So, you’ just started a new exercise routine, and you’re curious: is it okay to mix things up and change the order of exercises in your workout routine? Well, the short answer is yes, you can. But let’s break it down a bit.
What are a couple good reasons why you might want to change the order of exercises in your workout?
1. Personal Preference
Sometimes, you just don’t like starting with a particular exercise. Maybe it feels like a real drag to kick off your workout with it. If that’s the case, switch things around. Starting with something you enjoy can give you that extra push to get moving.
2. Equipment Hogging Dilemma
Picture this: you’re at the gym, and the machine or equipment you need for the next exercise is occupied by someone else. Now you’re faced with two choices. You can either twiddle your thumbs and wait it out, or you can change the order of exercises and come back to it later. Changing the order is a smart move here, especially if the wait time is substantial.
The Logic Behind Exercise Order
Exercise routines usually have an order for a reason, and it’s not just random. The key reason behind it is to put the more challenging and technically demanding exercises at the beginning. These are often the big moves that work multiple muscle groups at once, like squats, deadlifts, chest presses, pull-ups, or rows.
The idea is to hit these when you’re fresh and full of energy. You can pay close attention to your form and technique and push yourself appropriately. As you progress through the workout, you’ll find more isolated exercises like arm workouts, core exercises, and some cardio moves.
As a coach, we will also program exercises earlier in the workout that target important areas of focus. If building core strength is a big priority to reduce lower back pain or improve performance for an athletic event, then I will program those exercises in the beginning when you have your best energy and focus.
The later exercises are typically less technical and demanding. They require less focus on form because they’re more isolated movements. So, if your form gets a bit sloppy when you’re tired, the risk of injury is lower. These exercises include things like bicep curls, tricep extensions, or certain cardio activities.
Another reason for sticking to a specific exercise order is to control the intensity of your workout. By mixing in different muscle groups and exercises, you give specific muscles a break while working others. It prevents overloading one muscle group and keeps your workout fresh and efficient.
When It’s Okay to Change the Order
When is it okay to change the order of your exercises? There are two main scenarios.
First, when you need a boost of motivation, feel free to put your favorite exercise first.
Second, if someone’s hogging the equipment you need at the gym, don’t hesitate to switch things up to work around that limitation.
Remember, the most crucial aspect is completing your workout consistently. The specific order is important, but it’s not set in stone. So, whether you’re a newbie or a seasoned pro, feel free to adapt your routine as needed. As long as you’re staying active and getting those exercises done, you’re on the right track to a healthier you.
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