For workout junkies, it’s not sticking to a routine that poses a challenge—it’s breaking out of one. Routines can help build consistency, but they can also get boring fast. And when boredom sets in, it usually drags motivation down with it.
The solution to routine fatigue? Try something different. Radically different. Like one of these unique workouts.
Electronic Muscle Stimulation Training
Leave the fitness gear at home for this one. Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS) training requires participants to wear a video game-esque jumpsuit containing electrodes that deliver currents to stimulate their muscles. During a 20-minute session, you’ll squat, cycle, lift, and curl as the electrodes make your arms, back, legs, and glutes contract. Devotees say each session is equivalent to two intense hours in the gym, and that only two sessions are needed per week to see results.
There’s a reason surfers are in tip-top shape: surfing is a full-body workout. Paddling gets the heart pumping (and arms aching), pulling yourself up into a standing position requires immense strength from your triceps and chest, and a strong core is a must to stay upright on the board. Landlocked surfers can take advantage of the sport’s fitness benefits with indoor classes that guide participants through a series of strength, balance, and cardio exercises that take place on a modified board. It won’t teach beginners to surf, but it will give them a taste of what it takes.
Why hit the treadmill when you can hit the trampoline and unleash your inner child?
Trampoline fitness—often called rebounding—is a fun and effective way to get in your cardio. Instructors guide participants, each on their own mini-trampoline, through a series of bouncing and balancing movements designed to get your heart racing and muscles burning. Don’t underestimate this one—you might need to double up on towels for this workout.
Sun salutations are a decidedly different experience when performed without clothing. While naked yoga classes may not promise any superior physical benefits, they have a loyal following due to their body positive nature. The stripped-down practice is intended to help attendees shed insecurities and shame about their bodies, and improve confidence and self-compassion. While the idea of folding into downward dog without any sort of coverage might sound uncomfortable, the converted promise you’ll quickly forget that you’re in the buff.
Looking to tone your tummy? There’s a reason belly dance is such a good ab workout, and hoola hooping is no different—weighted hoops help strengthen your core while standard-issue hoops are used for classes that focus on the cardio benefits of rhythmic dance.
This take on spinning happens entirely underwater, where the temperature is cooler but the resistance is higher. Wearing scuba-like footwear, riders take their places on bikes submerged in a pool and proceed through a heart-pounding workout involving both traditional spinning exercises and new movements that make use of the unique setting. The water may wash away the sweat, but that doesn’t mean this workout isn’t challenging—pedaling underwater requires much more effort than it does on land.
Silky cocoons hang from the ceiling at these acrobatic yoga studios—but don’t be intimidated. It takes a little bit of balance and an adventurous spirit to get the hang of this workout (pun intended), but once you’ve got it down, you may just be hooked (pun also intended). For those suffering from an achy back—the weightless support of the silks alleviates any pressure on your spine, making you that much more loosened-up after class.
Channel your best Dave Grohl as you pound the floor using specially made weighted drumsticks. For fans of cardio, rhythmic, and high-energy workouts, drumming classes are a fun way to unleash your inner rocker while you burn an impressive amount of calories and—let’s face it—pent-up frustration.
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