Nothing wrong with doing the tried and true exercises that help you get stronger while building lean muscle. However, on occasion it’s always good to mix things up to keep your muscles guessing for continued improvements in both performance and aesthetics.
One surefire way to help break through plateaus is to try some unconventional exercises that use stability training. By incorporating the following five moves into your workout routine, you’ll be sure to fire up your muscles and work areas that might not have been targeted in the past.
Give all five a try to chisel your physique from head to toe. Just be sure to take it slow until you’re able to master the movement.
1. Foam-roller Squat
Works: Core, Legs
Stand on a foam roller with your feet hip-width apart, keeping your arches directly on the center of the roller. Extend your arms in front of you to shoulder-height.
Lower into a squat, bending your knees 90°.
Return to standing without locking your knees; maintain balance.
Perform two sets of 15 slow reps.
Tip: At the bottom of the move, squeeze through your hamstrings, glutes, and core to return to standing.
2. Flamingo Cable Row
Works: Back, Core, Legs
Stand on your left leg holding a cable handle at waist-height with your right hand.
Lean toward the cable machine, keeping your left knee soft, till your torso, right arm, and right leg are parallel to the floor. Keep your left palm on your thigh and gaze forward.
Return to standing, drawing your right elbow toward your right side while bending your right knee in front of you to hip-height.
Extend your right arm and leg back to the starting position and repeat.
Do two sets of 15 reps each leg.
Tip: Place your nonworking hand lightly on your supporting thigh during the forward lean.
3. Kneeling Bosu L-raise
Works: Shoulders, Core
Grasp the dumbbells with your left hand in front of your left thigh and your right hand at your right side. Kneel on the round side of a Bosu ball, keeping your torso tall and your shoulders in line with your hips and thighs.
Lift the left dumbbell to shoulder-height in front of you while simultaneously lifting the right dumbbell out to the right side at shoulder-height; keep both arms straight throughout.
Lower the dumbbells back to the start, then lift the right dumbbell in front of you and the left dumbbell out to the side. Do two sets of 16 reps.
Tip: Don’t sit on your heels or let the dumbbells touch your thighs during the exercise.
4. Unstable Upchop
Works: Shoulders, Core, Legs
Stand balancing on the flat side of a Bosu ball with your feet hip-width apart, holding a medicine ball in front of your thighs.
Squat down, bringing the ball slightly past the outside of your left foot.
Keeping your arms straight, stand up from the squat and twist your torso until the ball is at a 45° angle over your right shoulder. Keep your eyes on the ball.
Lower back down into a squat while again bringing the ball past your left foot, keeping your arms straight. Do two sets of 20 reps each side.