Whether you’re a cardio queen or love killing it in the weight room, there’s no doubt that mixing up your workout routine can do wonders for your health and wellness. Plus, adding in a little cross-training or dedicating Sundays to yoga rather than heading out for your long run or crushing your usual HIIT workout can keep your muscles guessing and help avoid exercise fatigue. For inspiration on which exercises to give a try based on some of your favorite go-tos, read on.
1. Love to run? Try barre. While going out for a jog can be a great way to clear your head and build endurance, the repetitive pounding and stress can be tough on your joints. “Barre is a great, low-impact way to reduce those effects, while building a solid core foundation and challenging all your small stabilizing muscles that prevent common running injuries,” said Lindsey Bomgren, personal trainer, barre instructor and blogger behind Nourish Move Love. Not to mention, you’ll be forced to stretch, a little something sometimes overlooked by distance runners.
2. Love spin? Try Zumba. If you’re a regular at spin class, you already know that you love working out to the beat of the music, so try taking those moves off the bike and into this dance class. Just like spin, Zumba is a great way to get in your cardio. But unlike spin class, you’ll get the added benefit of full-body toning, working your arms, legs, core and everything in between.
3. Love barre? Try HIIT. If you’re a ballet-bod, try your hand at high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts. Bomgren says, “HIIT is an effective way to get your heart pumping, while explosively building strength. Plus, it challenges your larger muscle groups versus the smaller muscles typically trained in barre. An added bonus to HIIT is that it works your major metabolic muscles — not only improving your cardiovascular endurance, but also helping burn more calories too.”
4. Love weights? Try pilates. “Weight-bearing exercises tend to build shorter muscles that can be more prone to injury. Pilates focuses on elongating muscles, improving muscle elasticity and joint mobility,” notes Bomgren. By pairing bodyweight, core-centric Pilates strength training with more traditional weight-bearing strength training creates a more balanced body that is less susceptible to injury.
5. Love dance class? Try kettlebells. No doubt, an upbeat hip hop or contemporary dance class will have you working up a serious sweat. And a kettlebell class is no different. You’ll still get the added benefit of a full-body workout but you’ll have the option to focus on specific problem areas. Plus, once you get the hang of kettlebell swings, you’ll realize there is still plenty of movement in your workout.
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(Photos via Getty)