You can swing from a pole, strap yourself into a harness dangling from the ceiling, balance on a faux surfboard, and still not have even scratched the surface of the out-there exercise offerings you’ll find to day. While these workouts can be fun, they’re not always the most practical and convenient way to stay fit. That’s why we’re getting back to basics with some tried-and-true workouts we love. Of course, if taking a yoga-spinning-swimming hybrid class is your thing, then carry on (and may we suggest a video game-inspired workout like Equinox’s Elimin8tor). But if you’re ready to sweat the good old-fashioned way, keep reading!
Try it if you’re over: CrossFit or Kettlebells
Before there were kettlebells, barbells, and dumbbells, people used—get this—their own body weight to build strength. Consider body weight training the caveman diet of exercise. Before you poo-poo this workout of yesteryear, ask yourself this: When was the last time you took a fitness class that didn’t involve a push-up, or some variation of it? The push-up, considered the “perfect exercise” by countless fitness pros, is a textbook example of why body weight training is so effective. Push-ups, burpees, mountain climbers, jumps, and all of those P.E. moves from way back when work because they engage your whole body. Do a few circuits with short rest periods and this workout can be just as intense as the heavy lighting options. And best of all, body weight training can be done any time, anywhere, no equipment or gym membership needed.
Try it if you’re over: Pound or Battle Ropes
If you plan on making it through your workout, then high-impact cardio can’t be boring. To punch-up your routine, try boxing. Not only is boxing a satisfying stress reliever, it’s also a calorie-burning machine. Depending on the class, most boxing programs say you’ll burn between 600 and 750 calories in an hour. By working in “rounds,” boxers push themselves as hard as they possibly can for a period of time, then rest for a short time, and repeat. You’re getting a highly effective workout, while sculpting your arms, shoulders, core, and legs. Although owning a pair of boxing gloves can make you feel pretty hardcore, you don’t need to rush out and buy them—you’ll be able to borrow everything you need wherever you take a class.
Try it if you’re over: Every variation of spinning
Once your wallet taps out on the spin studio memberships, turn to running. This probably comes as no surprise at all, but when it comes to heart rate-spiking, calorie-burning, body-changing workouts, pounding the pavement is just as effective as other fancier workout. Whether you’re running on a treadmill or taking your workout outside, the key is to make your workout as varied as possible. Alternate between periods of high speed and low speed, increased incline and lower incline. You can even try turning to the side and shuffling to mix things up. Sound complicated? A lot of gyms offer treadmill classes that will eliminate all of that guesswork for you.
What’s your favorite workout? Do you go new and cool or keep it old school?