Try It: Reverse Exercises
Your muscles won't know what hit them.
If you perform strength workouts on autopilot, you need a change. To progress, you can manipulate reps, resistance, rest, or frequency. But you can also get stronger by incorporating new versions of moves you’ve already mastered. Each of the below reverse exercises proves that a change in body position can alter the way it targets the muscles.
Original move: Plank
New move: Reverse Plank Reach
The benefits: Flipping the plank over helps open the hips and shoulders, and increases the challenge on the glutes.
How to do it: Sit with knees bent and feet on the floor. Place right hand on floor behind you, fingers pointing away from body, and left elbow at hip, palm facing in. Lift hips about 3 inches off the floor (as shown). In one swift movement, drive hips up and press into tabletop position as you extend left arm straight up toward ceiling (as shown), then return to start to complete one rep. Do 30 to 45 seconds on one side, then switch sides and repeat. Complete 3 sets.
Original move: Hamstring Curl
New move: Supine Ball Hamstring Curl
The benefits: This face-up version of a traditional hamstring curl requires three types of muscle contractions (isometric, concentric, and eccentric) at different points in the movement. This can help address weakness through the hamstrings’ full range of motion.
How to do it: Lie face-up on floor with legs extended and together, heels on top of a stability ball and arms out by sides, hands at hip-level. Slowly lift hips off floor, forming a diagonal from shoulders to ankles, and bend knees, pulling ball toward you. Slowly reverse motion to return to start position. Do 2 to 3 sets of 8 to 10 reps.