As the beginning of the semester draws near and our schedules are getting busier, it’s important to make your time spent exercising effective and efficient. Here are five tips to help you pick exercises to help you get the most bang for your buck when working out:
Choose exercises that use the most amount of muscle mass possible
- In the real world, it is very rare that we lock specific body parts in place to only use a single muscle. To see more carryover into our daily lives, we want to include many muscle groups into each movement since that is how our bodies naturally work and adapt.
- Using more muscles also means you can hit the same amount of muscles (or maybe even more!) in less time.
One single range of motion on each exercise is ideal
- This consists of one concentric action (shortening of the muscles) and eccentric action (lengthening of the muscles).
- Essentially, pick simple exercises instead of combination exercises (combination exercises include burpees, turkish get-ups, squat to overhead press, etc.).
Use exercises that have the longest range of motion possible
- The longer the range of motion for a muscle, the stronger the whole muscle becomes through that entire range of motion.
- If you notice yourself doing partial movements, it’s often because the weight is too heavy or you’re trying to do too many repetitions. Back off on the weight or repetitions until you find a volume that you can do the entire range of motion and use that as your new starting point. Slowly add back more weight or repetitions each day to that exercise. You will likely find that by rebuilding with a full range of motion you can easily outperform your previous attempts.
Exercises should be infinitely increasable
- Difficulty should be able to be increased in your desired parameter infinitely
- Ex: for those who want to be stronger there should not be a limit of how much weight can be added; for those wanting to increase cardiovascular endurance there should not be a limit on how far you can go, etc.
Find exercises where it is possible to fall down
- It is your job not to allow yourself to fall or sway in order to improve your balance and stability.
- This will also help train the most amount of muscle mass possible at once.