Obstacles Can Improve Workouts
There are multiple kinds of obstacles in our everyday life as well as in our fitness. Roadblocks and obstacles are hiding around each corner trying to prevent us from reaching our goals. This may include fast food, or sweets, or TV, or anything else that distracts us from what it takes to reach our goals. What obstacles can we use to our advantage?
In the gym, think of objects like plyo or agility boxes, stacks of mats, or hurdles. Outside of the gym think about lakes, rivers, fallen trees, benches, or hills. All of these are obstacles that can increase the intensity of our exercise and help maximize our workout.
- Agility Box – Most local gyms have either agility or plyometric boxes. They are used for a multitude of exercises such as step ups, squats or dynamic jumping sessions. Use them as an obstacle to incorporate dynamic movements like high knees or quick agility box step up and overs can help elevate heart rates while keeping our exercise plan changing.
- Hurdles – Depending on the height of the hurdles, both dynamic and static exercises can be done. Use them to accomplish explosive movements either up and down or laterally, as well as speed and quick reactions can give workouts a different spin. If you are using track hurdles they can be used to squat and duck under or used to slowly lift our legs and stretch over the top. These can be great additions to our stretching routines.
- Trees – If you spend any time trail running, you know all about nature’s own obstacles. If you have not tried trail running and are interested in a new way of running outside, be on the lookout for fallen trees and branches throughout your run. They can provide a valuable change up to your normal run and allow for increase agility by exploding up and over fallen trees.
- Hills – Mother nature created other obstacles that can provide extra resistance and increase the intensity of our training. Hill running can increase the focus on different aspects of our lower body muscles. Some of these areas may get overlooked during on a normal leg day. Running or walking from flat surface to an incline, and then decline back to flat can create a nice interval training session that can help burn a large number of calories.
- Lakes/Rivers – There is no need to be triathlon runner or Spartan runner to incorporate bodies of water as obstacles into our exercise. The water can change the resistance to increase the intensity of the exercise. Also consider incorporating swimming into your run will target different muscle groups and create a full body burn that can produce some serious results.
Remember, obstacles do not block the path, they are the path.