Strength training is a progressive thing: as you progress and grow stronger, the intensity and resistance of your exercises will evolve to continue to challenge you and keep those results coming. There are very specific variables that effect how hard an exercise is that you can use to increase that intensity incrementally. You can’t always just add more weight, so here are four other ways to ramp up the results of your body weight workouts.
Change the angle: The steeper the angle of your body toward your exercising muscles, the harder the exercise will be. Example: elevate your feet during push-ups to make them tougher, or place your hands on a stair to decrease the angle for an easier modification of a standard pushup.
Decrease the stability: Reducing your contact with the floor instantly works more muscles groups to keep you balanced. You can do this by lifting one foot or hand off the ground, or getting off the floor completely with an unstable surface like a bosu, a balance board, or a stability ball.
Change the speed: While strength training, slow your exercises down to increase the load on your muscles. This eliminates using momentum and elastic energy, creating more of a demand on your muscles. For cardio or continuous movements, speed them up to also increase the heart rate and build explosive strength.
Combine exercises: The more muscles you engage at once, the harder the demand on your entire body. If burpees aren’t hard enough, add push-ups (just kidding, burpees are always hard enough). Or, combine squats with shoulder presses — these are both strength moves, but doing them back to back turns them into cardio exercises, which then means you can then also change the speed to further control intensity.
Who needs to pay for a trainer? You can create your own unique workouts using any combination of these four variables to keep your exercises just as challenging even as your fitness levels increases.