One size does NOT fit all.

One size does not fit all. Tailoring your exercise to yourself brings countless benefits. The only person who can truly tweak your workout so it works best for you? That would be you. If you are concerned that you need to modify workouts so you can complete them, fear not. It's better to work toward something rather than trying too hard and hurting yourself. If this occurs, you may be out for longer than you want to be. The best way to stay in the game is to make the workout fit you vs. you fitting the workout. This can be done in any number of ways. On the flip side of this, you may be thinking that your workout has gotten stale and you don't feel like it's improving your fitness level at all. If you feel this way, you can modify in other ways so you get the most out of your workout.

Don't feel as though you are not fit enough to take a class just because you have to modify it. The point of exercising is to challenge yourself. It is in this way that you can grow and become fitter. As a group fitness instructor, I encourage my participants to modify so they can get the best possible workout for themselves. Now, how do you modify so you can enjoy the class and still get a great workout? Here are some simple ways to modify your workout :


If you are in a class where there's a lot of jumping, simply adjust it. Make your steps count. By this I mean step with vigor. Lift your knees higher on the up. You also don't have to jump as high, make it a hop instead.

In classes like Zumba, you normally move both your hands and feet at the same time. If this is too hard, simply slow down and stop moving either your hands or your feet. This will bring intensity down a notch and also help you get coordinated enough to put it all together next time.

If you enjoy a good weight lifting session, one way to modify it so it works for you is to lower your weight and increase your reps or sets. This will give you a more toning workout vs a strength workout, but you will still get benefits.

If you feel like you are in need of MORE rather than less, here are some tips for you.

When everyone else is doing steps, see if you can add in hops or even jumps. A simple side-to-side step can be made into touch toe out, hop foot in, switch. Just be very careful when jumping. Move to this only when you're sure on your feet and ready. When marching in place, bring your knees up high. Keep your abs tight and see if you can get your knees up to your chest.

If you are only using feet during class, add your arms in. Take them up and down, bent at the elbow and bring elbows up in line with your shoulders, to moch lat pull-downs. Any arm movement will instantly bring intensity up and coordination into the mix. When doing this, you want to make sure you have control with your arms. Make sure they aren't failing about all crazy. That leads to injury pretty quick!

For you weight-lifting fanatics, to increase intensity, add weight. This will make you stronger. If you are looking to tone-up instead add repetitions or sets. Also, changing up the frequency with which you lift will benefit your workout. In addition, if you work your whole body instead of the arms-legs-abs approach, consider switching for a time. This will help you focus on one part of the body at a time, while also using different exercises.

Further, if you are taking a class that might intimidate you a bit, just ask the instructor if they know of ways to modify the workout. They know the class best because they teach it. They will be your best reference for modification ideas. For more information on this subject, please contact the Wayne County YMCA at (570) 253-2083. Or visit us online at