Life

Fitness Trainers Swear By These Easy But Genius Exercise Hacks

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

by Rachel Bar-Gadda

Whether it’s the weekend, a bitterly cold morning, or a warm, sunny morning when you’d rather be doing anything else in the world, finding the motivation to work out can be a bigger challenge than actually working out. After you’ve committed to a fitness routine and purchased the best pair of sneakers for your favorite activity, what more can you do to ensure you stick to your goals? The easy answer is: ask a fitness expert how they manage to keep their routine consistent. I reached out to several fitness trainers who swear by these easy but genius exercise hacks. After finding out their workout secrets, you can also benefit from their clever tips and tricks.

Sometimes the best workout tips are obvious (once you hear them). A cute workout outfit that’s functional, stylish, and doesn’t break the bank is a great exercise motivator, as is placing a quality yoga mattress in a space where you can always spot it so that you remember to take time out for yourself. Other tips, like the importance of strengthening your grip to help support all of your workouts, may be less known but can make a world of difference in the results you get. If you’re looking for ways to up your workout game, get more inspired, and stick to a routine, don’t miss out on these expert-approved exercise hacks and products that can help.

1

Keep A Fitness Journal For Faster Progress

Another clever hack Martin recommends to empower your exercise practice is to use this fitness and nutrition journal. “Log your diets, workouts, and activities in a journal and track your fitness journey,” Martin says. “You can write down calories burned, days of your training, or even your food intake.” The journal gives you over two months of tracking time, all of which helps you to reach your goals more quickly. There are even guidelines included from showing you muscle group exercises to giving you nutritional tips.

2

Invest In Cool Workout Clothes To Help You Get Motivated To Workout

One great way to jumpstart any gym practice is to invest in some cool clothing, like these high waist yoga pants. "When you wear something nice, it makes you feel more positive,” recommends Efrain Martin, fitness and health editor at Mantelligence. “Get yourself a pair of workout clothes that makes you feel good about yourself. [...] This will get you motivated to work out regularly."

These comfortable yoga pants come in over 30 different colors and patterns with fun features like side pockets and a nifty hidden inner pocket for your keys or credit cards.

  • Sizes: X-Small – 3X-Large
  • Colors: 32

3

A Stylish Sports Bra To Get You On The Track With Confidence

This sports bra features a stylish criss-cross back and provides medium support for activities ranging from running to yoga. It features a low scoop neck in front and even has removable cups to fully customize for your comfort. The sweat-wicking fabric consists of both nylon and spandex and promises to keep you cool and dry so you can hit the coffee shop in style post-workout.

  • Sizes: X-Small – 3X-Large
  • Colors: 46

4

Switch Things Up To Have Fun While Burning Calories

"If you are bored from doing repetitive workouts, try doing fun activities that will get you burning up calories,” Martin recommends. “If you have space in your backyard, you can try slacklining or throw some frisbee if you have your friends over." Martin suggests this frisbee that is the official exclusive disc of the USA Ultimate Championship Series. It comes in 16 different colors from blue sparkle to red to even a nite glo version so you don’t have to stop once the sun goes down.

5

Improve Your Forearm Strength & Grip Strength With This Wrist Roller

"Although it's not the most common thing to look at when trying to build strength and fitness, forearm and grip strength have huge positive crossovers into many different elements of working out,” Brett Durney, co-founder, personal trainer, and running coach at Fitness Lab, tells Bustle. “Whether that's using a rowing machine for a five-kilometer row OR lifting a personal best on a deadlift, your grip strength is essential to perform these well. By using a simple product” – Durney recommends this wrist roller – “you can really improve your overall strength in both forearm and grip with relative ease and from the comfort of your own home. You can easily transport the devices with you to the gym also if you prefer to keep home as home and gym as gym!"

This solid iron wrist roller features a non-slip grip, can work your wrist strength from multiple angles, and will handle anywhere from 15 to 400 pounds of force.

