Warm weather, longer days and the knowledge that swimsuit season is just around the corner all make spring a great time to step up your home fitness workouts. If you’re already using your home fitness equipment regularly, try one or more of these five tips below to take your routine to the next level.
- Add in Strength Training: Whether you’re looking to improve your performance, slim down, or just look great in your summer wardrobe, if you’re not strength training in addition to using your elliptical, treadmill, or recumbent bike, you’re cheating yourself. Strength training will reduce your risk of injury, allow you to train harder, increase your post workout metabolic rate, and just generally improve your appearance, performance and health. If you’re already strength training, try stepping up the intensity by reducing your recovery time between sets to 60 seconds or less.
- Interval Training: In addition to strength training, this is my favorite way to get more from your workouts. Research is beginning to demonstrate the many benefits of adding intense interval training to your workouts, showing a greater post workout calorie burn and increased overall fitness, letting you get more from your workouts in a shorter period of time. You can design your own interval program, or use the interval-inspired programs on your Horizon home fitness equipment. You can also read this recent blog for more on the benefits of interval training.
- Second Daily Workouts: This trick is best used if you’re trying to lose a few stubborn pounds before summer. If you’re already working out once a day, break that workout in half and do it twice (or add in a second one). This gives you a greater overall calorie burn for the day and maximizes the benefits of post-workout calorie consumption while you recover. To avoid burning out, start by using this technique a couple of times a week, working up to as frequently as every other day.
- Lift Faster/Power Training: Combine the intensity of interval cardio training with the body changing force of strength training by adding plyometric power training to your home workouts. Try alternating your cardio work with intense, quickly performed, body weight exercises such as squat jumps, ice skaters, jumping lunges and fast push ups. These exercises will recruit new muscle fibers and increase the force of your workout, as well as keeping in you in an intense cardio training zone for your entire workout.
- Take a Break: It may seem counterintuitive, but a break may be just what you need to train harder. If you haven’t had a scheduled recovery in over two months, then giving yourself four to ten days of rest from hard training (feel free to include active recovery using your fitness equipment, yoga, or swimming) may be just what you need to break out of your physical and mental rut. Use the time to redefine your goals for the coming two months, to clean up your eating and to find new enjoyment in physical activity.
Weigh In: What’s your favorite way to step up your spring workouts? We’d love to hear from you!