Since reaching a plateau is one of the most common problems that people face in their exercise program, having some variations to your typical back, leg and arms exercises can make a difference in seeing new results. The magazines do a great job highlighting some old favorites that are slight variations on the classics.
I do these exercises either as a part of my lower body and upper body workout or when doing a whole body circuit type of training.
Wide-Grip lat pull down: This is an excellent move to get the “V” shape to hit the upper lats. Use it as a variation of the lat-pull down.
Single leg squat on a bench: This is a great exercise to work the gluteus and the hamstrings in addition to the core engagement. Use it as a variation on lunges. Keep in mind that this exercise is about lowering the leg in control until your foot touches the floor without using any momentum instead of lifting the leg up.
Neutral-Grip dumbbell press: This move will help to isolate the chest even more than the traditional barbell chest press. Keeping the elbows close to your body remove the delts and triceps helps so you can focus more on the chest. Use it a variation of barbell chest press.
Reverse wood chop: When looking to raise your heart rate and sliming down in one move, the reverse wood chop will tackle the whole body in one move. So, if you’re short on time or looking to add intensity to your workout, do this exercise as a variation of side crunches and squats since the move combines both. It can be done with DB, KB, pulley or medicine ball.
Extended pigeon pose: Studies show than to get stronger you’ll benefit more doing a stretching and strengthening program than just focusing on the latter. Considering that we spend too much time sitting and that many sports/physical activities demand a strong gluteus, this whole musculature is usually tight. This move truly helps to ease the gluteus, piriformis and other hips muscles. You’ll notice the benefits when doing lunges, squats and leg presses, among others.
Opposite arm & leg lift: Having a healthy back is one of the things that we all look for regardless of how active we are. This is one of the exercises that more physical therapists prescribe to help ward off low back pain as a part of their exercise program recommendations for this zone.