Mom swap: Ways to change up your gym routine

Apr 1, 2013 at 3:12 a.m. ET

It's not easy to stay motivated to work out, and a boring gym routine makes it even more difficult. Change up your gym routine to keep things exciting and keep you wanting to go back.

At the gym

You don't have to leave your gym to keep things new and exciting. Try a new class or fun type of workout to change things up every now and then. The next time you're there, ask a staff member at your gym if they offer any of the classes listed below, or anything like them.

At the gym

Jump rope

When was the last time you picked up a jump rope? It's not just a playground game anymore! Jumping rope is a great way to get in your cardio without facing the dreaded treadmill. It increases your strength and coordination while reducing body fat. That’s a win-win, right? Many gyms now offer classes similar to Punk Rope, a jump rope class created by Tim Haft. Check your gym schedules today!

Boot camp

Sometimes you just don't want to look at another gym machine. Search out a boot-camp style class like the UXF Ripped classes offered at New York Sports Clubs. These classes tale place on a turf floor and use training tools you don't often find in a gym, like battle ropes, truck tires and even sleds.


When you think of a ballet barre, you probably picture stick-thin women wearing tutus and toe shoes. That's not the case in a Vbarre class. Vbarre blends ballet, Pilates and resistance training to create an intense calorie-buring session like none you've experienced before.

Hit the pool

The resistance of the water creates a great opportunity to work on your core and burn calories. It's also a big help with joint and muscle pain, if you have issues in that area. Janna Lowell, water exercise instructor and author of Noodles For Dumbbells: Water Exercise, Weight Management & More, says, "Bringing your aerobic dance step routine to the water will allow for a third more calories to be burned per session compared to that same activity on land due to the special properties of water."

Talk about it!

Nervous about trying something new? It’s easier with your friends! If you’ve got a Windows Phone, create a private group for you and your besties where you can help each other track your fitness goals and set up times to try out new classes.

Skip the gym

Sometimes the best way to make a change to your workout routine is to change the place you work out. There are plenty of places outside of a regular gym where you can get your heart rate up and burn some calories.

Skip the gym

Rock climbing

Rock climbing is a fun and exciting way to exercise. According to Chris O'Connell, owner of the Boston Rock Gym, climbing is a great pastime because it works out not only your body but your mind as well. "You unlock sequences of movement and then excite them physically. Climbs that are difficult for whatever your level of fitness and expertise require focus and thought as well as power and grace to complete the climb," he said.

Trampoline park

Jumping on a trampoline is about a lot more than seeing how high you can get and how many flips you can do. Working out on a trampoline is actually a great way to get a low-impact, full-body workout and have a blast while doing it! If you're lucky enough to live next door to an indoor trampoline park, take advantage of it! Sky Zone Indoor Trampoline Park is the first all-trampoline, walled playing court, and they have locations across the country.

Hit the beach

Water is a great way to work out, and what's a better way to spend the day than hanging out on the beach? Head to your local body of water and get moving. Kim Evans, a stand-up paddleboard instructor, says exercising on the unstable platform of the paddleboard gives you an incredible workout, and it's a ton of fun. In fact, she says her class is a fun way for a group of girlfriends to spend an afternoon. "I even put together 'Bachelorettes on Boards' classes!" she added.

At home

There are days when you just can't get out of the house. This happens even more frequently if you have kids. Sometimes it's the weather or a sick child or just a lack of child care that keeps you inside, but it doesn't have to stop your workout routine. There are ways to get a workout in, even from the comfort of your own home.

At home

Workout DVDs

It's always a great idea to have a few workout DVDs at home for emergencies. Celebrity trainer Kristin McGee says workout DVDs should be easy to follow. Easy-to-follow steps, like the ones on her DVDs, are key to your confidence and feeling fabulous, both inside and out.

Streaming video

You don't have to have a workout DVD on hand to work out at home. You can stream a workout, too. SpiroFIT is a live and on-demand online fitness network. Full-length workouts range from 30 to 60 minutes, and each class is led by one of the SpiroFIT trainers. Through the network, live classes are available two days a week, and streaming classes are available anytime.

Skype training

You don't even have to go to the gym to see your trainer. Sign up with one of the many trainers who provide Skype training, like Karen Shopoff Rooff, a certified personal trainer who offers this and other online workout services. "Virtual training connects clients with specific needs or sports interest with trainers who hold specialty certifications."

Get creative

Unless you have a fully-equipped gym in your basement, working out at home means going without some of the equipment you may be used to. Get creative and find ways to get adequate exercise with what you have on hand.

Valerie Orsoni, celebrity coach and CEO of LeBootCamp, embraces the French method of exercise, which is a theory built around getting fit through your everyday chores. One of her signature moves is the Brazilian move, a way to tone your butt while you brush your teeth. To do the Brazilian, stand up straight and bend your knees slightly. Keep your abs tight and your back straight, and tilt your hips forward while contracting your glutes for a strong one-second squeeze. Finish the move by pulling your hips back, and repeat until you're done brushing.

Jaimi Ellison, president, pro elite personal trainer and nutrition consultant at Santa Cruz Core Fitness + Rehab, suggests you build an obstacle course in your living room. Ellison recommends using your coffee table for push-ups and triceps dips and your chairs for step-ups.

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