All of us are guilty of falling into a fitness rut at one point or another. Travel is the perfect time to give something new a try—here’s how to get started.

If you’ve been doing the same workout without results, it’s time to switch up your game. To give your muscles a different challenge, check out some fitness equipment and techniques that you may not have tried before.

Micro-loading. Those trying to break out of a fitness rut often will pile on the weight in an attempt to jump past the plateau. Instead, think small. Increase the weight by the smallest amount possible.

Steps. Whether it’s a stair machine, a hotel staircase or a fitness step, few workouts get your heart pumping like a steps routine. You’ll work your butt while burning between 500 and 700 calories an hour. No time for an hour on the stairs? Do just 20 to 30 minutes with 5- or 10-minute intervals.

Light weights, high reps. On your days off, do high-repetition sets with light weights (25 percent of the max amount you can lift once), targeting whatever muscle group is lagging. This lightweight work will increase the capillaries in muscles, allowing better oxygen and nutrient transfer to feed strength throughout the body.

Jump rope. Go old school with this exercise tool that’s still offers a serious heart-thumping workout. Lightweight enough to pack along in your luggage, the jump rope provides an intense workout. In about 30 minutes of jump roping, you can burn about 340 calories.

Stability ball. You not only can use a ball as a substitute for a weight bench, but you also can do dozens of stability-ball exercises that require just your body weight. Exercising on the ball especially targets your core—your abdominal, back, and hip muscles—as you introduce an element of balance that calls upon a strong middle section.


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From the publishers of Men’s Health