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    Includes Expert Content
    Functional Exercises
    Tomato05 posted:
    I've decided to include more functional type exercises in my strength routine. Previously, I would just power my way through my weight lifting - lifting fairly heavy (for me), a lot of static exercises.

    I now try to include more cable exercises, squatting and balance exercises on the bosu ball, lunges, arm rows while doing a bridge, push ups, etc. That means of course not using such heavy weights for these exercises (like with the cables).

    I am hoping to have a more balanced routine by doing this. Still, I cannot help feeling that I don't gain strength like before - it feels almost like slacking!

    Do you think it is more balanced what I'm doing now? I now do about 3 or 4 of my "old" static exercises (dumbbells, bars or machines) and 3 or 4 functional exercises (often using only body weight) per session.
    Rich Weil, MEd, CDE responded:
    I recommend functional exercises all the time. I think you've planned a good balance and you may find changes to your physique as a result.
    1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on responded:

    I understand what you mean, when i go heavy for a month or so and then switch my routine up, it does feel like slacking. Body weight exercises can be some of the most effective muscle builders out there. One way to get a better "pump" is to increase your rep count as well. So if you are doing a lighter weight, go for 15 reps or so. It puts a different strain on your muscle, more endurance versus force. I try to change my work outs up every month or so just to stay motivated and hopefully prevent a plateau...which i may have hit Looks like i need to switch it up again.

    Best of luck!
    Tomato05 replied to 1nt3rnalc0mbu5t1on's response:
    Thanks for that, int3rnalc0mbu5t1on!

    Yes, I am trying to make peace with the lighter weights, and I try to keep in mind that they exercise muscles in a different way - as when using cable exercises.

    I'll try to increase the reps, and even just doing them very slowly also taxes the muscle more.

    In fact, I made the weigh too high on one of the cable exercises when trying to do chest presses and hurt a biceps/shoulder muscle, which is now very slow to recover!

    It's good that you change your routine regularly - I am guilty of getting into my comfort zone/rut and linger there.

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