March 1st. A great time to refocus our workouts. You hear and/or read that we must change up our exercise routines on a regular basis. Our body adapts when we repeat the same actions all the time, becoming more efficient at the movements.
Too many people I read think this means that they need to change up their exercise every time they work out. While this “keeps the body guessing” it does not let the body learn- so there is no changing, no improving, no positive adaptation.
In truth, we only need to change something up every 4-6 weeks to make a difference. These changes do not need to be big changes. You could do the exact same exercises in the exact same order every time you work out. By changing the sets OR reps. OR speed with which you do those exercises you would be making sufficient changes to cause your body to adapt.
But this month, I am completely changing my routines. It’s been nearly 3 months since I injured my rotator cuff. I’m about 75% healed there. But in the interim, my base has broken down. My shoulders have redeveloped the slight forward curve; my abs have disengaged, I’ve lost the hard-won strength and balance in my posterior chain (the backside of my body).
So it’s time to reconnect with the basics and give myself a firm foundation going forward. Neuromuscular efficiency is a step in fitness that we should revisit regularly – three to four times a year. These workouts are often characterized by an emphasis on the stabilization muscles: lots of core work, strength exercises at 50-60% with 12-15 reps in 3 sets supersetted to challenge all the supporting muscle systems.
An example of this workout:
A: Core-Plank, Bridge stable holds for 60-90 seconds. Side plank stable holds for 30-60 seconds. Bird dogs 15 reps on each side. Swiss ball supermans to cobras- 15 reps. Swiss ball Y, T, Ws.
B1: Chest: Flat DB chest press. B2: Stability ball DB chest press
C1: Standing 2 foot cable row C2: standing 1 foot stretchy band rows.
D1: Lat pulls D2: wall squat/military press
This month, these are the types of exercises I will planning and performing. By the end of the month, I hope to notice improved posture, increased balance, and some additional increased muscular and cardiac efficiency.
How are you planning to shake up your exercise routines this month?