This article was republished with permission from fitnessrepublic.com.
There are plenty of exercises that get ignored by everyone, and most of them are ignored for a good reason. However, some underrated exercises might deserve a second try, especially if you’re interested in mixing up your workout routine.
Underrated Cardio Exercises
While running is a fantastic way to burn calories and build endurance, it is not the be-all end-all for cardio workouts. There are plenty of other excellent ways to get your cardio on, and many of them are unfairly overlooked. Try some of these to change up your routine or get started toward your cardio goals.
This may seem like the most obvious one on the list, but it is often undervalued and overlooked. Taking a brisk walk can have many of the same health effects as running. Walking can calm you down and reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease and other chronic ailments. Plus, it puts much less stress on your body than running, so it is perfect for people who want to burn some calories but need to take it easy, physically. Even if you are an athletic person, a good brisk walk now and then can have lots of benefits. Try taking a walk around your neighborhood. You might discover some cool things you never noticed before.
For a really tough workout, hit the stairs. Stair-climbing activates the muscles in your legs to propel you upward, so you are increasing the strength of your legs while you burn calories. Running stairs improves cardiovascular function and increases your heart rate, and you can burn way more calories in the same amount of time than you can while running or walking. Stairs can be an excellent addition to circuit workouts, due to their intensity. Plus, doing lots of stairs will make your calves and butt look fantastic.
Using a rowing machine is an excellent low-impact way to build upper body strength and burn lots of calories. Rowing is an aerobic exercise, so not only will it help you burn calories, but it will also improve your cardiovascular circulation. Plus, rowing is actually a full-body exercise that activates muscles all across your body, including your legs, glutes, core, back, shoulders, and arms. Increasing the resistance on the rowing machine will work your muscles more, while lowering it will provide a more aerobic-focused workout.
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Underrated Stationary Exercises
You don’t have to leave the house to get a good workout in and build strength. Many exercises are so simple that all you have to do is hold a pose. You will probably want a yoga mat or some other comfortable surface for these.
You’ve probably done this exercise before, even if you don’t realize it. Kids love to lie flat on their bellies and raise their arms and legs up into the air like Superman. They get harder to do when we grow up, but they are excellent exercise. Doing supermans helps stretch and strengthen your chest, shoulders, arms, legs, core, and lower back. They are even better for you than crunches, because they promote good posture.
Planks, like supermans, are incredible because they build strength while encouraging good posture. Done properly, they are a full-body exercise that increase core strength, help you recover from back injuries, and increase endurance. Planks can also help improve your stability in all sorts of physical activities. By increasing the strength and stability of your core, you will perform better in almost every other exercise you do.
Underrated Weight Training Exercises
When you think of weight lifting exercises, you might think of bench presses, bicep curls, and squats. Those all have their benefits, but there are some other excellent weight training exercises you may be missing out on. Try these to make your training sessions more effective and well-rounded.
This is an awesome underrated exercise that targets your glutes, hamstrings, quads, and lower back. It’s often overlooked because many people think of the deadlift as an exercise that only muscle-bound advanced lifters do. The reality is that deadlifts are great for weight lifters at any level. Young or old, big or small, Chris Pratt or Seth Rogen, deadlifts can help you develop practical strength that will not only make you look great, but will make it easier to perform daily lifting tasks. Just make sure to avoid common deadlift mistakes, and you’ll be golden.
Russian Kettlebell Swing
Kettlebells are awesome because they are so versatile. If you have a quality set of kettlebells, you basically have a complete home gym. The Russian kettlebell swing is an easy exercise using kettlebells that activates your glutes, lower back, hamstrings, shoulders, and legs. Plus, it is a great way to get your heart rate up and burn some calories. Just make sure you’re doing the exercise properly to avoid injury.
Don’t Neglect Underrated Exercises
It can be easy to fall into a habit of doing the same exercises every time you’re in the gym. Switching up your routine every once in awhile is essential to keep your body from getting used to the stress you’re putting on it. If you never change your workout, you will quickly see diminishing returns on your effort. Always be learning new ways to workout. Not only will doing so keep your body in excellent shape, it might also help you discover your new favorite exercise.
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