Q: I’ve been working out on my own at home for years. But I’m tired of all the basic exercises, and I’m finding it hard to stay motivated. Do you have some new exercises I could add to my routine?
A: If you feel like you’re on autopilot when you work out, it’s definitely time to shake up your program. Here are three of my favourite full-body exercises that you hopefully haven’t tried before. These exercises all require concentration and coordination, so take your time moving through each step. Gradually increase the number of repetitions over time.
1. Get ups: Lie on your back with your right arm reaching toward the ceiling, your left leg straight and your right foot flat on the floor. Look at your right hand and keep your arm reaching toward the ceiling; roll over onto your left hip and up onto your left elbow, then to your left hand and left knee. Stand up on both feet still looking up at your hand overhead. Reverse the steps to return to the start position. Repeat on the other side. Try for four to six repetitions.
Make it harder: Hold a light weight in your hand, and/or do them a little faster.
2. Dive bombers: Stand facing a padded exercise mat (not a thin yoga mat). Lie down on it on your front, then stand up and return to your start position. There is no right or wrong way to do this; just do it efficiently and as quickly as you can. (You should look something like a surfer lying down on a surfboard and then popping up to catch a wave.) Try four to six repetitions at a moderate pace.
Make it harder: Do more and do them faster, or do them immediately after you’ve done some core exercises.
3. Tip overs: Stand with an exercise band under one foot, holding onto either end of it with each hand. Balance on one foot and straighten the other leg behind you. Tip forward until your back foot is at least one foot off the floor, creating a straight line from your head to your back foot. Squeeze your upper arms close to your sides, and perform alternating biceps curls and triceps extensions. Adjust the band to create enough resistance for the arms; there should never be any slack in it. Press your navel to your spine to help maintain your balance. Try six to eight reps on each leg.
Make it harder: Tip further forward, or create more tension on the band.
Barb Gormley is a certified personal trainer and a freelance health and fitness writer. You can contact her at www.barbgormley.com.