5 Exercises You Should Be Doing (But Aren’t)

When you’re in the gym, one of the biggest mistakes is sticking with the same exercises and not switching them up. Not switching up your routine is like eating the same food every day: it’s boring and unhealthy. By trying new exercises, you target your body differently and thus get better gains. Here are some exercises to spice things up, whether you’re a noobie or a seasoned athlete.

1. Dumbbell Hex Press

Yes, the chest is considered a “mirror muscle” and it’s a common part of the body many people work on. However, there is an exception for the inner chest. Your chest consists of multiple muscles: the upper chest, middle chest, lower chest, and inner chest. Most bench presses mainly target your middle chest and not your inner chest. One of the best ways to work your inner chest is by doing hex presses, and all you need is a floor and some dumbbells.

Lie down on your back with your body straight, and hold the dumbbells vertically beside each other. The sides of the dumbbells should be touching each other right over your middle chest. Now push both dumbbells straight toward the ceiling and slowly lower. Repeat.

2. Dumbbell Figure 8

No other group of muscles is as neglected as the rotator cuffs. The rotator cuff muscles are near your shoulders and help bring your arms toward your body and away from your body. One simple way to target the rotator cuffs is with the figure 8 exercise.

To start, hold a two to three-pound dumbbell in each hand. Curl your arms to a 90-degree angle and keep your elbows close to your ribcage the whole time. Move your forearms in a circular motion, with your hands creating the outline of the number 8.

3. One-Arm Plank

Most crunches mainly work your abs. Why stick with crunches when you can exercise your whole core in one move? One-arm planks work your whole core—the belt of muscles that are wrapped around your waist. That’s because your core is designed to resist rotation. When you’re in a one-arm plank, you have to prevent your hips from dipping, which in return, will fire up your entire core.

To do a one-arm plank, get into a plank position with only one arm supporting your body. To take this exercise to the next level, try doing it with only one arm and one leg. Make sure the arm supporting your body is on the opposite side of the supporting leg.

4. Hamstring Stability Ball Curl

Your hamstrings help extend your hips and also help curl your knee. To start this exercise, lie flat on the floor, face up, and place the heels of your feet on the stability ball. Your feet should be right next to each other.

Push your hips up, and don’t let them sag. Now, using both legs, curl the ball toward your rear, bring the ball back to its starting point, and repeat.

5. Dumbbell Zottman Curl

Think bicep curls are the best exercise for your biceps? Think again. Bicep curls only target one of the biceps muscles, whereas zottman curls target both biceps. To do a zottman curl, begin by doing a bicep curl with your palms up.

Once the dumbbells are near your shoulders, twist your palms so they face away from your body. Twist your palms as you lower the dumbbells. Twist your palms toward you again at the bottom and repeat.

Stepping Up Your Gym Game

By including the above exercises in your workout, you save more time and target muscles that are commonly ignored. Get to liftin’ and feel the burn!

Looking for more ways to break a sweat? Check out, “5 Affordable and Surprisingly Fun Exercise Equipment.”

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