Should I be switching up my workout routine?
Chris Hays, Mount Auburn Club Fitness Department Manager and Certified Personal Trainer, brings over ten years experience to his craft. He believes in continuous learning and following today's
Why? Our bodies move in three different movement planes: sagittal, frontal, and transverse. The Sagittal Plane refers to movements like walking forward and backward, squatting, and doing bicep curls. The Frontal Plane references movements such as jumping jacks or pressing overhead. Lastly, the Transverse plane relates to movements that involve rotation. Too little or too much movement within any one of these planes and neglecting a plane altogether will increase your risk of injury.
As humans age, we move considerably less. The less you move, the less exposure to these movement planes you get. Most of us can relate to the old saying that, “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” And this is absolutely true when it comes to movement and mobility/flexibility. If you suffer from stiff joints and muscles, the antidote is movement – and good movement to boot.
If you spend too much time in any one movement plane, you perform a set of exercises too frequently, and you do not change those movement patterns among exercises, you will consistently neglect all other movements and stagnation will occur within the joints and muscles. That’s when you get the feeling of stiffness.
Another great reason to keep changing your exercises is resiliency. You’re always going to be weaker in areas you neglect to train. Training with a multitude of exercises, and consistently working out year after year, exposes you to new exercises and will help you build the resiliency you need to mitigate injuries.
You should change your workout routine every 6 weeks (minimum) to 8 weeks (maximum). Any sooner than 6 weeks will inhibit your ability to adapt to the demands you’re placing on your body. Any longer than 6-8 weeks will cause your muscles to adapt so well to the movements that they no longer elicit adaptations. You also risk injuring muscles from the over-use.