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Make it Tougher with Tempo Changes

Hi, it’s Jennifer. Today I want to talk about ways to make an exercise harder, that aren’t necessarily just increasing the weight of something or the number of repetition to do.

So we’re going to use a squat as an example. Obviously, if you’re doing squats, and let’s say, you’re traveling and you don’t have access to the normal gym equipment you usually use. Or you work out at home, and you’ve maxed out what you’ve got at home. One thing that people don’t often think about is changing the tempo or the pace of the movement you’re doing.

So for example, let’s say this is the biggest weight I’ve got for my squat. And I can do tons of repetitions, without too much of an issue. So instead of doing 100, squats, one thing you can do is slow it down. Instead of doing your normal tempo there, try and counting to five on the way down. And then coming back. So that’s increasing the time, under tension for your muscles and tendons.

You can also play around with pausing at the bottom and holding the challenging position of the exercise. And then coming up.

Instead of slowing it down, you could work on speeding it up. So introducing like a speed and power component to it. You want to be careful that you don’t get sloppy with your form here. But if you normally kind of move at a certain pace, set a timer and see how many repetitions you can get through with good form.

So play around with slowing things down, pausing and speeding things up. And you might find that it doesn’t even take as many repetitions as you normally do, to feel much more tired. Because you’re changing the time that your muscles are having to work through that motion or you’re changing the speed and power demand. So thanks for tuning in. Give it a shot and let us know what you think.

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Here at Peak Endurance Performance & Physical Therapy we help active adults in the Madison Area get back to the activities they love without pain or limitations. We see people of all ages, ability levels, and individuals trying to get back to a multitude of movements including: getting back into running, women postpartum, CrossFit athletes, climbers, gymnasts, wrestlers, overhead athletes, and your recreational weekend warrior. If you’re looking to get back to the activities that give you meaning, relieve stress, and make you feel like you again, feel free to reach out below and we’ll see if we’re the right fit for you.