5 Unique Workouts To Spice Up Your Summer!
So, we’re halfway through Summer. ( I know, I know... boo hoo.) Most people I chat with at a speaking engagement or a book tour stop fit pretty neatly into one of these two categories:
They’ve either been working out for at least a few months and are totally bored doing the same exercises over and over... Or, worse, their New Year’s resolution to start working out failed miserably back in February and now they’re finally ready to get back into shape.
The solution for both scenarios is to keep things interesting. Much like a healthy relationship, you need to have some fun and spice things up on a regular basis.
Here are 5 unique summer workouts for you to consider if you’re ready to try something new and exciting.
1) American Ninja Warrior Training:
Now you can workout like all the Rock Stars you see on the hit tv show, American Ninja Warrior! Specialty gyms like the one you see here called a Vertiquest, which is owned by my friend and veteran Ninja, Mike Needham, are popping up all over the country.
They feature an amazing array of physical challenges including the famous warped wall. A vertical ramp that you have to run up and scale to the top.
If you’re looking for a unique alternative to pull-ups, you can try out the A-frame Staircase, The Rolling Dice, or The Lord of the Rings!
My favorite part about ninja warrior training is that, like the Cha Cha Challenge, (#4 below) it can be done solo, with a group of friends, or with your kids as a family workout. My wife and I took our 9 year-old daughter and she had a blast!
Ninja gyms, like Vertiquest, feature parkour sequences. And this is not like the kind where kids are just jumping from building to building 7 stories in the air (which I think is nuts and unsafe). The parkour workouts done at these gyms are supervised by professionals and done with mats or foam pits underneath the guests. This way you get the best of both worlds. Safety AND a great workout.
2) Tsunami Fitness:
A general rule of thumb in the aquatic fitness world is, Wetter is Better!
Try some yoga poses, shadow boxing, and burpees on a stand-up paddle board.
Just trying to balance on the water engages your core and keeps you from getting too comfortable, which is what happens to most people who take a typical studio class.
There are also bands that attach to the board so you can do bicep curls and shoulder presses to focus on the upper-body as well.
When you’re on the water, everything is more challenging and usually a lot more fun.
The bonus is ... unlike yoga and Pilates, which are fantastic workouts, you can splash around the pool and almost forget that you’re actually working out.
3) H2O HIT
This is Rocky Balboa meets Aqua Man.
Not only is this a fantastic upper-body workout, it’s a great way to reduce stress.
Aqua boxing allows you to let off some steam AND cool down by hitting a heavy bag that’s made to sit in the water and gloves made specifically to add additional resistance to each and every punch!
Anytime you can punch something really hard and nothing gets broken OR nobody gets hurt... it’s a win win! Aqua boxing will shape and tone your back, bis, tris, and shoulders.
If you happen to have the Rocky theme handy, crank it up so you can really go to town with a cool dash of cardio splash.
4) Cha Cha Challenge:
Try to hold a modified plank for 3 minutes while dancing to the Cha Cha Slide.
One of the best exercises for your core and abs is a plank. But planks are boring, and they’re really hard. So my friends and I distract ourselves by dancing and having a lot of fun.
If you can get into the classic pushup position, you can do the Cha Cha Challenge! You follow the instruction of the Cha Cha Slide song and change the position of your hands and feet while keeping the beat.
This is something that you can do pretty much anytime and anywhere. And, you can do it solo or with your family and friends of all ages. All you need is a flat surface and your phone to play the song. There’s a few versions on youtube already. If you’d like to use our version of the Cha Cha Challenge, just go to celebratelifebook.com. That’s the one featured (above) with my good friends, Debbie, Janel, and Kathy at my Y back in NJ.
5) Tires and Trees:
This is Paul Bunyan meets the Michelin Man.
Where can you get a workout that features plyometrics, cardio, fun with your friends, AND a great excuse to get a little dirty? Simple... get outside and go into the woods!
Find an old tire from a tractor or earth mover at a local junkyard and start flipping it around. *(With proper squat and dead lift form, of course.) You'll find many variations, sizes, and weights to work with. I recommend starting out light and slowly progressing. If you enjoy working out as a team or in a group, go find a tire that's too heavy for you to lift by yourself. This forces you to work together as a team and be laser focused during the workout. If you really like to have fun and challenge yourself, find a hill and start rolling!
Next, find some small fallen trees and stumps in the woods and do some shoulder carries with your friend or workout partner. *If they say that they don't want to get their fancy gym sneakers or clothes dirty, then you need to find a new friend or workout partner. Not only is this an awesome and unique workout, you'll feel invigorated by the fresh air, nature, and noticeable change in your surroundings both during and after the workout. If you don't feel invigorated, you're probably a pretty boring person and you should just stick with the treadmill and staring at your phone for 30 minutes pretending to be "at the gym" on instagram. :)
Whether you like to get wet or you’re more comfortable on land, remember this: it’s easier to stay in shape than to get back into shape. So keep your workouts fun, unique, and challenging so you maintain a healthy lifestyle all year round. Keep your body and mind fresh and wanting more! When it comes to achieving long term results in the wellness game, the right balance of variety and consistency is the key.
He delivers dynamic keynote presentations to corporations and organizations across the country who need help making Energy Management and Work-Life balance a priority.
Pedalino is the author of the new inspirational book, Celebrate Life: How to live it up, discover fulfillment, and experience the joy you deserve.