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Do This, Not That: Five Workouts to Switch Up

Update Date: Oct 07, 2014 04:04 PM EDT

For people looking to change their bodies through exercise and healthy dieting, there are certain things that they can do to maximize their sessions. Although some people might believe that lengthening their workouts is the key to shedding weight, this is not true. In order to get results, people should intensify their workouts.

Here are five popular workouts to change up:

1. Leg Press Machine

The leg press machine can help with strengthening your quads. By upping the weights, you can increase the intensity of the workout for your quads. However, since you are sitting in the machine, doing the leg press will not engage other parts of the body. Instead of just focusing on one particular lower-body muscle group, replace the leg-press machine with the standard squat. Squatting without the support of machine will help build up your leg muscles as well as your core.

2. Crunches

Crunches are a very popular core-strengthening workout. However, they are not the most effective option available. Instead, replace crunches with a plank, which not only engages the core, but also the legs, glutes, arms, chest and back. To intensify the standard plank, try doing it on a BOSU ball. The ball requires the body to balance, which will add the intensity that can tighten up and strengthen the core faster.

3. Bike

The bike machine might look like an easy way to get cardio, but without elevating the heart rate, you will not get the extra boost to your metabolism, which can help burn extra calories. Instead of the bike machine, consider moving your cardio workout to the VersaClimber, a machine that mimics walking up the stairs. Unlike the bike, the VersaClimber engages the upper body and provides an overall more intensive workout.

4. Traditional Bench Press

The traditional bench press is a great exercise move for upper body strength. However, replacing the bar with two dumbbells can intensify this move. The two dumbbells will open up your range of movement, which can target more muscles in the shoulders as well as the back.

5. Bicep Curls

A standard bicep curl with free weights can help build arm muscle. Many people will add intensity to the bicep curl by upping the weights. Even though the bicep curl can help build muscle, it is not the best way to go. A more effective option, although it is significantly harder, is the pull up. The pull up will work out the entire upper body as well as the core. Since the pull up is a lot harder, do not be discouraged if you cannot do one. Work your way up by practicing and building strength. Once you get the standard pull up down, keep on practicing and try adding more and more repetitions.

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