4 Workout Tweaks for Better Results

Boost performance by adding a twist to your workoutBoost performance by adding a twist to your workoutIf you've been doing the same strength-training exercises for months, your muscles may be in a holding pattern. "To add distance or increase speed, your cross-training efforts need to push your limits," says Michael Silverman, a physical therapist at the Sports Rehabilitation and Performance Center at New York City's Hospital for Special Surgery. These tweaks will help you develop new power for your workouts.

Best New Workout Shoes










PLANKS
TWEAK: ADD LEG SWING

Holding a plank position (resting your weight on your forearms and toes, with abs pulled in), lift your right toes off the ground and swing your right leg to the side, toward your hips. Return to the start position and perform on the other side. Do 15 reps on each leg; rest and repeat twice. (For more moves to strengthen your core, try this Ultimate Abs Workout.)


..
LEG LIFT

TWEAK: ADD ARM SWING

Stand with arms out in front of you. Extend your right leg in front of you and slowly lower yourself into a squat position. Pause, then slowly push yourself up to standing. Do this exercise in front of a mirror, checking that your knee doesn't turn inward. Do 15 reps and switch legs. Do three sets of 15 reps on each leg.



.SQUATS
TWEAK: LIFT ONE LEG

Lunge forward with your left leg. Swinging your arms, jump up and switch legs to land in a right lunge. Jump and return to the left-leg-forward lunge. Do three sets of 15 reps.

More: Tone Your Trouble Spots






LUNGES
TWEAK: ADD JUMP

Lunge forward with your left leg. Swinging your arms, jump up and switch legs to land in a right lunge. Jump and return to the left-leg-forward lunge. Do three sets of 15 reps.

To see these moves in action, view the full Training With a Twist video.




TIME TO CHANGE? SIGNS YOU NEED TO SWITCH THINGS UP

1. Low Pulse
Chart your maximum heart rate for every workout. "If it's getting lower at peak levels, it's time to switch it up," says Silverman. (Looking for fresh new workout ideas? Try these 4 Workouts Borrowed From Other Sports.)

2. Fresh Muscles
When you no longer experience delayed onset of muscle soreness, your workout isn't hard enough. "That feeling of soreness indicates challenge."

3. No Sweat While sweat isn't the most accurate indicator of an effective work-out, if you're walking away with dry pits and forehead, "it's time to advance your routine."

TELL US: How do you tweak your workouts?

--By Debra Witt, Runner's World

More from Runner's World:

Try This: IronStrength Workout


Get Olympic Star Lolo Jones' Abs


Moves That Build Upper Body Strength