The Best Exercise Scams Ever

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Creatively engaging with your exercise is a sure way to get fantastic results, but it’s also important to mix things up every now and again. You don’t wear the same clothes every day, or eat the same thing for dinner, so why do the same type of exercise daily?

In my first book, I talk about food scams (substitute, combine, adapt, modify), but you can also exercise scam:

Substitute—if you really hate an exercise, there’s always an alternative. No exercise is so good that another one can’t take its place. For example, if you loathe push-ups then try be-friending bench presses instead.

Combine—try squats and bicep curls, or lunges and rows. Combining a few exercises at once gives you better value for time.

Adapt—I’ve come up with over 50 variations of planks, squats, and lunges. How many more could there possibly be? I don’t know…but there’s only one way to find out!

Modify—biomechanically, everyone is different. What works for some people may not work for others. Modify what you do to suit your own body and mind.

The only limit to how you can vary your exercise is your imagination (and perhaps your physical capabilities at that time). There are also a few other general principles that you can apply to almost any exercise to add variety:

Adding Balance—this is a great way to develop core strength, distract you mentally, boost your brain, and burn more calories, all at the same time.

Changing Your Angles—this is a great example of how small changes can yield big results. Three sets of calf raisers done with your toes pointed straight ahead, outwards, and inwards (one direction for each set) is a lot more effective than the same three sets with your toes all in the one position.

Going Backwards—walking weighted lunges are a great exercise, but done backwards, they’re even better because they make your mind (and your muscles) work harder. You also need to engage your core more in order to stay upright, so going backwards is a really effective way to go forwards in terms of your fitness. Again, this principle than can be applied to many other exercises.

Think of your favourite exercises and then come up with three ways that you could vary each one in the future to make it more physically—and mentally—challenging.

 

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Sally Symonds

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