When it comes to home workouts, one common issue that many people face as they progress is hitting the dreaded plateau. The problem here tends to be that you may simply not have the equipment or weights available at your home-gym to fully challenge your muscles.
And, without continued overload of some variety, progress will come to an abrupt halt as your body get used to the workouts and exercises. Eventually frustration will set in as you won’t get any more results and then you will, like over 78% of people who start a new home workout program, STOP completely!
In order to overcome this issue, you simply need to find alternate and powerful workout and exercise techniques that will continue to challenge your body yet does not require any more equipment or weights.
The great news is that there are many of these techniques and if you have ever done any of our 6WeekSixPack Challenges you will have experienced them in full force and no doubt have seen the change they can make to your body.
Let’s take a quick look into four of these powerful home workout techniques that will make sure you bust through any plateau you face.
The first great way to kick your training up a notch is to add in some half reps. To perform this protocol, you’ll move all the way through the full range of motion of a movement, but then rather than coming all the way to the top, you’ll come halfway up, take a brief pause, and then go all the way down.
From there, you can then push up through the full rep on the next one. Continue alternating a half rep with a full rep and you’ll quickly see the effectiveness of this protocol.
This technique works especially well for isolation based movements such as bicep curls and lateral raises, however can certainly be done on more compound exercises like bench press or lunges.
Superset training is another great element to incorporate into your home workout sessions. When most people think about superset training, they tend to think about moving from one exercise for one muscle group to another for a different muscle group.
Very often, an upper and lower move are stacked next to each other.
Not with this technique.
Instead, you’ll be performing two moves for the same muscle group, one right after the other. Try and structure it so they are similar movement patterns, but from a slightly different angle.
So for instance, you might do a set of walking lunges and then move into a step-up.
Or, you could do a set of chest presses and then drop into high-rep push-ups.
Structuring the set-up in this manner will train your body how to push through high levels of fatigue and you’ll increase your ability to clear away lactic acid, therefore reducing the level of fatigue you experience.
Just be sure as you execute this protocol you maintain good form in that second exercise. Far too many people let their form slip since they’re reaching the state of fatigue. Of particular importance is watching how the knees are moving over the toes as you do any lunges, squats, or related movements. Don’t ever allow them to move inwards or outwards over the toes or it’ll only be a matter of time before you’re side-lined with an injury.
Likewise, when doing upper body moves, make sure your keep your abs tight the entire time to avoid letting a sway develop in the lower back.
Moving on, plyometrics can add an interesting element to any workout program and further help increase the intensity up a notch.
You can choose which order you structure the two moves – strength based followed by plyometric or vice versa depending on which exercise you want to experience the best results with.
Put the focus move first so you can do it when you’re most energized. Good set-up examples here could be a regular squat followed by a jump squat or a walking lunge followed by a burpee.
This pairing is going to be great for ensuring all areas of your fitness get stimulated as you’ll work your strength on the regular move and hit the speed and power element during the plyometric movement.
Keep in mind with this technique that plyometrics can be very draining, so you’ll want to avoid performing these too frequently throughout the training week.
Finally, the last technique that you may wish to consider as you’re doing your workouts and hitting the frustrating plateau is the pause technique.
This one is similar to half reps only this time, on your second last rep to finish, you’ll pause at the halfway point for 3-5 seconds. This pause dramatically increase the total time under tension for the muscle tissue and pushing through the last part of that rep plus the final rep of the set will significantly help you boost your total strength generation ability.
If at first you find that after taking the pause rep you can’t do the final rep, drop the weight immediately and perform the last rep with that. Over time, if you keep working at it, you’ll be able to use the heavier weight and push through the set in its entirety.
So there you have a few of the best techniques for jump-starting a stagnant home workout session.
As someone doing home workouts, you do need to be more creative with the process than someone who’s doing gym workouts since you do have that equipment limitation. The benefit to this however is that with a wide variety of different techniques incorporated in, you may actually see a more comprehensive increase in your fitness level because of it and also build a more functional and healthy body.
Also remember not to try all these techniques at once, but rather, cycle through them over time, doing one for a period of a week or two and then trying another to keep your workouts interesting and your body always guessing as to what’s coming next.
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