By Jeremey DuVall, M.S., CPT Men's Fitness
Doing the same old exercises time and time again in the gym can lead to a plateau…not to mention it gets really boring. Modifying exercises every 3-4 weeks keeps your workouts fresh and ensures that you’re constantly seeing progress. However, too much change can be a bad thing. Constantly changing exercises every workout can prevent your body from ever adapting to a stimulus and halt any progress. The key is finding the right balance to maximize your program.
Ideally, the modification or alternative exercise will still work the same type of motion or movement pattern but in a slightly different manner. This will ensure that your body still gains strength in a certain move, but the exercise is different enough to spur huge gains.
Each week, look for a new exercise alternative to spice up your favorites, prevent boredom, and mix up your routine to avoid plateaus. This week, we’ll switch out the traditional barbell shoulder press.
The Old: Barbell Shoulder Press
The New: Barbell Push Press
How To Do It:
Grab a barbell with an overhand grip and hold it at shoulder height. Keep your elbows up high and your upper arm parallel to the ground. Slightly bend your knees and drop down while keeping your torso upright and avoiding leaning forward. Explosively extend your knees and hips as you drive the barbell overhead and stand up tall. Slowly lower the barbell back to your shoulders before repeating.
The Difference: With a traditional shoulder press, the weight you’re able to use is dependent solely on upper body strength. By using the explosive nature of the push press, you are able to train total body explosiveness, timing, and coordination, incorporating both the upper and lower body in the same move. Using the lower body leg drive allows you to lift more weight, putting a greater stress on your shoulders and leading to more growth and strength gains along the way.