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7 Fitness Moves to Liven Up Your Workout

3 MIN READ • 21st July 2016

Who says exercise has to be boring? Ditch the laborious gym routine and inject a little life into your workouts with these playful activities. Personal trainer Chloe Bowler shows us how...

  • Swing your hips
    “Haven’t picked up a hoola hoop since your school days? Whether you’re a fitness pro or a first time hooper, you can enjoy this activity at any age,” says Chloe ( “You have to constantly move your body to keep the hoop going, plus it’s fun to do with friends. You can even make it competitive by seeing who can last the longest! Make like Shakira and get those hips moving to some upbeat music, or download a fitness app to direct you through a hoola hooping routine. Not only will hooping raise your heart rate, but it’s a great core workout too.”

  • Pedal your way fit
    “You don’t have to don a Lycra ensemble to work up a sweat from cycling,” explains Bowler. “I’m a great believer in outdoor exercise, and a bike ride at the weekend is the perfect way for all the family to stay fit together. Try to include a few uphills, and then some fun downhills. Set your route before you go, so that you can explore a new area and give yourself a goal to work towards.” Cycling targets the whole body, and a 30-minute cycling session will burn at least 300 calories – we’re sold!

  • Get skipping
    “Listen up ladies! If you’re after a cheap, effective, fat-burning workout, look no further than the humble skipping rope,” Chloe tells us. “Most of us have seen the film Rocky, and will remember the training montage which includes plenty of fast skipping. This exercise complements boxing perfectly and you can go at your own pace until you’ve mastered the technique. Try interval skipping for fast results:
    Skip for 30 seconds, rest for 15 seconds and change each section from running skipping, to one bounce, double feet skipping, to one-legged skipping. It really gets your heart rate up, and you can easily burn over 200 calories in a 20-minute workout.

  • Treasure hunt
    “This is one of my favourite ways to change up your exercise class,” Chloe says. “Simply head down to your local park and hide fitness clues in different locations. Give each person, or team, a map and off you go! I time my clients and at each point I give them a clue to the next stop, but I’ll also set them a mini workout to do as well. By running between the stops it becomes an interval training session and by timing the circuit you add a little competition into the mix. This is great fun to do as a group and you can tailor it to suit your fitness needs.”

  • Dance the night away
    “Isn’t it amazing when you’re on a night out, dancing away to the music, and you suddenly realise what good exercise it is? It doesn’t feel like hard work because it’s fun,” explains Chloe. “Dance classes such as Zumba are fantastic because the music and energy levels will keep you motivated until the end – you may even forget you’re exercising! Fast classes can blitz hundreds of calories in an hour – not bad for perfecting your best moves ready for the dancefloor. Whether you want to master the fox trot like the Strictly pros or channel your inner Beyonce with the latest pop video dance classes, there’s a style to suit everyone. Dance is a full-body workout that can help improve posture and, most importantly, it’s great fun!”

  • On a roll
    “Rollerskating is not just for kids, it’s the hot new fitness trend helping to blast off the cals,” says Chloe. “Although the sport may evoke memories of speeding down steep hills, struggling to get your balance and grazed knees, it’s actually a good way to meet like-minded people who want to take up a new hobby. Skating requires balance and core strength, as well as strong leg muscles. Group sessions may include speed work, as well as mastering twists and turns, which tone your body. So if you’re after a ‘wheely’ good workout that packs a fitness punch, engages your mind and offers an adrenalinefuelled feel good factor, it might be time to get your skates on!”

  • Get back on the horse
    “Horse riding is a great activity the family can do together,” Chloe tells us. “Often available at holiday centres and as a group activity, it is a lovely way to stay fit outdoors, without realising you are exercising. You can stay in a riding arena, or go out on a hack, either way you will be constantly working your legs, arms and core. You have to sit up tall which can improve your balance and posture. Riding is a great cardio alternative to running, and a 30-minute lesson can burn over 200 calories – prepare to discover muscles you never thought you had!”

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