Workout of the Week: No Plateau

March 14, 2014 3:29 pm Last Updated: March 14, 2014 3:57 pm

This week’s workout is all about performing exercises our bodies know well and have gotten used to but adding a challenging twist to the movements to keep the body guessing and improving.

When you mix up your fitness routine and exercises, your body will rise to the challenge. By challenging yourself, you’ll continue to see and feel results and bypass that dreaded fitness plateau.

For your safety and for technique purposes, it is important that you are able to do the basic movements with strong, solid form before you move on to these more challenging variations.

Warmup

• 10 basic push-ups
• 10 basic crunches
• 2 side planks (one on each side) held for 20 seconds each
• 5 basic bridges

One-Arm Push-Up

1. The name and the photo say it all. Set yourself up as you would for a normal push-up, but try using one arm instead of two.
2. Start on your knees and eventually build up to being on your toes. Don’t expect your range of movement to be very big, especially at first.

Goal: 10 each arm

Straight-Leg Crunch

1. Lie on your back and extend your legs straight in the air with your feet toward the ceiling.
2. Keep your hands behind your head as you lift your upper body off the floor into a crunch.
3. Hold each crunch for two seconds before lowering your head back to the floor.
4. Your lower abdominals will work harder when your legs are extended as opposed to being bent at a 90-degree angle.

Goal: 25 repetitions

Plank-Hip Drop

1. Start in a side plank position. If you feel pain in your wrist, you can work from your elbow instead.
2. Lower your hips toward the floor. Then push them back up to the plank position. This equals one repetition. Hold the plank pose for two seconds, and then continue to lower and lift your hips.
3. You will feel this in your oblique muscles, which run down the sides of your torso from just under your chest to the top of your pelvis.

Goal: 10 each side

Bridge Crossover

1. Lift your hips off the floor into a pelvic bridge.
2. Cross you right ankle over your left knee and pulse your hips up and down 10 times before lowering your body to the floor. Uncross your legs and repeat on the opposite side.
3. This is a great movement for your back, buttocks, and the back of your legs. Crossing your legs over makes the movement more difficult than a normal bridge.

Goal: 2 sets on each side

Emma-Kate Stampton certifies Pilates instructors and is a certified personal trainer. With nine years of industry experience, she is passionate about sharing the gift of health and well-being. Emma-Kate is based in Brisbane, Australia.