Stuck in the strength training doldrums? Our best piece of fitness advice is that "Variety is key." Greatist has shared all sorts of ways to take workouts from "hum drum" to "hot stuff." We're now turning our eye to eight effective strength training techniques. So grab that workout log and a pen, because here are some great ways to challenge the status quo and add a little variety to the normal gym routine.
1. Most studies claiming to debunk Super Slow are nonsense. A new Super Slow trainee, or someone particularly elderly or frail uses as many as 10 repetitions per exercise - over 3 minutes of time. For normal adults, once they are comfortable with Super Slow, repetition numbers go way down, to 2-4 repetitions for most upper body exercises and 3-6 repetitions for most lower body exercises.
An early detailed documentation of a Western mind–body exercise philosophy was created in the late 18th century by Swedish medical gymnastics teacher Pehr Henrik Ling (1766–1839), who is remembered as the father of Swedish Gymnastics. Ling developed an apparatus-free method to improve functional movement and concurrently address the concept of prevention and healing of human diseases.4 Bakewell S. Illustrations from the Wellcome Institute Library: Medical gymnastics and the Cyriax collection. Med Hist. 1997;41:487–95.10.1017/S0025727300063067[Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®] [Google Scholar] His early age rheumatism, experiences as a Fencing Master and his studies of medicine at Uppsala University influenced his ideas on the remedial benefits of physical training.5 Brodin H. Per Henrik Ling and his impact on gymnastics. Sven Med Tidskr. 2008;12(1):61–8.[PubMed] [Google Scholar] His 1853 book ‘Gymnastic Free Exercises’ stated: ‘It cannot be denied that the art of preventing disease is far preferable to that of curing it.’6 Ling PH. The gymnastic free exercises. Boston (MA): Ticknor, Reed and Fields; 1853. [Google Scholar] Ling regarded his ‘gymnastic free exercises’ as one of two separate yet related systems; the other being competitive gymnastics and athletics. Together, these two systems defined what became the Physical Culture or Gymnasium Movement of the 19th century.5,7 Brodin H. Per Henrik Ling and his impact on gymnastics. Sven Med Tidskr. 2008;12(1):61–8.
The squat is performed by squatting down with a weight held across the upper back under neck and standing up straight again. This is a compound exercise that also involves the glutes (buttocks) and, to a lesser extent, the hamstrings, calves, and the lower back. Lifting belts are sometimes used to help support the lower back. The freeweight squat is one of 'The Big Three' powerlifting exercises, along with the deadlift and the bench press.[2]

Target your glutes and core muscles with bridges. Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor, and your arms by your sides. Inhale, then exhale as you engage your core muscles and slowly raise your hips and lower back off of the floor. Lift yourself until your shoulders and knees form a straight line, and keep your arms flat on the floor to keep your balance.[19]
17.  If you're getting a normal amount of usable protein (about one gram per five pounds of body weight), your body will require a bit more protein than usual as you increase lean muscle tissue). Uncooked protein is preferable to cooked protein (cooking denatures proteins, damaging them, and making them appear as a foreign invader to the body which can trigger an autoimmune response). A good source of protein is fruits, vegetables, and nuts. (Yes, nuts have fat too, but it's "good" fat, and your body needs fat in your diet; you can have a lean body while eating the right kinds of fat!) Give your body the additional protein as it asks for it. Listen carefully, and you'll know when. Remember, it's very difficult to get too little protein; most people get way too much, and too much protein is a cause of degenerative disease. (See Fact or Fiction: High protein diets are great for losing weight)
Anaerobic exercise differs from aerobic exercise in that it is comprised by short bursts of a high-intensity activity such as that repeated during strength training. While aerobic exercise uses oxygen for fuel (an early definition of aerobic is, after all, "living only in the presence of oxygen"), anaerobic exercise draws its fuel from carbohydrates. Anaerobic exercise also produces lactic acid, unlike aerobic exercise. To get started with some anaerobic exercises, check out this list of anaerobic exercises you can do anywhere. While anaerobic exercise does not burn as many calories as aerobic exercise burns, it will still help to improve respiratory and cardiovascular fitness. Additionally, because anaerobic exercise depletes energy more quickly than the blood can replenish the muscles' oxygen, the body's anaerobic metabolism kicks in, burning glucose as fuel. Even after the the anaerobic activity has stopped, the metabolism remains increased for up to several hours. If anaerobic exercise is repeated often, it will even have an effect on your resting metabolic rate. This will cause your body to burn more calories in general—even when you're sleeping.
For some, it’s the ultimate quest for physical preparedness; for others, the very thought of CrossFit makes them want to puke. Either way, CrossFit is making an undeniable impact in the fitness world, with followers tackling muscle-ups, Fran, and the infamous Filthy Fifty. So whether you're off to the nearest “box” or tuning in to the CrossFit Games on ESPN, here’s the need-to-know lingo for any and every WOD.
Okay, this one if for the kids, but grown-ups can do it to too. With animated instructions, catchy music, and all the basics of the other full-body workouts, this is another top choice overall. The exercises include some more advanced moves, like tricep dips with a chair and push-ups with rotation, so it’s a great one to do with your kids.                                    
