How to take your muscle strength further

Photo Credit: BPT

Even if you work out regularly, chances are you’d like to see more results in terms of muscle strength and tone. It’s easy to get stuck in an exercise rut, where you keep doing the same thing and don’t see much improvement. Feel like you’re hitting a plateau?

If you want real results and just aren’t getting there, here are some different tips for taking your body contouring goals further.

Boost your cardio workout

If you’re focused on strength and just phoning in your cardio workouts, don’t forget that overall muscle strength-including that most important muscle, your heart-and general health benefits from intense workouts that get you up and moving.[1] Vary workouts to challenge yourself. Try something new like rowing, dancing, cycling, or swimming to jump-start your routine.

Consider a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workout for better calorie- and fat-burning results.[2] HIIT workouts alternate short bursts of intense exercise such as sprints-around 45 seconds to a few minutes-followed by an equal period of moderate exercise or rest. Combining HIIT with moderate exercise has been shown to improve health/lung health.[3]

Switch up your strength routine

Consult a trainer to make sure you’re doing exercises that activate all the main muscle groups of your body, including your glutes and those essential core muscles, so you get those toned abs you want.

Challenge yourself by adding free weights, kettle bells, or calisthenics you aren’t currently doing, 2-3 times per week. Give those muscles time to rest between strength-training days, or alternate days working one muscle group with another to give those muscles recovery time.[4]

Consider adding routines combining strength with flexibility, such as Pilates, barre, or yoga, as these may help improve your posture and appearance.