Want to get the most out of your gym membership and prevent a weight-loss plateau? These fitness hacks by trainer Nolan Sunnassee will boost your fitness results.
Schedule gym time
Do this for each week of the month just as you would pencil in time for a trip to the dentist or doctor. Don’t leave it to chance and think ‘I’ll go when I feel like it or when I have time’. Having workouts in your diary makes you more likely to do them and if you tell friends your plans, that will make you more accountable too.
Write down what you will do
If you write down which specific exercises you will do at each session, before you get there, you’ve got a plan to follow and in the long term, this can save you time and help you be more productive. Also, it means you can track your progress and, when things get easier, increase the difficulty of each move.
Warm up dynamically
People usually warm up by doing five minutes of cardio, which is great for raising your pulse so continue to do this, but I also advise doing some dynamic stretches such as squats and lunges to prepare your body for the actual exercises you’re going to do, or try these ideas:
- Swing your legs back and forth like a pendulum to mobilise your hips and hamstrings – kick your heels to your bum as you do the backward motion, as this stretches the front of your thigh (quadricep).
- Swing each leg in front of the other from side to side.
- Try some toe touches – slowly bend forward to touch the floor and back up – this warms up your lower back and hamstrings.
- Circle your ams forwards and backwards to loosen up your shoulders.
Work lots of muscles at once
Squats, deadlifts, lunges, press-ups and pull-ups are ‘compound moves’, meaning they utilise lots of muscles at once. This has more toning benefits than moves that only focus on one muscle. So instead of using the inner and outer thigh machines in the gym, try wide-legged squats with a weight, which tones all those muscles in one go.