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 barbell curl with a drag curl.
The Old: Barbell Curl
The New: Drag Curl
How To Do It:
Use a traditional barbell, but for beginners, use a cable set up. Stand in front of two cable pulleys at ground height. Grab one handle in each hand and step forward in a lunge stance so that your hands are extending behind your body. Set your shoulders back and assume a tall posture. Keeping the handles close to your body, curl the weight up “dragging” it just in front of your torso. Keep your elbows behind your body at all times throughout the move.
By locking your elbows into place, all of the work is focused on your biceps, (where it should be). Using cables also ensures that your biceps face tension throughout the entire move unlike in a barbell curl where different portions of the move are easier due to the position of the barbell.