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Hack Your
Workout

Exercise ruts happen. And letís face it, they happen often. Here are nine ways to hack your regimen in order to curb the monotony and save your sanity.

Keep The Body Guessing

One of the easiest ways to switch things up is to perform your workout routine in reverse order. Normally start with squats? Save those for last and begin with push-ups. The simple nature of breaking your pattern will automatically make things feel brand new--for both your brain and your muscles.

Give Food Some Thought

Contrary to popular belief, green juice does not solve all of lifeís problems. In fact, some of the things you think you should be eating pre-and post-workout may actually be cramping your style. Watch this quick video to see some simple food swaps thatíll make your exercise even more effective. (Hint: Protein is key.)

Ditch the Dumbbells

Those 3 lb. weights that are collecting dust in the basement? Itís finally time to send them to the ďYard SaleĒ bin. The newest trend in weight lifting is the kettlebell. Found at most gyms nationwide, this cast iron ball with a handle on top is used to combine cardio and strength training. In other words: Youíre more likely to create definition and tone, rather than simply bulk up. See how itís done.

Try the New Bikram

Bikram (or ďhotĒ) yoga is cathartically detoxifying--as in, youíll literally sweat everything out of your system. But if you canít take the sweltering temps and nose-wrinkling odors, thereís a new option: Modo yoga, an up-and-coming Bikram offshoot where the temp is only 95 degrees (as opposed to Bikramís 105).

Bring Your Workout Home

Want to know a secret weapon for squeezing in some cardio? Exercise equipment you can hide in your coat closet. This collapsible stationary bike is great for those mornings when you just canít make it all the way to the gym. To fold it down, just pull the pin in the middle and draw the two ends together.

Pay Attention to Sugar

Those power bars you think are so great for you? Turns out they have about 20 grams of sugar. Yikes. Instead, try stocking-up on bars that are low in sugars and fat or make your own using this recipe.

Sneak It In

You donít have to be at gym to get in a workout. Subtly work those gams while waiting in line at coffeehouse by doing a few coffee-line calf-raises. Stand on your tippy toes, then drop and repeat. Itíll make you feel better about those extra latte calories.

Get More Bang For Your Butt

That machine at the gym that you think is totally working your hamstringsÖwell, itís actually less effective than a simple squat. Hereís why: Squats are a compound exercise, meaning they work multiple muscle groups, whereas most machines are meant to target only one area. To save time and maximize your workout, try opting for compound moves like pull-ups, lunges and our favorite: the ASAP move.

Jump Into Action

Instead of your fourth run of the week, invest in a jump rope. Youíll experience the same cardio vascular benefits, but it will also work your shoulders, arms and back. Plus, once you get the technique down, we bet youíll look pretty cool doing it.