Walking was the most common exercise type in both training groups (Fig. 3). Compared to HIIT, MCT had a significantly higher proportion of sessions with walking and resistance training. Contrary, compared to MCT, HIIT had a higher proportion of sessions with cycling, combined endurance and resistance training, other types of endurance training (e.g. aerobic, treadmill), jogging, swimming and dancing. There were no group differences regarding cross-country skiing and domestic activities (e.g. housework, gardening) (Fig. 3).
An opposite arm to leg crunch will tone the abs and improves posture by strengthening the back. Duhamel says to “lay down flat on your back raise your right arm above your head and then lift the left leg up. While the leg is lifting, you lift the right arm and reach the hand to meet the outer corner of the left foot.” Be sure to focus on finding that rotation and do not let the foot or hand touch the ground. Do this move on each side for 30 seconds per side.
I love this product! The videos are entertaining, and very insightful. When you are doing the exercises it gives you good instructions on how to do the move and shows you different ways you can do if you aren't in the best of shape yet. I swear I am not that out of shape and I get so tired after 10 mins of working out. I love it. I lost 5 pounds within the first 2 weeks. I wasn't even trying hard. It tells you to do up to 3 video's a day if time permits or just the 1, and I only do 1 and have already seen results. Looser pants, slimming waist, and compliments from all my friends and family. I def would recommend this to anyone who has time restrictions, children who dont give you time to work out or just anyone looking to loose the few ... full review
Major variants: incline ~ (more emphasis on the upper pectorals), decline ~ (more emphasis on the lower pectorals), narrow grip ~ (more emphasis on the triceps), push-up (face down using the body weight), neck press (with the bar over the neck, to isolate the pectorals), vertical dips (using parallel dip bars) or horizontal dips (using two benches with arms on the near bench and feet on the far bench, and dropping the buttocks to the floor and pushing back up.)
For active types, nagging injuries nag a little louder; hard workouts deplete you a bit more. For serious recreational athletes, performance begins to drop, even if you maintain your training regimen. Whatever your sport of choice — be it distance running, competitive cycling, or pick-up basketball — you can expect your performance to plateau and recovery to take a bit longer.
This move is sure to get your heart racing in no time. Master a basic lunge before progressing to this version. With right foot ahead of left foot and core tight, drop into a low lunge, bending both knees to 90 degrees. Now jump up, switching feet in middair so you land with left foot ahead of right foot and immediately drop into a low lunge on the other side.
Exercise is a key part of staying healthy, but figuring out how to get more active can be tough. If you’re not used to physical activity, start slow. Go for 10 to 15 minute walks, and work your way up to briskly walking or jogging for 30 minutes daily. Try adding strengthening exercises 2 or 3 days per week, and consider boosting your flexibility with yoga or Pilates classes. Whenever you work out, always listen to your body’s limits, and ask your doctor for advice if you have a history of any medical issues.
Natural movement-harmonizing exercises and stretches have likely been practiced since the beginning of mankind. Forms of non-strenuous rhythmical functional movements were used for three main purposes: To manage and prevent musculoskeletal disorders, to maintain a naturally healthy body and mind, and to enhance athletic performance. Around the turn of the 20th century, at least six independent Western modern mind–body (MMB) methods emerged simultaneously. This phenomenon occurred during the same era in which Einstein, Picasso, Freud, and Stravinsky also broke away from dominating and restrictive establishment controls, subsequently freeing their fields. The cultural changes and personal emancipation that MMB pioneers brought to the exercise world were no less dramatic, yet significantly less documented.
Dietary nitrate supplementation increases circulating nitrite concentration, and the subsequent reduction of nitrite to nitric oxide is promoted in hypoxic environments. Given that PO2 is lower in Type II compared with Type I muscle, this article examines the hypothesis that the ergogenicity of nitrate supplementation is linked to specific effects on vascular, metabolic, and contractile function in Type II muscle.
I've always wanted to try out the trendy fitness classes at Physique 57 in NYC, but they run a pretty penny. Now, the infamous Physique 57 technique (certain muscles are targeted, overloaded to point of fatigue and then stretched for relief) is available to all in this 30-minute workout. It was just enough to make me realize why people are obsessed with the classes and left me — especially my glutes — sore the next day.
The MMB exercises are not pathology orientated or sport specific, rather all exercises are recommended for everybody, whether they are injured, healthy, or a competitive athlete; the ability to perform the exercises represents the normal. The exercises and sequence do not change, besides the difficulty levels which are adjusted according to the individual level of practice. The MMB progressions occur when the exercises become easier and eventually autonomous and harmonious, ensuring the short- and long-term benefits of practice. Harmonious breathing and relaxation techniques are employed in every exercise repetition. Furthermore, there is the recommendation to train daily in relaxed environments, with abundant fresh air and appropriate sunlight levels and to bath regularly. Studio training is recommended for beginners, people with ailments or performing athletes.
