If you dread picking up and setting down the same old dumbbells at the gym or running that less-than-scenic route in your neighborhood, it’s time to switch things up. Exercise shouldn’t be a chore; it should be exhilarating, fun, and get you pumped.
We’ve rounded up five fun workouts that you may not have heard of and, in this case, that’s a good thing.
POUND was founded in 2011 by two women who were recreational drummers and athletes bored by their fitness routines. One happenstance moment in which they were forced to play the drums without a stool, which required squatting over the drum set, fueled a new fitness idea.
Inspired by drumming movements and set to a range of songs with lightly weighted Ripstix, POUND is a full body workout that includes conditioning and strength training. POUND classes are available at various local fitness studios including Women’s Fitness of Boston and the YMCA.
Hula hooping is a combination of dance, circus performance, and core strengthening brought to the masses by the Boston Hoop Troop. What started off as a niche community of hoopers in Boston in 2003 has evolved into a wide collective of classes, workshops, and events. This season, there is a beginner series (Sept. 26–Oct. 31) at The Dance Complex in Cambridge. Get ready to move those hips and work those abdominal muscles. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can try twirling a hula hoop around your limbs. Just don’t get carried away in the first class…
Also known as anti-gravity yoga, aerial yoga requires a swinging hammock used to support the body and incorporates elements of dance, Pilates, and calisthenics. As you glide through the air like an acrobat (one can hope), the workout offers deep stretching for increased flexibility and posture alignment. As the body works to combat gravity, more muscles are put to use and your core becomes engaged in order to stay balanced. Plus, it just looks really cool. SWET Studio in the South End offers aerial yoga classes on a daily basis.
Parkour is a physical discipline inspired by military training techniques in which a person gets from one point to another in the fastest and most efficient way possible. The cardio workout— involving a lot of running, jumping, and landing—is also informally known as ninja training (sold!). Parkour Generations Boston lives up to its name and offers classes in the discipline for people ages four to 70. Since the sport is all about moving effectively through any environment, parkour can be practiced just about anywhere.
Although we lack prime surfing waves in Massachusetts, SurfSet incorporates the same type of workout on land. The fitness program involves placing a surfboard on stability balls with participants moving through a series of yoga and Pilates movements while simultaneously balancing. (Abs, anyone?) Studios such as SHRED offer SurfSet classes in Cohasset, while city dwellers can hang 10 at Oceanside Pilates & Yoga Studio in nearby Winthrop.
Don’t knock it until you try it! You may just find a new heart rate-raising hobby.