feel like you’ve done every single type of exercise there is to try?
Chances are you probably haven’t, and you may actually be missing out on some great exercises that can help you get stronger – quicker.
Check out these five unconventional moves you should be incorporating into your workouts:
Sliding Leg Curls with a Towel
If you’re looking for new ways to blast your hamstrings, these are it. Grab a towel and a floor that has a slick surface and you’re ready to go (the workout studio usually has hardwood floors which work great).
Place the towel on the ground, and lay down on your back with your legs fully extended and have your heels are resting on the towel. Your legs should be about hip width apart. Slightly press into your heels so that your hips rise off the ground, then bend your needs and slide your heels as close to your butt as you can. Then, slowly slide your heels back out so that your knees are fully extended. Repeat.
This move will make your hamstrings burn after only a few reps and sets, and is a great way to add in some natural body weight movement to your lower half.
Towel Pull Ups
Since you’ve got your towel, keep it with you for an upper body killer. Go to your pull up bar and throw the towel over the left side so that both ends hang down toward you. Grab the towel with your left hand, and grab the pull up bar with your right hand with your palm facing away from you. This will give you a “staggered-stance” so that your left arm is lower than your right, and is holding onto the towel.
Perform as many as you can, then switch hands that are holding onto the towel.
This weird pull up variation focuses your weight onto the arm that’s actually holding onto the pull up bar, while working your grip strength with the hand that’s holding the towel, and is a great pull up variation for some muscle confusion.
Spider Man Push Ups
Feeling like a super hero? Then you should try this insane push up variation. Begin in a normal push up position, but as you lower yourself to the ground, bring your left knee up to meet your elbow when your chest is almost touching the ground. When you push yourself back up, bring your left foot back to the starting position. Then perform on your right side.
This push up variation puts more weight onto your chest and triceps, making it a harder move than your conventional push up. It also places added intensity on your core (specifically your obliques), as you need to stabilize yourself in order to properly perform the push up and balance to have your knee meet your elbow.
Water Bottle Pick Ups on a Pillow
Craving a curious calf workout? Grab yourself a pillow and a water bottle and you’re in for it. Take your shoes off, and put the pillow on the floor. Place the water bottle about a foot in front of the pillow. Step on the pillow and balance on one leg, then slowly reach down to try and pick up the water bottle, stand up completely (while still on one leg) then bend down and place the water bottle back on the ground. Repeat on the other side.
This workout is great for runners looking to get a calf workout while working on core and total body stabilization. Even after a few rounds of picking up and putting the bottle back down, your calves will be on fire. For an extra challenge, use three water bottles and put one to the left, one in the middle, and one to the right for extra balance work.
Wacky Sit Ups
Use this unique sit up variation to target your obliques and give your core a hard-core workout.
Start in a normal sit up position, then slightly raise your back off the ground a few inches and hold. While holding yourself up, crunch to the side so that your left hand touches your left heel, then crunch to the other side to have your right hand and heel touch, and repeat.
Because you are isometrically holding your body slightly off the ground, your abs will burn up while the side-to-side crunch will activate your obliques for a total-core exercise unlike no other.
These exercises may be out-of-the-ordinary, but should start to become ordinary as they each serve as great variations or standalone exercises that can help build strength in new ways. It’s extremely important to give your body a new challenge, and confuse your muscles and activate them in new and different ways, and these will be sure to leave your body confused.