How to Modify to Reach Your Fitness Goals

Everyone has their own strengths + weaknesses in the gym, but the best part about exercising is that you are always using it to better yourself. This means that you can achieve literally any goal that you set if you work at it enough! So, don’t feel bad if you can’t do a full push-up or hold a headstand yet. Almost any exercise can be modified to a level that is comfortable for you to practice + slowly increase the intensity until you are able to hit your goal! Here are some popular fitness goals + tips for achieving them!

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PUSH-UPS

One of the great things about push-ups is that there are so many different variations to them! Traditional push-ups require a pretty decent amount of strength + endurance in tons of difference muscles, so there are many ways to build up to this go-to exercise. Once you achieve it, there are even more variations to continue challenging yourself!

#1] Wall push-ups are the first step to mastering this exercise. It is a great time to focus on proper form with a limited amount of body weight being lifted.

#2] Incline push-ups bring your body at a little bit more of an angle than the wall. They decrease the percentage of body weight that you are lifting from a normal push-up, while still giving you that proper form. The lower your hands are, the more difficult they become!

#3] Knee push-ups come after incline push-ups, because your hands will be all the way on the floor, however, bringing them onto your knees will allow you to take some of the pressures off your wrists.n

#4] Push-ups with blocks under your chest allow you to finally do your push-ups in that regular position, while working within your comfortable range of motion. As you improve, bring the blocks lower + lower until you can do it all the way down to the floor!

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PULL-UPS

Pull-ups can be a huge challenge but are simple to build + improve upon once you achieve them! Working up to pull-ups mainly involves strengthening the muscle groups [lats, deltoids, + rhomboids] you’ll need to do them. 

#1] Inverted rows will help you build that strength + work on pulling your body weight up, without the difficulty of a normal pull-up.

#2] Lateral pull-downs are a great way to simulate that pull-up motion.

#3] Straight-arm + flexed-arm hanging will utilize those muscles ++ get you used to supporting your body weight in the traditional pull-up position. Hang for as long as you can + incrementally increase your length of time.

#4] Negative pull-ups require starting at the top of that pull-up position + using your strength to lower yourself down. Lowering yourself down still requires strength in order to control yourself on the way down, but not as much as lifting all of yourself up. 

#5] Assisted pull-ups are the last step before you do those bodyweight pull-ups. The main way to do these is with a resistance band, but there are also machines specifically for this purpose. As you improve, continue lowering the resistance that is assisting you until you are doing them on your own!

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HEADSTANDS

A headstand is a pose used mostly in yoga + is sure to impress anyone. Holding a headstand requires great core strength + balance. Holding it steady takes a lot of practice, but just getting your legs up before toppling over is a challenge within itself.

#1] Dolphin pose will help you achieve proper form + get used to your upper body position without having to bring in the balance aspect yet.

#2] Half headstand on wall is a nice progression because it still uses your core way more than you might think, but gives you that extra support as you practice raising your legs.

#3] Legs bent headstand is the final progression before straightening those legs all the way up. While it still requires an immense amount of core strength, you’re keeping your legs close to you, making the balance a little easier.

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DIPS

Dips come in many different variations, but traditional dips on two parallel bars can be very difficult. They use all of your upper body muscles to lower + raise your bodyweight in midair.

#1] Bench dips work those same muscles with a little bit less intensity. Start with knees bent + when you master them, straighten your legs out.

#2] Bench dips with elevated legs work your arms even more, elevating your legs for an extra challenge. The more you elevate the legs, the more you will work!

#3] Assisted dips utilize a resistance band or a dip machine. It adds some resistance to your dips to give you the extra boost while practicing the exercise, as you continue to progress, you can make the resistance lighter + lighter. 

#4] Jumping up with negative dips lets you practice having control of your body with those dips. Jump all the way up into the top of your dip + just practice lowering your body down, nice ++ controlled.

These are just some examples of how you can achieve all of your fitness goals with simple + progressive modifications! Try them out + don’t be afraid to get creative with your modifications or variations to continue challenging yourself in new ways! 

 

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