Weird and wonderful workouts

25 July 2014 by
First published: 28 July 2014

Bored of hammering it out on the treadmill or had enough of sitting on a spin bike? Change things up with these weird and wonderful workouts.

These days you don’t need to look too far to try an alternative way of working out and in fact, mixing things up exercise-wise can actually reap huge body benefits. Here are a few of those weird and wonderful workouts that may just offer a fresh outlook on exercise!


Hoola hooping
You may not have been near a hoola hoop since you were 10 years old, but interestingly enough it certainly provides the ultimate fitness experience. Toning the thighs, abs, bum and arms while also providing much amusement, this is a fab all-over body workout. There are a variety of exercises you can do, starting off fairly simple and then advancing to more complicated routines with a weighted hoop, that will really focus on toning the stomach and help you to achieve that much desired flat stomach.
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Quite simply, ‘Doga’ refers to the practice of yoga with dogs, offering participants the chance to do their favourite exercises while spending quality time with their pets. Movements and poses are carried out with the dogs to enhance the stretches and add extra weight to positions. For example by lifting the dog into the air at the beginning of a sun salutation and allowing the weight of the dog to bring you down into a forward bend. If you’re keen to bond with your dog through exercise this could be the perfect session for you. As with other forms of yoga, ‘Doga’ will work to improve your flexibility and all-over body strength.
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Free running
If you consider yourself to be a free spirit or a bit of a dare devil and are keen to exercise with no boundaries, then free running could be for you. In exercise terms this involves moving through the space around you with confidence and freedom, which work your cardiovascular system and subsequently boost your fitness levels. The Foucan academy, based in central London, is the ultimate place to try this out and holds several academies to try out with its experienced instructors.
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Stand Up Paddle Boarding
Originating in Hawaii, in simple terms, this is paddling while standing. At face value this may seem like a relaxing holiday activity, however in reality it provides a fantastic workout for your entire body. Firstly, standing on a surfboard on moving water, often in windy conditions means your core needs to be actively engaged throughout to stabilise yourself on the board, this builds and strengthens your core muscles. Then as you begin to move on water the legs and arms are all working fairly hard as you get paddling with the oars. This is the ultimate cardiovascular workout which, depending on your surroundings (we suggest a gorgeous beach on a sunny day!), can also be uplifting and relaxing.
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Hot Pod Yoga
Housed in a pop-up inflatable heated studio, this is an awesome form of heated yoga. It uses the Vinyasa yoga method, combining challenging yoga poses that strengthen and tone and power up your weight loss, all in a 38-degree-heated pod. It has been said that you can burn up to 700 calories in a session, all without even having to do a singly burpee! Take a look on the Hotpodyoga site below as there are several locations and the prices are very reasonable, definitely worth a try!
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