6

Increase Your Glute Strength & Stability Using Glute Bands

Getting stronger glutes has become a priority for a lot of fitness enthusiasts and Durney recommends using this set of glute bands to build lower body strength. “[...] these are incredibly good at building strength and stability in the glutes and, furthermore, are incredibly versatile and can be used for other exercises including core exercise and upper body/shoulder exercises,” Durney says. A set with multiple resistance levels is at the top of his must-have list because it can be used at home or outside as easily as taken to the gym. This pick comes with five bands made of non-slip fabric and features three different resistance levels (light, medium, and heavy).

7

Enhance Your Aerobic Fitness Levels With A Jump Rope

"If you are looking to improve your overall aerobic fitness levels and indeed some elements of your anaerobic fitness levels, a skipping rope can go a really long way and can be an incredible investment/hack,” Durney says. “Again, these can be used in the gym, outside, or in the home, providing you with flexibility. They also travel very easily and can be great for working out whilst traveling.” Durney even provides some additional pro tips: “Performing either longer slowing skipping for aerobic fitness improvements OR interval skipping for a more anaerobic approach is a good way to start. You can also incorporate the skipping rope as a part of a larger circuit if desired and depending on goals."

This sturdy but lightweight jump rope has non-slip handles for a steady grip and allows you to adjust the length, so you can optimize every workout.

8

Straighten Your Spine And Strengthen Your Core With A Posture Corrector

If you’re feeling like your back is giving you problems post-workout (or maybe you feel perpetually slumped from too much time at the computer) Michael Garrico, co-founder and marketing director at TotalShape, recommends this posture corrector to help set you straight. It’s an adjustable back brace that alleviates back, neck, shoulder, and clavicle pain by taking the pressure off your upper spine. “Simply by paying attention to your posture, you can keep your core engaged all day,” Garrico says. “Maintain a straight spine. Your core will compliment you since you appear to be steady and confident."

9

Be Strategic About Where You Store Your Yoga Mat To Encourage Working Out

Sometimes all it takes is putting workout gear in your literal path to remind you it exists and to then encourage you to put it to use. "Place a yoga mat in a place you will see it so you are more likely to work out," Kari Pearce, CrossFit athlete, personal trainer, and founder of PowerAbs, tells Bustle. She recommends this yoga mat as a perfect option. It’s made with a generous half-inch thickness to help absorb shock and offer support to joints. It even includes elastic straps to help both transport and store it away neatly.

10

Stay Hydrated More Easily Using This Stylish Water Bottle

A cornerstone of all exercise regimes is keeping yourself well hydrated, though it can feel annoyingly difficult to do so. "Keep a water bottle with you throughout the day so you are staying hydrated,” Pearce says. “Having a fun one makes it easier!” She suggests this ultra-stylish, 32-ounce water bottle that not only features gorgeous colors in a gradient ombre, design but also serves to motivate you by including time markers to help you meet your hydration goals.

11

Easily Stick To A Routine With A Band Conditioning Set

"Follow a program so you don’t have to think about what you are going to do that day and can just get after it,” Pearce says. She recommends regularly incorporating this 5-band conditioning set into workouts as it comes with a ton of different ways to boost your fitness levels. The set includes five bands in various resistance levels, two handles for upper body and core workouts, two ankle straps for lower body workouts, and even a door anchor. It also includes a storage bag so you can take this set on the road.

12

Let This Deck Of Cards Determine Your Workout

These workout cards provide another great tool that will help you follow a set workout program without having to think too much. The pack includes 50 large and sturdy cards and each one features a different exercise. Shuffle them and pick one at random, or use them to create your own customized workout circuit. Choose from a number of specific types of exercise such as bodyweight workouts, yoga, pilates, or strengthening with dumbbells.

13

Get Strength Training And Cardio With Affordable Gliding Discs

For a genius hack on getting a great workout that won’t break the bank, Helen M. Ryan, a certified personal trainer at Real World Weight Loss, recommends these gliding discs for both strength training and cardio. “It's the all-in-one perfect piece of budget fitness equipment,” Ryan says. “Strengthen and tone your legs, glutes, hamstrings, inner thighs, core, arms, chest, and shoulders by doing fun moves that get your heart rate up."

