There are times when we find ourselves following the same gym routine time after time. It is important to vary our workouts in order to maintain our motivation as well as continuing to see progress in our training.

This article highlights some gym exercises you may not have tried before that can give you a few options in varying your gym routine.

There are 8 gym exercises listed, which each challenge different parts of the body.


Inverted row or TRX row

This gym exercise targets the muscles of the upper and mid back as well as challenges the core to maintain alignment throughout the movement. The inverted row requires the use of  a barbell set in a rack or can be performed on a Smith machine.

Position yourself so that you can lie underneath the bar. Grab a hold of the bar with your legs extended along the floor. Engage your core to bring your hips in line with the rest of your body.

From here pull your body towards the bar squeezing your shoulders blades together, ensuring your ears do not draw up towards your ears. Lower your body back to the start position with control.

The TRX (yellow and black straps, often seen hanging up in the gym) row is a similar gym exercise, but allows you to vary the angle of your body by adjusting the starting point of your feet. You can also adjust the position of your hands as you perform the exercise.


Hold a kettlebell or barbell plate by the handles at the side. Imagine that you are trying to draw a circle around your head with the weight. This exercise is great for improving shoulder strength and mobility as well as working the upper back muscles.

Battling rope drills

You may have seen big, heavy duty ropes in the gym, these are battling ropes. They are great for adding variety to your routine. The battling rope drills are great gym exercises to target the arms, shoulders, core and your cardiovascular capacity.

The simplest drill you can perform is the rope slams. Take a hold of the rope at the two ends, ensuring the loop at the other end is secure. Raise your arms and then slam the ropes down onto the ground. The idea is to maintain a rhythm so that you create a ripple effect along the rope as it come down. This can be done for blocks of time. 

Turkish get ups

This is a great total body gym exercise. It can be performed using a kettlebell or a dumb bell. Lie on your  back, holding a weight in your right arm pointing up in the air whilst having your right knee bent at the same time.

Keep the right arm extended upwards throughout the movement. Roll up supporting yourself on your left arm and then lift your hips up into a bridge position. Bring your left knee underneath you to come to a half kneeling position.

Drive up to standing through the right foot to come to standing holding the weight overhead. To return, step back with the left foot bringing the knee to the ground.

Take your left hand out to the ground to support coming back into the bridge position. Lower your hips to the floor and gently lower your upper body back to the floor. This is a challenging exercise and is best performed with a light weight or even just bodyweight to begin with. Ensure you even up on both sides. 

Box jumps

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This exercise is an example of gym exercises, which improve explosive strength of the legs.

Stand in front of a step or box, then jump up onto the step or box and jump back down. This is quite a tough exercise so only a few repetitions need to be performed.

Gym ball jacknife

This gym exercise is great for challenging your core as well as your shoulder stability. Kneel behind a gym ball, then place your chest on the ball and hands on the floor in front of the ball.

Walk yourself forwards on your hands until your shins are on top of the ball. From this position, draw your knees in towards your chest, rolling the ball forwards. Roll the ball back to the start position ensuring the hips do not sag at the end.


The woodchop is a great functional exercise. It can be performed using a medicine ball, dumb bell or kettlebell. Stand with feet shoulder width apart, holding a weight in both hands.

Twist down to your left, taking the weight to the outside of your left knee. From here twist up, drawing an imaginary diagonal line taking the weight over to above your right shoulder. Ensure you perform this exercise on both sides. This gym exercise is great for working the core as well as rotational strength and stability.

Gym ball hamstring curl

This gym exercise involves the use of a gym ball and targets the hamstring, glutes and core muscles. Lie on your back on the floor with your legs extended on top of the ball. Lift your hips up off the floor, maintaining the height of your hips.

Pull your heels to towards your hips so your knees move up in the air and the ball rolls towards your hips. Slowly control the movement back to the beginning, stopping once the shoulders, hips , knees and ankles are aligned.

These 8 gym exercises are worth trying out as they may challenge your body in ways that you might not be used to. Start off slowly, ensuring that your technique is on point before progressing to increasing the repetitions or increasing the weight which you work with.

Try adding 1 or 2 of these gym exercises to your next workout and then a different 1 or 2 in the workout after that.

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