If you want to have a truly sculpted and sleek body, be careful not to just work a muscle from one side or work the same muscles repeatedly.

When you do a typical bicep curl, for example, you work the front part of your upper arm, which is good. However, to have a truly sculpted upper arm, you need to vary the angle from which you target your upper arm muscles. Sometimes this comes from moving your arms in different patterns. Other times, you can change your hand position slightly to target different parts of the same muscle. Seemingly minor adjustments make huge differences.

It’s also a good idea to plan your workouts so that you are targeting different body parts on different days. This way, your muscles can repair themselves with time and proper nutrition. Strength training tears down muscle fibers, and your body responds to this fatigue by rebuilding with more and stronger muscle fibers. That’s one reason you can get so much done in just a quarter of an hour.

Working your muscles from every angle also helps prevent injury that could result from repetitive routines. A balanced workout will provide pain release and tension relief because it will correct body parts that are out of balance. For example, you can’t have a strong, pain-free back without strong belly muscles. That’s why you need to work abs and back, not just one or the other.

Also key: Mix it up. Your muscles have a memory, and if you do the same exercises all the time, your body and mind get used to them…and you start to burn fewer calories. When you start an aerobics class, for example, and you feel uncoordinated, that is actually a good thing. Not knowing what you are doing engages more muscles and burns more calories than doing an exercise routine that your body is accustomed to. Variety is the key to challenging your muscles. That is how you get maximum results.

I want you to get it in your exercise mindset to crave doing something different every time you exercise rather than living in an exercise rut. From medicine balls to the wall workout, interval training to power walking, you’ll be amazed at the difference you see—and feel.

Click here to buy Joel’s book “Mind Your Body.”

And for more fast ways to get in shape for summer, please see the following stories…

The 8-Hour Diet

9 New Ways to Lose the Last 10 Pounds

7 Smart Ways to Control Nighttime Eating

Can the Love Hormone Help You Lose Weight?

Check out Joel Harper’s website, or click here to buy his book, Mind Your Body: 4 Weeks to a Leaner, Healthier Life.

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