In Week 1 you’ll perform three sets of every exercise per workout, which over the course of the week adds up to nine sets total for each bodypart, a good starting volume for your purposes. With the exception of crunches for abs, you’ll do 8–12 reps per set. This rep scheme is widely considered ideal for achieving gains in muscle size (the scientific term is hypertrophy) and is commonly employed by amateur and pro bodybuilders alike.
Strength (or “weight”) training exercises build muscle. One’s body naturally grows muscle until the age of 25. As we age, our body progressively loses muscle— unless you make an effort to maintain or build it. Strength is good for everyone, regardless of gender or age and helps in everyday activities. Muscle mass can significantly decrease your chances of obesity, diabetes, cancer, and osteoporosis. Gender does not affect one’s ability to grow muscle, but men can develop more muscle mass than women because men naturally have a higher percentage of lean muscle. Women, you will not turn into the Incredible Hulk by strength training — I say this because many women don’t do strength training out of a fear of getting “big.” I wish it were that easy!
Degenhardt B [Internet]. Joe's anatomy. 2014 Sep 8 [cited 2015 Aug 30]. Available from: http://benjamindegenhardt.com/joes-anatomy/.  In 1912, Pilates moved to England to become a professional boxer. He found employment as a circus performer41 Contrology Pilates Method [Internet]. The history of Joseph and Clara Pilates. 2015 Aug 30 [cited 2015 Aug 30]. Available from: http://www.contrology-pilates-method.com/history_joe_pilates.asp. [Google Scholar] and fitness trainer for Scotland Yard.39 Balanced Body, Inc. [Internet]. Origins of Pilates. 2015 Aug 30 [cited 2015 Aug 30]. Available from: https://www.pilates.com/BBAPP/V/pilates/origins-of-pilates.html. [Google Scholar] With the outbreak of World War I in 1914, being German, Pilates was placed in an ‘alien camp,’ initially in Lancaster where he trained fellow inmates and conceptualized his method of Contrology.41,42 Contrology Pilates Method [Internet]. The history of Joseph and Clara Pilates. 2015 Aug 30 [cited 2015 Aug 30]. Available from: http://www.contrology-pilates-method.com/history_joe_pilates.asp.
In a studio, you can try the Pilates hundred on a reformer, a spring-based resistance machine. Lie on your back with your legs in table-top position or extended at a 45-degree angle. Pull the straps down next to your abdomen. Curl the head and shoulders up and pulse your arms up and down. Breathe in for five and out for five until you reach 100 pulses. If any move doesn't feel right, check with a fitness professional.
Your body clock, that is. Try to work out at the time you have the most energy, suggests Jason Theodosakis, MD, exercise physiologist at the University of Arizona College of Medicine. If you're a morning person, schedule your fitness activities early in the day; if you perk up as the day goes along, plan your activities in the afternoon or evening.

What are your fitness goals? – Do you want to tone up? Lose fat and inches? Gain lean muscle mass? Maintain your weight? Reshape Your body? There are a number of fitness goals you could be interested in and many people have more than one, for example they want to lose fat and inches AND reshape their bodies. What your fitness goals are can determine the type of exercise videos that will fit those needs and goals the best.


This program isn’t just for the true beginner who has never touched a weight before; it’s also suitable for anyone who has taken an extended leave of absence from training. How long has it been since you went to the gym regularly? Six months? A year? Five years? No worries: The following routines will get you back on track in—you guessed it—just four short weeks. Let’s get to work.
In summary, if you're only interested in a basic understanding of HIT methodology and where much of it originated I would suggest starting with a far less technical book. I suggest starting with the last published edition of Ellington Darden's "The Nautilus Book" and perhaps "Total Fitness: The Nautilus Way". If you like what you read and want to dig a little deeper into the evolution of HIT read Darden's more recent book, "The New High Intensity Training: The Best Muscle-Building System You've Never Tried". If the gears in your head are in high gear after that and you really want to get DEEP into what evolved from the original Nautilus protocol _then_ you go for "Superslow" or preferably "The Renaissance of Exercise: A Vitruvian Adventure Volume 1". When your grasp of all the aforementioned material is truly solid then move on to Doug McGuff's writing. McGuff's ideas do not surpass or supplant Hutchins' but rather sharpen the points with brilliant thoughts and clinical observations from a medical physician's perspective. Doug McGuff, MD published his "Ultimate Exercise: Bulletin #1" in the late 90's and later updated that with "Body by Science: A Research Based Program to Get the Results You Want in 12 Minutes a Week", both of which are hugely valuable contributions to the literature on HIT methodology and philosophy. His article about "Stoicism in Training" is critical reading.
SOURCES: Liz Neporent, video creator; president, Wellness 360 corporate wellness consulting firm, New York. Wendy Glenna, American Council on Exercise-certified fitness instructor; physical education teacher; fitness video reviewer, Collage Video, Minneapolis, Minn. Paula Zurowski, ACE-certified personal trainer; fitness video reviewer, Richmond, Calif.
(3) Recovery Phase (<60% HRR). Postural control and spine mobility exercises in a quadrupedal position with the platform support, exercises of static balance over either 4 or 2 supports, eyes either open or closed, and with core muscle activation. The latter phase also included various poststretch exercises to restore the preexercise muscle length.
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