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3 Different Ways to Vary An Exercise

By June 23, 2021No Comments

You’re probably used to squats, lunges, and press ups by now with all workouts from home seem to be putting those exercises on repeat.

But what happens when you feel like you’ve maxed out your strength with what you have to hand?

If we break down the squat with a kettlebell, here’s 3 separate ways to vary an exercise to get a different stimulus, challenge yourself further and continue to push your strength.

Flip the Grip

If you have a kettlebell and you’re used to goblet squats, then try the following types of grips to make it more challenging on your upper body and core and hip stability.

  • Offset
  • Front Rack
  • Overhead

Offset dominates one side more than the other, working your lateral stability (think obliques) to create a much more challenging exercise. Be careful on your wrists though as to how you grip the kettlebell.

Front Rack challenges your core and challenges you to a more upright position. Having two kettlebells means you’re working twice as hard and can scale the weight of the kettlebell more. Of course, you have to have two kettlebells for this so if you do, crack on.

Overhead works your shoulder stability and thoracic mobility to again push the stimulus further. Only do this though if you have full overhead extension (can lift your hands overhead without bending your elbows or extending your back to much). You can of course go one or two kettlebells.

Change Your Stance

Working in a bilateral motion (like a normal squat) is great, but what if you can execute that with perfect form for a fairly large amount of reps? Well we can switch our stance around to make one side more dominant than the other to work it a little more.

In this instance we can choose a B Stance (or kick-stance) position meaning the front leg works harder and gets hit a little harder from all angles. And if that becomes easy? Why not aim for the pistol?

Alter Pauses, And A Slower Tempo

Managed all of that? Let’s control the speed of the movement, referred to the tempo of the exercise.

If you’re doing a goblet squat, you can move to a tempo of 4-2-1 which means 4 seconds down, 2 second pause at the bottom and 1 second up. Slowing the eccentric (lowering phase) movement will really beat your muscles up and will give you the DOMS you’re craving. We’d say work up to a 10 second eccentric as the maximum. And 10 seconds down into a squat is a loooong time. You’ll see.

After that, you can pause at different parts of the movement. For starters you can pause at the bottom of the movement or on the way down. Aiming for a 1-5 second pause will work wonders in improving your strength and also tightens up your form too. Let’s say you struggle holding a 16kg kettlebell and keeping your spine straight on the way down on the squat as you find yourself collapsing forward. Holding a lighter kettlebell or just doing bodyweight and pausing just before you usually feel that collapse for 3 seconds will help reinforce a better movement pattern and a stronger position.

This is how we alter the exercises here at uFit which means we can progress, regress and scale the exercises accordingly to each individual member of our community.

To find out more about our 30 day plan, and get access to our workouts and methods of getting you stronger, fitter and healthier head over to this link to find out more: www.ufitwindsor.co.uk/30-day-trial.

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