By Kimberly Duke,
Core Performance Fitness
It’s easy to get comfortable with a tried-and-true workout routine. But if it’s results you want, you’ll need to shake things up occasionally. “Changing your routine around every 4 to 6 weeks keeps muscles challenged so you continue to see results,” says Tom Holland, MS, CSCS, author of Beat the Gym (William Morrow, 2011). Swap out your regular exercises with these moves to get more bang for your workout buck. Each week we’ll feature one new exercise you need to be doing. Start with 2 sets and work up to 3 when it feels easy.
3. Squat jumps
(Works: legs, core, butt)
What you need: a forgiving landing surface (a rubber mat or grass field)
How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart; begin to lower yourself towards the ground until your heels start to lift off the floor, keeping your back flat and eyes straight ahead. Pause only briefly at the bottom of this phase and then jump up quickly, fully extending your legs, then land softly on your mid-foot and roll back towards your heels. Keep your abdominals engaged and your back straight throughout the movement. Start with small jumps for 10 to 15 reps.
Why you need it: As we age we tend to do fewer activities quickly, which results in diminishing fast-twitch muscles fibers, says Holland. This exercise uses those fibers and keeps them functioning.