SELF asked and you answered! In a recent Facebook poll, we surveyed readers to uncover your most-hated workout moves. It didn’t take long for you to chime in with your top three gym stressors. Luckily, we had Equinox trainer Mike Martin on speed dial to suggest simple solutions to your biggest complaints. And the winners are…
Move You Love to Hate: Squats
The Swap: Lower your soon-to-be-perky backside down toward a chair (above) but don’t go all the way down. Instead, stand before you come to a complete seated position. So it’s like a mini squat! For a bigger challenge, lower down using one leg.
The Expert Says: “It utilizes your glutes, hamstrings, quads and calves and takes pressure off of the knees that can make squats miserable if you’re not doing them correctly.”
Move You Love to Hate: Lunges
The Swap: Stand parallel to a step bench (or the bottom stair of a stairwell) then step up with your right leg onto the step and lift your left knee up toward your chest. Repeat on the other side.
The Expert Says: “This works your quads, glutes, hamstrings and increases stability through your foot and calf,” says Martin. “It will decrease the risk of potential injuries down the road.”
Move You Love to Hate: Burpees
The Swap: Stand tall then bend over and touch the floor reaching your hands away from your body like a Down Dog. Walk your feet forward to the inside of your hands then squat down with your knees pointed forward then stand up and repeat.
The Expert Says: “The reason burpees are such an effective exercise is because there’s a high caloric burn in a short amount of time.” This modified burpee will still result in “a strong core, shoulders, arms, triceps and hamstrings.”
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