As you go about your workout sessions, one thing that you must make sure you're doing is maximizing your time in the gym. Sadly though, many people are still spending far too much time performing exercises that simply are not going to get them the best ‘bang' for their time invested.
This is just going to lead to very high levels of frustration long term as they'll slowly start to see that all their time and effort just isn't paying off and this will eventually cause them to fall right off the bandwagon altogether.
That's why it's a must that you learn about which are the smartest exercises to be using in your workout and then replace all the not-so-smart ones with these instead.
This, at the end of the day, is going to be what guarantees that you are constantly moving forward.
So let's get started and go over a few key exercise swaps that you should be making so that you don't get stuck in a progress plateau.
Swap Lateral Raises For Shoulder Press
The first exercise swap to make is to remove the later raises you're performing in your plan and do a set or two of shoulder presses instead. Shoulder presses will target all the heads of the shoulder muscles, but then in addition to that, also target the triceps and biceps as well.
Plus, doing shoulder presses will help to create the illusion of a slimmer waist as well if you can add a bit of added muscle size and definition, so that's another clear benefit to look forward to.
Swap Hip Raises For Lunges
Moving on, hip raises are one move that many women get into the habit of doing thinking it's going to firm their backside. But, it's only going to disappoint.
Hip raises really don't work enough total muscle fibers to do you justice and will just be a waste of time in the gym. Instead, try lunges.
Lunges are far more superior because not only will they work the same muscles you were intending with those hip raises – the glutes, but they'll also work the hamstrings, quads, as well as the core.
Doing this exercise really means a win-win scenario for you. You'll get a high degree of results in a very short time period.
Swap Bicep Curls For Chin-Ups
Going back to your upper body, if you want to create arms that garner a second look, consider swapping out your bicep curls and doing chin-ups instead.
Chin-ups are very often overlooked because most people simply don't consider them as they're too focused on weight oriented exercises, but these are one of the most effective exercises that you can use.
Chin-ups will target the biceps as well as the lat muscles, helping you build your strongest back ever. When performing chin-ups, to add extra intensity to the movement, consider taking a brief pause at the top of the exercise for a second or two.
This will increase the total time under tension and make sure that you fatigue the muscle to a maximum state.
Swap Crunches For Prone Ball Roll Ins
Looking at your abdominal workout, if you're often spending time doing crunches in the gym, you may want to reconsider. While you might ‘feel the burn' from doing these, at the end of the day, they're doing very little to bring you good results.
Instead, consider doing the prone ball roll in. This exercise is great because not only will it place the abs under a great deal of tension, but it's also going to work the hip flexors as well as the shoulders and arms.
It really is a full body movement, so you'll likely feel it almost everywhere as you execute it. To get best results while doing this movement, make sure that you keep your abs squeezed the entire time and the hips elevated when you move into the stretched position.
Also be sure that you never rush through the exercise, but rather move the ball inwards and outwards in as smooth and controlled manner as possible.
Swap Leg Extensions For Step-Ups
Another good swap that you should be considering making is to swap out the leg extensions that you might be performing with some step-ups instead.
While leg extensions can be good for zeroing in on your quad muscles if this is the primary muscle group that you want to target, they aren't going to be as effective as step-ups.
Step-ups, like lunges, are going to work the glutes, quads, hamstrings, as well as the core, so you'll get a full lower body workout while you do them.
This means you'll burn more calories total throughout the entire workout session, while also boosting your strength levels to a higher extent as well.
So there you have some of the key exercises that you should consider dropping from your workout program and which you should consider adding instead.
It's important that you do keep in mind that the foundation of your workout program should always be focused around compound lifts. If you do this, then you'll naturally be turning to movements that do offer more ‘bang for your buck'. The more muscle fibers you can work at once, the greater the calorie
burn you'll see from the session and the more strength gains you'll get as well.
At the end of the day, this is also what will create the greatest metabolic response for you, which will mean greater fat loss over the 24 hour period, moving you one step closer to creating that lean, yet muscular body you're after.
Some isolation exercises can definitely be added from time to time if you really want to enhance the definition in just a single muscle group or bring up a lagging body part, but for the most part, these exercises should be minimized and limited to just a few sets at the end of the workout.
If you do that, you will be headed for success.
About Shannon Clark
Shannon Clark has a degree in Exercise Science and is an AFLCA certified personal trainer. Her insights are regularly published on bodybuilding, askmen and FitRated.com. FitRated is a leading fitness equipment review site offering insights on equipment, workout plans and weight loss strategies. Check out the latest review of the Bowflex Max Trainer.