When it comes to shaping up for the summer, we all tend to gravitate towards a workout routine that we know we can excel at. However, going to the same kickboxing class, or running the same 3-mile loop at the park, is not the most effective way to get your body back in action. Do the same routine over and over, and you’re going to make strong muscles tighter, and leave weaker muscles weak. You’re also hardening well-established neural pathways, instead of challenging your body to create new ones. Do the same exercise enough, and your body will change its shape in response to your activity.

Ever seen the arms of a professional tennis player? One arm is twice the size of the other—a direct result of the different level of demand placed on the playing arm. For a tennis pro, that’s part of what they do, but for the rest of us, the goal is balance: overall strength, flexibility, endurance. The way to achieve that is to add variety to your routine, find different ways to move, and consistently challenge your body system.

Here’s 3 ways to instantly shake up your routine this summer:

*Change your mode of locomotion. For cardio, try riding a bike or jumping rope instead of running, for example, or change your usual routine to include stairs, hills or other challenges.

*Step away from the machines. Get outside! See what happens when you find alternate ways to train–pushups on the grass instead of a cable chest press machine, or step-ups on a park bench instead of the elliptical machine.

*Choose a new flavor. Try an activity you’ve never done before, like a new class or a new sport. Just learning the basics can definitely be a challenge.

2 comments

  1. Comment by Didi Wong

    Didi Wong May 16, 2010 at 8:46 am

    Thank you for such an informational newsletter…always good to hear these topics again and remind myself. Thanks! I wish I was in New York to take the Bootcamp class!!! Didi xx
    Hi Antonio!

  2. Comment by I Love TRX Suspension Training

    I Love TRX Suspension Training June 17, 2010 at 5:54 pm

    I really like your site!

    For me, the best way to add some good muscle confusion is to use my TRX suspension trainer. These workouts can include super high-octane core strengthening workouts, down to easy going stretching.

    For cardio, I do a lot of what you mentioned to shake things up – I add inline skating and jumping rope to break up the elyptical training and jogging. I use my bike as well, and put it on a stand in the winter months.

    Whatever you are doing in the area of cardio or muscle building exercises, confusing your muscles regularly is really important to continue seeing great results.

    Good luck everyone!

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