If you do a regular planned training program, you may vary the amount of weight you lift or the number of sets and reps, but you probably always do the same exercises, with the same joint movements and the same ranges of motion. Why not get creative with your workout and bring a little 'oomph' to your training program?
For example, try using a mover's dolly to work your lower body. These things have a rotating wheel on each corner. Place your feet and ankles on the dolly, then use your leg power to wheel it from side to side while your hands and torso stay stationary, in a plank position. In addition, you may also use the mover's dolly to work your arms by placing your hands on the floor to 'walk' the dolly from one end of the room to the other while your feet are on the dolly. Don't allow yourself to sag. If it's too hard to hold your torso up while creating a workout with this item, place it under your knees when starting out.
If you belong to a commercial gym, you can also get creative there. Most gyms today have balance balls – or exercise balls as they are sometimes called. Take the ball into the free-weight area and grab one of the weighted bars. It may be good to start with a 10- to 20-pound bar until you learn the physical mechanics of this excellent stabilizing core workout, even though you may be able to easily lift a much heavier bar.
Sit on the ball and place the bar at your feet. Using the bar is done in two steps: first, place it on your lap, then lift it over your head and rest it on the back of your shoulders, as if you were supporting the bar in position to do a squat. Next, keeping your spine totally straight, without bending forward or arching your back, rotate your torso so your shoulders and the bar move from one side to the other. For example, first your left shoulder is facing forward, then your right shoulder. Never force the movement. If you feel pressure or pain in your back, neck or hips, stop immediately and put the bar down. Your spine may not be flexible enough for this movement – yet. You may have to work into it. Practice by working with a lighter weight while sitting on a stable bench. Always do this exercise slowly, and with complete concentration. Never do it where anyone else may walk into the area of the bar.
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The moves described here are for the advanced exerciser, not for beginners or newbies at the gym. But for those with experience in resistance work, getting creative with a workout will have amazing benefits for the training of the body.
Wina Sturgeon is the editor of the online magazine Adventure Sports Weekly , which offers the latest training, diet and athletic information.