We all know building a physique can get repetitive. It requires dedication and perseverance. You work each muscle group then start the cycle over again. Doing the same sets and reps day in and day out can be as exciting as drinking the same vanilla protein shake everyday; you get tired of it.
Maybe you’ve exhausted the ways to use each and every piece of machinery at your gym. The last thing you need is for the repetition of your gym routine to cause you to lose motivation. We have a solution: go outside and change it up.
A lot of times, trying a new outdoor sport or exercise will challenge your muscles in all new ways. When you challenge yourself to stop thinking about your workouts conventionally, you see new opportunities to push your body. The world is your playground. In this blog post, we encourage you think outside the box (or gym) and to get creative with your routine. Here are 10 ways to skip the gym; that won’t take you off track from your fitness goals.
1. Medicine ball workouts.
Go outside, to a field or park with your buddy and bring a medicine ball (or two). Warm up by chest passing it back and forth as many times as possible within 10 minutes. You can then get creative with what you have around you. If there’s a wall, slam the ball against it so it bounces off to your workout partner. Sprint with it, passing it back and forth to each other. You can also work your lower body more with squat raises, squat jumps, plank variations, etc.
If you live near a lake or body of water, this is an excellent form of exercise. It’s a full body explosive workout that engages arms, core, hips and legs. When the technique is done correctly it’s a low-impact way to add resistance to your cardio, especially if injury is of particular concern to you. If you’re newer to rowing, make sure to watch tutorials on the correct technique or learn from an instructor if you’re taking a class. An incorrect technique may mean you’re not working every muscle you should and putting unnecessary strain on a single part of the body. You want to make sure you’re getting the most out of this workout because of the potential benefits.
3. Wave Running.
Running in the pool against water is another great resistance cardio exercise. Aquatic exercises like this help strengthen muscles and boost endurance with a low likelihood of causing injury.
4. Incorporate weight into your hike.
Leg weights, a weighted vest or rucking with a loaded backpack, can add a new level of intensity to your hike. What may seem like a fitness trend has been used for centuries by American soldiers and is partially why they’re recognized as such a fit force.
5. Run the bleachers or hit the hurdle track.
This is another high intensity cardio activity that’s sure to work you just as hard (if not harder) than any treadmill or stairmaster you’ll find at the gym. There’s just something about real world obstacles that brings a new level of determination to your workouts.
6. Sand Sprints.
If you’re lucky enough to live near a beach this is a great option. Or if you know of a sand volleyball court that goes unused, you could definitely turn it into a track. Tip: lose the shoes. There’s nothing like sprinting barefoot on sand as a refreshing change to the gym.
Surfing is another killer full body workout that strengthens your legs and core. The time spent paddling out to waves works your back and shoulders. Because no two waves are the same, your movements will constantly change with each height of wave. This variation of movement works your muscles in new ways. This is what makes this sport so great. First timers, be prepared to be sore the next morning.
8. Park Workout.
Visit your local park in “gym mode.” See the potential in every object. Can you lift it? Sit on it? Jump over it? Climb it or throw it? A park bench makes a great prop. Get creative with your tricep dips, elevated pushups, single leg squats, you name it.
9. Rooftop or outdoor yoga.
Yoga is becoming more and more favored by those who would normally never stray from their heavy lifting routine. Not only does yoga’s body weight training build strength and flexibility, there are also numerous health benefits that translate over to real life, which is essentially what all the hype is about. Yoga helps with stress, builds immunity, regulates blood pressure, promotes mental health, helps you focus, relax, get a better night sleep, and eases pain and muscle tension.
10. Rock Climbing.
The beauty of rock climbing is that it is not only for muscle endurance. The sport builds focus, body awareness, and requires an element of problem-solving that boosts brain function. Not only are there tremendous physical benefits, but balance and determination are also transferable life skills.