These double-sided discs cost less than $15 and work on all types of floor surfaces. They’re available in five shades like bright pink and green.

14

Tone Abs With A Wobble Cushion

Ryan loves to use this wobble cushion to engage her abs and achieve what she calls “Balance and strength using this one little product.” This extra-thick cushion comes in six pretty shades and inflates (a pump is included) to hold up to a maximum of 450 pounds. “One of my favorite hacks is to sit on the wobble cushion with legs straight out in front of you (knees slightly bent), back straight, core engaged,” Ryan says. “Any upper body weight exercises you do from this position will fire up your abs like crazy." This pick has more than 3,800 reviews.

15

Track Your Workouts With A Fitbit

This Fitbit can improve your fitness levels says Jack Johnstone, fitness director of the Plano Athletic Club. He says he appreciates how it can track steps throughout your workout/day as well as easily track workouts without relying on wifi or an internet connection (i.e it’s outdoor workout friendly). This Fitbit has a built-in GPS tracker, heart rate monitoring, pace and distance recording, and even helps to manage your well-being with a daily stress management score. It comes with a six-month premium membership that offers analytics and guided programs and has more than 11,000 reviews.

16

Rely On Your Own Body’s Resistance For A Great Workout Anywhere

Kate Meier, certified USA Weightlifting L1 Trainer, certified CrossFit L1 Trainer, and a senior editor for Garage Gym Reviews, tells Bustle that her absolute favorite product to help with training is the Theraband. “I use it to warm up, stretch, perform isolation exercises, and even get a nice pump,” Meier says. “What I like most about the Theraband when compared to other bands, is that the resistance curve is very gradual. With a lot of those regular looped pull-up bands, we see a dramatic difference in how much resistance is applied at the end of the exercise versus the start. The Theraband is more consistent, making it feel more like a cable/pulley than a band.”

These bands come in a set of three different resistance levels and are made of non-latex material. Meier offers specific advice on how to get the most out of your bands, saying “I like to use the Theraband for upper back and shoulder work mostly. Before every training session, I wrap the band around a rack post at about chest height. I grab the band and perform 30-40 reverse flies, tricep pushdowns, pec flies, and straight arm lat pulldowns. This gives me such a great pump and posture reset that carries me into the workout pain-free."

17

Give Your Home Workouts Added Stability With These Non-Slip Socks

"These non-slip socks are perfect for at-home workouts,” recommends Brett Larkin, founder and CEO of Uplifted Yoga. “The open-toe design allows for more stability when working out, while the grip on the bottom of the sock can keep you balanced and secure on any sort of flooring, whether it be ceramic or hardwood. This means you don't have to worry about damaging your floors with your at-home workouts! These are primarily used for yoga and pilates, but can truly be used for any sort of physical activity around the house.” These grippy socks come in lots of lovely shades and will give you traction all the way to the ends of your toes using silicone grips.

18

Move Your Cardio To The End Of Your Workout

"My best exercise hack is to do your cardio after your main workout,” advises Michael Roberts, owner of Sports Gear Portal. “People usually do their cardio before, but it’s not the best way to go. If you start off with cardio before the heavy lifting, you’ll feel tired faster because cardio depletes your energy faster.” When you’re ready for the cardio portion of your workout, this mini stair stepper is ideal for low-impact aerobic exercise that you can do at home. It features a hydraulic drive system for smooth stepping, an LCD monitor that tracks your stats as you go, and removable resistance bands for a whole body workout.

19

Opt For A Freestanding Punching Bag For Your MMA Workouts

“The purchase of a freestanding heavy bag and a pair of boxing gloves is an excellent investment for those who prefer boxing, kickboxing, or mixed martial arts,” says Jake Dickson, certified personal trainer (CPT-NASM) and contributing editor at BarBend. He shares with Bustle his favorite in this category: “FITVEN's 70-inch punching bag is pliable and long-lasting. The spring-based construction also makes it superior at absorbing shock and reducing noise than its competitors in the fitness industry. You don't have to bother about securing it to the ceiling, which is another plus.” This pick has more than 3,000 reviews and comes in black or white.

