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8 Weird Ways of Exercising (That Might Actually Work)

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Ah, exercise. That thing you’ve always had a love-hate relationship with. Even the hardest-core sometimes roll their eyes and sigh deeply before climbing on the treadmill or hitting the weights — because, let’s not lie, when does that ever sound better than binging Sherlock on Netflix?

We love a runner’s high as much as the next person, but still, working up a sweat on the track can get boring. Perhaps that’s why some of today’s more adventurous fitness fans have found some seriously weird ways of exercising. From wielding weapons to bringing beloved pets into the gym, apparently nothing is off limits when it’s done in the pursuit of heart health (and some fun).

Curious? Check out these eight weird ways of exercising that rank highest on our Weird-O-Meter.

1. High Heel Workouts

See if you can follow this thinking: Women wear high heels. It’s bad for them. They should stop immediately. But SINCE THEY’RE NOT GOING TO, let’s just make a workout around it instead. That way, they can tear their Achilles in a safe place.

No, but seriously, there are new high heel workouts springing up across the country. So, if you’re a pump-proponent, you can now wear them all the time. I’m willing to bet it’s actually a pretty killer (and fun) cardio workout, too.

2. Doga

What do you get when you combine dogs and yoga? You get the Dog Mom obsession on steroids, is what you get. That’s right, you can now take your dog to yoga class, where an instructor will demonstrate stretches and poses for both of you. Ready to get limber for life? Fido’s ready to practice literal downward dog, as well. I mean, if you’re all having fun and it gets you to the studio, why not?

Now, the only question is whether Lululemon makes stretch pants and sweatbands for the canine kind?

3. Trampoline Workouts

Remember that scene from Divergent where our plucky hero Tris has to jump off a roof, through a dark hole, and onto a giant trampoline? We do, too — though we’re not convinced it’s as safe as they make it out to be in the book/movie.

Nevertheless, lots of people are taking to tramps to get their workout. And, according to science, it turns out it’s true that bouncing up and down hones your stability, core, and calf muscles.

4. Park Workout

No gym? No problem. The “park workout” taps into the elementary school student in all of us, making use of playground structures, street signs, and retaining walls to feel the burn. After all, what’s more chinup-y than monkey bars or pushup-y than a park bench?

The truth is, this one is actually a great approach for those who can’t afford a gym membership or a home setup (or who simply prefer to be outdoors). Just be careful not to do it when school’s in session.

5. Apocalypse Training?

Forgive us the question mark, but we’re honestly not sure what kind of exercise this is. Don’t get us wrong, this person is much better prepared for the zombie apocalypse than we are, so he may well get the last laugh.

But you have to wonder what sort of gym would let this dude and his samurai sword through the front door. It’s not that he doesn’t have a possibly good idea somewhere (very, very) deep down. But his control honestly doesn’t look the best, that’s all we’re saying.

6. Morning Raves

You heard correctly. You can go to a rave in the morning. No longer does your pulse-electrifying dance high have to come from drug-fueled warehouse parties. Now you can head to a morning workout that takes the idea of a rave and combines it with healthy foods and like-minded peeps in an environment of good, clean fun.

And we do mean fun, because these raves include the funky outfits and all. Just sub in a white sports-bra for your dance tank so you don’t have to give up that fun black-light effect. Goodbye, hangovers. Hello, peak fitness?

7. Naked Yoga

What’s better than regular yoga, hot yoga, fusion yoga, or dog yoga? Naked yoga, of course, enjoyed solo in the Zen-like beauty of nature. If you’re going to do this one, we recommend using a private backyard or a nudist beach. Because there’s nothing better than getting some sand somewhere down there during Sukhasana.

But, I mean, yoga is a great way to get exercise and mobility. And if you love your body enough to let it shine — you’ve totally got our blessings.

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8. Parkour

Are you a Navy SEAL? Do you regularly work out with Arnold Schwarzenegger? Are you a self-healing android? No? Then maybe don’t be the guy who thinks you can “give parkour a try” and live to tell the experience.

That said, parkour itself can be a great way to get exercise, build balance, boost your cardio, and quicken your nervous system. Just make sure you find a professional to help you and go to one of those gyms with all the padded stuff when you first start.

Which Weird Ways of Exercising Have You Tried?

Whether you’ve tried any of the above weird ways of exercising or merely enjoyed puzzling over them on Gawker, we’d love to hear about your experience. And of course, if we’ve forgotten any of today’s weirdest exercise methods, we’d love you to let us know — so comment below!

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Becca Borawski Jenkins
Becca earned her MFA in Cinema-Television Production at USC’s famed film school, and her first career was as a music editor. Becca found her way to career number two through martial arts. She trained in BJJ and muay Thai and worked with professional MMA fighters, building websites, organizing fight promotions, and producing videos.

In 2005, she became a student at CrossFit Los Angeles where she met WLC co-founders Andy Petranek and Michael Stanwyck. In only a couple years, she became CrossFit Level III Certified, left her entertainment career, and dedicated herself full time to coaching, serving as the Program Director of CFLA and founder of the CFLA CrossFit Kids program. After seven years as a music editor and then eight years as fitness instructor, Becca segued to her current career — full-time editor and writer.