Why run on a treadmill when you could jump on a trampoline to get fit?
Some people love the feeling of going for a long run. The wind in your hair, stomping along pavements or country paths – bliss. Others relish their daily pilgrimage to the gym, hopping on the treadmill or relentlessly lifting weights.
However, for many of us these forms of exercise are a peculiar type of torture: boring and arduous. We’re fine with the sweat – but hold the blood and tears please.
Luckily for the gym-allergic, fitness fanatics have realised that there is an increasing market for alternative workouts. Whilst you still have to put in the hard graft to get in shape, there are now actually ways you can (gasp) enjoy exercising.
We’ve compiled the top five wacky workouts – some you can do in classes, some you can replicate at home. So pull on your Lycra and pump up the cheesy music to get you in the mood.
1. Hula hooping
What: A throwback to your primary school days, it’s simple really: dust off your hoop and start spinning.
Why: Although it might take you a while to get the hula knack back, it’ll be worth it. Surprisingly hard work, hula hooping is brilliant for targeting your abs and waist.
Where: Your living room, or anywhere that can accommodate the circumference. But if you want a more organised hula experience, try Hulafit.
What: Another exercise reminiscent of your childhood, but perhaps not as you remember. Instead of bouncing lazily up and down, the trick is to jump down into the trampoline to really test your body.
Why: The resistance of the trampoline strengthens your muscles, putting your core strength to the test to stay in control. And don’t worry, you don’t need to be an acrobat to be able to do it.
Where: If you left your trampoline back at your childhood home, check out Jumping Fitness Britain.
What: Not one you can really replicate in your back garden. A new craze to sweep Instagram, mechanical surfboards move around whilst you try to maintain your balance and look cool at the same time.
Why: For when you really miss the beach but live in the city. It tests your balance, whilst also engaging and strengthening your core.
Where: Anywhere you have a board and waves. Failing that, head to Gymbox.
4. Rock climbing
What: Perhaps after laser quest, rock climbing parties were the best growing up. The activity hasn’t changed much, although you’re not guaranteed a piece cake afterwards.
Why: Climbing in its various manifestations (the most popular being bouldering – without ropes, and traditional climbing – with ropes) works almost all of your muscle groups. Plus, it is said to help with dispraxia.
Where: Rock climbing walls are popping up everywhere, so search for your local centre.
5. Pole dancing
What: Perhaps not for the shy and retiring, pole dancing classes adapts the saucy activity into a hard workout. And yes, it is on a pole.
Why: It fuses strength, cardio and flexibility training.
Where: Due to its increasing popularity, pole dancing studios are popping up all over the capital – such as Pole Sport London, which puts an athletic emphasis onto the activity.