20

Use A Fitness Step To Maximize The Impact Of Deadlifts

You may have images of Jane Fonda (or your mom, or, even you!) rocking the step aerobics in the gym or living room. Well, according to Karisa Karmali, the founder of Self-Love And Fitness and is a certified personal trainer, nutrition coach, and online fitness coach, they’re great for more than just aerobics. "Doing deadlifts on a fitness step adds range of motion and makes them more effective for some people as muscles are less stiff,” Karmali tells Bustle. This fitness step has three adjustable heights and features a non-slip rubber surface as well as rubber feet for a secure workout.

21

Use Dumbbells For A Variety Of Workouts

Jod Kapilakan, founder and CEO of 1Energy Systems recommends a good set of dumbbells for a variety of workouts like dumbbell press, sides pushdown and single-leg deadlifts. “This set of training requires dumbbells,” Kapilakan says. “An ideal one will be ten pounds." These dumbbells also come in other weight options ranging from one pound to 15 pounds, with each weight having its own designated color. They feature an ergonomic grip made of eco-friendly neoprene, and they won’t roll due along the floor thanks to their hexagonal shape.

22

Take Creatine Post-Workout For Serious Strength Building

If you’re looking to truly make the most of your workouts, DJ Mazzoni, the medical reviewer at Illuminate Health, has a genius hack for you. "Taking supplemental creatine after working out is proven in multiple medical trials to improve muscle growth and strength above baseline,” Mazzoni says. “I recommend Thorne Creatine because it contains no harmful additive ingredients and because it's NSF Certified for Sport, which means it's been tested for purity and label accuracy." If you need any more convincing, take note that this creatine supplement is a proud partner of 11 different U.S. Olympics teams. It has a high 4.7-star rating and several reviewers raved about how it has no taste and dissolves easily in a drink.

23

Use A Foam Roller For Isometric Exercises

This foam roller promises to deliver more than simple stretching. ​​"One of my favorite recovery ‘workouts’ is a foam roller routine,” says Caroline Grainger, ISSA certified personal trainer at FitnessTrainer. “While most people associate foam rollers purely with massaging muscles during recovery, it's possible to work some excellent elements of stretching and isometric exercise into routines like this,” she says. “Focus on any movement where you can hold your body weight up with your hands and rest most of it on one muscle on the roller. This is going to feel amazing, help to prevent tightness and soreness, and also work on your strength and balance."

This foam roller comes in four different sizes (12, 18, 24, and 36 inches) and is constructed of high-density foam and molded polypropylene to provide a firm, supportive surface.

24

Protect Your Grip With The Help Of Hand Straps

These hand straps can help you work out for longer and are recommended by Kent Probst, a personal trainer, kinesiotherapist, and bodybuilder. "A product that I rely on frequently to get me through my workouts are hand straps,” Probst says. “When I'm doing strength training, my grip starts fatiguing before I'm done with all the sets of an exercise, especially shrugs, rows, and lat pulldowns. I'm able to power through all of my sets for each exercise, using hand straps." These hand straps are made of extremely sturdy, high-density webbing, so you’ll have no fear of ripping or tearing them mid-pulldown. It’s even designed with a built-in 5-millimeter resistance pad to protect your wrists.

25

Carry Your Important Things In An Affordable Running Belt

If you love going out for a jog but are loathe to leave your important possessions behind, Ryan Ernsbarger, CPT at Zenmaster Wellness, has the perfect solution." One easy fitness hack that changed the running game for me was the addition of a running belt,” Ernsbarger says. “This belt will hold everything you need during a run. Whether it's a 5K or marathon, this belt has enough space for your phone, keys, and energy gels. It's super lightweight and fits snug around your waist.” It comes in sizes that range from XX-small to large and is available in six different stylish colors, such as navy, sangria, or a ‘90s collection of neon pink and blue.