3 Ways to Change up your Gym Routine

Have you ever gone to the gym, stayed for one hour, and not even thought about what you were doing while you were there? Chances are that if you are like the majority of the US population, this happens to you a lot. The research says that most exercisers do very similar exercise routines every time they work out (and tend to keep doing the same exercise routines for years!).

The research shows that performing the same exercises over and over is not as effective as doing new and different exercises every time you work out.

Researchers have found that if exercisers do the same exercises over time, they become very good at performing the same specific exercises and that strength does not necessarily translate into strength which can be used in daily situations. An example of this would be that a person can do “bird dog exercises” for their back every time that they go to the gym, but still be at risk for injuring their back when lifting heavy objects from the back of their car.

OK, so let’s just start doing 4-5 different exercises for each functional muscle group at the gym when we go.  But there is one small problem with this… it requires knowing many different exercises to for each muscle group to keep up the variability.

There are a few ways to fix this:

  1. Go to a class. In a class situation, the instructor will likely expose you to many different exercises for the same body part. You can slowly be exposed to new exercises and build up your repertoire over time.
  2. Get a personal trainer. With a personal trainer, you could let them know that your goal is learning a bunch of new exercises that you can keep up on your own and have more variety in your exercise routine.
  3. Try a new piece of equipment (I am recommending the TRX below).
  4. Say tuned to the next few blog where I will give you different options to challenge different functional muscle groups.

Here are a few new and different ways to challenge your abdominal muscles in new ways, which are not just your typical crunches:

TRX Crunch


TRX Pike

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Diana grew up in a small suburb north of Boston. She received her clinical doctorate degree in Physical Therapy at Boston University in 2006. Diana started practicing as a physical therapist at Massachusetts General Hospital. While at MGH, she developed a specialty in the evaluation and treatment of complex lumbopelvic dysfunction. Diana is currently practicing at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Boston where she is the Orthopedic Clinical Supervisor of the Spine program. She is presently a Boston resident and her interests outside physical therapy include cooking, walking on the Esplanade, and international travel.

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