Could your workout routine use some revamping? When it comes to designing a fitness program, we’re all a little guilty of sticking with what feels safe, and even a little easy. After all, when you’re well-versed in your workout it helps speed up your session. And although this is a comfortable fitness format to follow, ultimately it will rob you of real results.

Practicing the same familiar fitness moves for every workout bores the brain and causes plateaus in physical progress. Just as eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich would grow tiresome day after day, so does the same stale workout. Think of your muscles as having toning taste buds that crave an array of ever-changing fitness flavors to excite and engage the body.

One of the best ways to spice up your workout program is to take basic fitness moves, such as the biceps curl or squat, and mix in a modification. This enables your brain and body to continue guessing and growing.

The following exercises are complex in that they work multiple muscle groups simultaneously. This promotes a greater caloric burn, improves coordination, enhances the mind/body connection, and shortens the total length of your workout by condensing several exercises into a one-and-done activity.

Keep your fitness routine fresh by spicing it up when you can. Here are some suggestions to revive your worn-out workout.

A buffed-up biceps curl

Variation 1: Reverse lunge curl

  • Start with a weight in each hand, resting at your sides. Take a step back with your right leg into a reverse lunge. Your front knee should be stacked over your ankle and back knee below hip.
  • Now push through your front heel to stand while bringing your right leg up. As you lift this leg, pull the weights up to perform a biceps curl. Lower the weights back down as you step back once more into a reverse lunge. Repeat 10 times before switching to the opposite leg.
Reverse lunge curl
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Reverse lunge curl

Variation 2: Biceps curl shoulder press

  • Hold a weight in each hand with palms facing inward. Stand tall with shoulders back, elbows tucked against ribs, and core muscles engaged.
  • Pull the weight up into a biceps curl then extend the weights overhead into a shoulder press. Return the weights back down to the starting stance. Repeat 10 times.

Switched-up squat

Variation 1: Squat press

  • Hold your free weights at shoulder height with palms facing inward. With your body weight in your heels, hinge back at your hips and lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Simultaneously push up through your heels and press the weights up toward the ceiling. Then lower the weights back down to your shoulders. Repeat 10 times.
Squat press
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Squat press

Variation 2: Knee-to-feet squat

  • Using a yoga mat or carpet, begin on your knees. Your thighs should be parallel and shoulders stacked over hips. Pull your right leg forward and plant your right heel on the floor, then repeat the same movement on your left leg. Avoid shifting your upper body too much during this kneeling to squatting transition.
  • Hold your squat for two counts, then, in a controlled motion, lower your left knee down followed by your right to return to the starting stance. Repeat this sequence eight times.
Knee-to-feet squat
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Knee-to-feet squat

* If you suffer from sore knees, skip this exercise and substitute with a standard squat, instead.

A leaner lunge

Variation 1: Curtsy lunge

  • Stand tall with feet shoulder-width apart. Take a large diagonal step back with your right leg and lower into a lunge.
  • Push through your left heel to return to center, then take a diagonal step back with your left leg. Continue this alternating lunge sequence 16 times (eight per side).
Curtsy lunge
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Curtsy lunge

Variation 2: Lunge pulse

  • Start in a stationary lunge position with your front knee over your ankle and back knee under your hip. Your knees should be bent at a 90-degree angle and shoulders aligned above hips.
  • Keep your feet in place as you move your body up and down into a lunge five times. On the fifth count hold down for five seconds. Repeat three times then switch legs.
Lunge pulse
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Lunge pulse

Powered-up plank

Variation 1: Mountain climbers

  • From a hand-dominant plank position, briskly drive your knees up toward your chest. Try to avoid moving your upper body. Perform for 30-45 seconds.
Mountain climbers
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Mountain climbers

Variation 2: Shifting plank

  • From a forearm-dominant plank, use the balls of your feet to shift your body weight slightly forward then back into place. The majority of your movement should stem from your feet and shoulders. Repeat this see-saw motion for 30 seconds.
Shifting plank
Courtesy of Ashley Greenblatt
Shifting plank

Ashley Blake Greenblatt is a certified personal trainer and wellness coach in South Jersey. To learn more about her virtual training program, go to ashleyblakefitness.com.