Five weird workouts we can't wait to try

The gym is not for everybody. No matter how had some folks try, they can’t get into the right kind of groove down at the health club.

No matter what your issue might be, take heart. There are more ways to get fit than inside the four walls of the local gym. We assembled a quick list of some of the weirdest, wildest, and most effective ways to get your work in without stepping foot into the traditional gym environment.

Aerial silks

Part full body workout, part Cirque du Soleil audition, the aerial silks is a great way to build strength and flexibility while you create stunning forms and, oh by the way, hang suspended high off the floor.

While most beginners learn the, um, ropes just a few centimeters from the ground, it’s the potential for a different type of workout that makes aerial silk so appealing. Rather than counting reps and trying to activate muscle groups, beginners develop balance and co-ordination with unique exercises that are more “circus art” than “workout.”

Similar to aerial silks, aerial yoga puts a zero gravity spin on the more traditional version with which we’re all familiar. The aerial variant is quickly growing in popularity, often allowing for a greater freedom of movement. Get your tranquil fix while hanging upside down.

Barre classes

Picture the grace and balance of ballet, only taken up a notch. Barre classes aren’t just for budding ballerinas but they’re a great workout for anyone looking to strengthen their core. Featuring exercises and moves reminiscent of Pilates, barre believers dip, flex, and stretch to lengthen and strengthen their muscles, all with the chill yoga vibe that takes our mind to positive places.

So grab your hand weights, resistance bands, and yoga mat for the hybrid workout destined to bring harmony to your soul and stability to your core.

Boot camps

Boot camps are a well-established and challenging way to take your exercise outside. Gravity is once again your best training aid and, fortunately, it never takes the day off.

Blast your way up public steps before crab walking down a grassy hill. Suddenly, your local park is a place for burpies in the shade and interval runs past snoozing babies and exhausted dogs.

Axe throwing

Embrace your inner lumberjack and get a decent workout in the process. Axe throwing is a growing trend in cities all across North America, as more and more people experience the upper body workout that ends with a satisfying thud of a well-sharpened axe embedding deep into a block of wood.

Think of it as darts for a whole new generation. Axe throwing is the ideal social activity that invites concentration but also gives your shoulders, biceps and triceps something to think about.

Grab a group of friends and head out to the axe facility near you, don’t forget to BYOB (bring your own beard).

City Surf 

There are few more tranquil images than a tanned surfer gently paddling out into the rolling ocean, ready to ride the waves in an activity that reshaped popular culture over the past half-century.

The often-overlooked side of surfing? It’s a killer workout. We can’t all take off to the North Shore for a spiritual quest on the shores of the Pacific, luckily for those landlocked Canadians there is an exciting new workout craze that delivers all the physical benefits of surfing without the sunburn. 

With studios springing up all over Canada, surf-based workouts (like those found at Surf Set, with more than a dozen locations across the country) offer efficient workouts that provide a total body workout in a wide variety of ways.

Even if your breaststroke is a little rusty, surf-based workouts offer an enticing mix of the novel and the effective.