Got an injury? Don’t have the right equipment for a certain exercise? No worries! Here’s how to switch things up so you can keep training.
Ask yourself: what are the main muscles I’ll be using?
If you don’t have the right piece of equipment, the first thing to do is check what the main muscle group is you’d be working in a certain exercise. You can do this by looking up the 12WBT Exercise Index, which has a library of more than 270 exercises. That way you’ll be able to choose alternative exercises that also use that same muscle group.
Here are some examples:
- At home: The exercise is tricep kickbacks with a dumbbell, but you don’t have one. As the exercise is focused on triceps, you can switch it with tricep dips or tricep push-ups.
- At the gym: Your program calls for some serious thigh and booty work with squats. No squat rack? Use the Smith Machine instead. Neither of them free? Do free-standing squats, holding dumbbells in each hand.
It’s all about making modifications that work for you.
Also read: How to Avoid Weight Gain this Winter
Get expert 12WBT support
When you join 12WBT you’ll have access to our rock-star Support Crew. We have an expert team of trainers, dietitans, running experts and more on our team, and they really are the best of the best. If you’re injured or need advice on finding a different piece of equipment, jump in the 12WBT Member Zone, ask your question and the Support Crew will share their expert knowledge and give you guidance on what to do next. It’s that easy!
The 12WBT Member Zone is also a great place to find support and tips or advice from your teammates. After all, many other 12WBTers may have or had the same issue or injury as you.
Gym-goer? Get to know it!
The gym can be a minefield, especially when you’re just starting out. You might feel like you stick out like a sore thumb, but trust us – other gym-goers are too busy working on themselves to worry about what you’re up to!
But let’s say you’re at the gym and a bit confused, or you can’t find the machine you’re looking for. Here’s what you can do.
Check out the gym machines: Often the machines tell you exactly what they’re intended for. Look closely – they’ll usually have descriptions of different exercises that can be performed on them and which muscle groups they work.
Ask the gym staff: When in doubt, ask for help! Ask the reception desk or look for a trainer on the floor, and they should be happy to help. A lot of gyms hold introductory courses on the machines to familiarise you with them, too.
Use Your 12WBT Exercise Index: We’ve created the Exercise Index to guide you through more than 270 exercises. Watch the videos and read Mish’s tips on how to complete each one and how to work those gym machines! You can even take your smartphone or tablet with you to the gym to look them up on the go.
No, we’re not talking about being able to touch your toes or do the splits (although if you can do that, great!), we’re talking about being ready and willing to change up your exercises if you need to. Here are a couple of extra things you could try…
Get a training partner: Find someone you can rely on, who wants to make a difference to their training too and who shares your goals and aspirations. Two heads are better than one, especially when it comes to switching up exercises. There’s also safety in numbers if you’re feeling daunted at the gym. Together the two of you can try different exercises, or show each other ones you might not have come across before.
Work In: ‘Working in’ with people using the same equipment as you can keep you energised and focused. What’s working in exactly? It means sharing a piece of gym equipment with someone else, usually alternating sets on an exercise machine or free weights. To do this you might need to switch up the order of your specific exercises, but they say variety is the spice of life, right?! Sometimes you need to work in when someone is already using the equipment you want to use. All you need to do is ask, “Mind if I work in with you?” or, “Mind if I do a set between yours?”
Injured? Use your rehab exercises as your workout
It’s important not to get caught up in thinking that rehab exercises aren’t proper training or are poor substitutes for the ‘real’ exercises in a prescribed plan. They are absolutely not!
If you’ve been given rehab exercises, you MUST do them. They need to be done properly and consistently in order for you to make a successful recovery.
Good pain vs. bad pain
Not sure if you’re meant to be feeling that pain you’re experiencing? It may simply be from doing something you’ve never done before or from working muscles that have been dormant for far too long! Then again, it might be a sign of injury. Find out how to tell the difference between good and bad pain.
When you join 12WBT you’ll have access to a whole team of experts and Support Crew who can help if you’re injured or need to switch out some exercises. Sign up today!