Are you stuck in a rut when it comes to your exercise routine?

Are you stuck in a rut when it comes to your exercise routine?
It is easy to come into the gym and do the same thing day after day after day. This is not only boring, it also is not allowing you to have the full benefits of a good workout.  
The next time you work out, try one or more of the following tips.
People tend to come to the gym at the same time and see the same people so they can talk and do what is familiar.  Next time you come to the gym, watch the clock, and only allow for 60 second rest between sets so that you are working hard the whole time you are here.
This also adds a bit of a cardiovascular workout to a mostly strength routine, which will make your workout more well rounded.
If you do not want to rest for the full 60 seconds, add in some jumping jacks, sprints or other cardio in between your strength sets.
Rather than always doing isotonic exercises (constant motion), do a few isometric (hold) exercises.  The roman chair is a simple isometric exercise. Sit with your back against the wall and slowly slide down until you are in a squat and hold. Start with a 30 second hold and work your way up from there. The longer you hold, the more your strength and muscular endurance will increase.
Work on your stability.  If you only do strength training on the machines, you are losing an important component of resistance training. Lifting free weights makes you stabilize, thus utilizing more muscle groups and burning more calories.
This same principle works on body weight exercises such as squats and pushups. This is not to say there is not a place for the machines. It is just a good idea to switch things up every once in a while.
Train one side at a time so that your dominant side does not always take over. Using just one side is going to help balance out your strength and muscular development.
Add some box jumps to your workout. Any movement that is explosive is going to increase the growth in your fast twitch muscle fibers, which give you powerful quick movements. Studies have shown recently that fast twitch muscles also have a greater growth potential than slow twitch muscle fibers.
So if you are bored at the gym and dreading another workout of the same old same old, try and add in one of the above suggestions every week. You might find that you are getting stronger faster.

Candace Davidson is the Wellness Director at The McPherson Family YMCA.