15 Wacky Workouts to Try This Summer

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Crazy group of friends participating in a race
Photo credit: The Color Run/facebook.com

GET OUT OF YOUR RUT

If you're still heading to the gym for that same old half-hour on the elliptical or treadmill – or worse, making excuses and not going at all – it might be time to try something different. Summer is the perfect time to dabble in some of the newest fitness trends, which range from just a little odd (trampoline classes) to truly strange (yoga with animals). But who knows: You may find something that finally gets you moving for good. Here are 15 weird ways to exercise that others swear by.
Man doing goat yoga
Photo credit: GOGA Goat Yoga/facebook.com

GOAT YOGA

Goat yoga is exactly what it sounds like: yoga, with the occasional goat circling your ankles while you're doing your sun salutation, or stepping on your back during cobra pose. What started in Oregon has snowballed into a nationwide trend, so you can probably try it out in your area. Goats not your thing? Try dog or cat yoga.
Trampoline workout class
Photo credit: Giorez/istockphoto

TRAMPOLINE

Trampolines are a great way for kids to burn off excess energy, but it turns out bouncing is a great grownup exercise, too. Since it's low impact, the trampoline is particularly great for anyone with joint issues who still wants a heart-pumping workout. Look for classes at your local gym, which will likely use mini trampolines, or at a local trampoline park where you'll have a little more room to fly.
Two girls plogging
Photo credit: The Runner Beans/facebook.com

PLOGGING

If you love exercising outdoors and all things eco-friendly, look no further: Plogging, which got its start in Sweden, is the workout trend you've been waiting for. The idea is simple: Slap on some gloves, grab a small trash bag, and head out for your run. Then grab garbage whenever you see it. The best thing about plogging? It's easy to do on your own, but if you want to connect with other ploggers, check with local running clubs.
POUND workout class
Photo credit: POUND - Rockout. Workout./facebook.com

POUND

Unleash your inner rock star with Pound. This "cardio jam session" utilizes weighted drumstick-like Ripstix while participants drum to the beat. The squats, lunges and other ab-heavy moves are especially good for anyone who wants to work on their core fitness, but the party atmosphere is even better for forgetting you're actually exercising. Classes have spread nationwide; find one in your area here.

Senior women hula hooping in the park
Photo credit: Cecilie_Arcurs/istockphoto

HULA HOOPING

Who knew that this simple childhood pleasure could be a great grown-up workout? Hula hooping can actually burn more calories than your step aerobics or Pilates class, and it's especially ideal for toning up your core. Experts recommend using a weighted hula hoop for the most effective workout (you can easily find them online) because they'll help you keep the momentum needed to work those muscles.
Bungee workout class
Photo credit: Bungee Super Fly/facebook.com

BUNGEE

Most people are familiar with the resistance bands they can use at the gym. Now picture yourself being tethered to the ceiling by a couple of giant ones. That's a bungee workout in a nutshell. Some moves will be easier – especially on the joints – and others will be harder, especially as you move farther from the anchor point. Look for bungee classes at higher-end gyms and studio fitness centers in most major cities across the country.
Obstacle course at a gym
Photo credit: MROC: Obstacle Course Training Center/facebook.com

OBSTACLE COURSES

If you've ever watched "American Ninja Warrior" and thought, "I could do that" – or you're game to try – an obstacle-course workout might be for you. Skill-focused moves will have you figuring out how to traverse pits, scale walls, and vault over hurdles; because they're as much mental as they are physical, you might not even realize you're actually exercising. You can find places to train across the U.S.
Woman stand-up paddleboarding
Photo credit: JodiJacobson/istockphoto

STAND-UP PADDLEBOARDING

Spent any time on the water lately? Chances are high that you've seen someone SUPing – that's stand-up paddleboarding – because the sport has exploded in popularity over the past few years. Perfect for anyone who likes the thought of surfing without all those crazy waves, SUP can provide a whole-body workout and help improve balance and flexibility, no matter your fitness level. Don't want to invest in your own paddleboard? Check out outfitters in your area for rentals.
Woman taking a pole dancing class
Photo credit: Antonio_Diaz/istockphoto

POLE DANCING

Pole dancing is a fitness trend that might have raised eyebrows a few years ago, but not these days. If you live in a major metro area, chances are there's a fitness studio with pole dancing classes near you. Learning how to make those flirty moves fluid takes a ton of core and upper-body strength, and it also helps devotees work on balance, coordination, and – perhaps most importantly – confidence, practitioners say.
Indoor rock climbing
Photo credit: Wavebreakmedia/istockphoto

INDOOR CLIMBING

No, you don't have to scale a real mountain to get fit from climbing. Experts say spending an hour on an indoor rock wall is an amazing workout because it requires dynamic, whole-body movement. The result is exercise that boosts strength, cardio fitness, balance and coordination, all at the same time. There's probably a place to get started closer than you think. Indoor climbing and bouldering gyms are popping up all around the country; climbing walls have also become staples at rec centers and high-end fitness centers.
Aqua cycling class
Photo credit: Aqua Fit Pro/facebook.com

AQUA CYCLING

Spin classes and pool-based fitness classes are old hat these days, but a mashup of the two? That's what you get with aqua cycling, or underwater cycling. You'll hop on a bike that's actually submerged in a pool, then pedal away at the pace set by the instructor. The water provides resistance that makes pedaling harder than it is outside of the pool, but it also helps reduce joint fatigue, making this class a winner for all ages. Classes are concentrated in major metro areas like New York, Los Angeles, and Washington.
Woman working out with a BOSU ball
Photo credit: Klubovy/istockphoto

BOSU

Chances are you've seen Bosu balls at your local gym: They look like someone took a balance ball and chopped it in half. What you might not know is how versatile Bosu balls can be when it comes to exercise: Ball side up or flat side up, they can add a new level of difficulty to standard moves since you must work to stay balanced. Even better, you can get a great Bosu workout on your own (but if you're a social butterfly, some gyms and rec centers have Bosu-centric classes or incorporate Bosu balls into other classes).

People nordic walking with poles
Photo credit: gbh007/istockphoto

NORDIC WALKING

Poles aren't just for skiers. Boost your calorie burn by as much as 30 percent by adding Nordic walking poles to your next neighborhood stroll or woodland hike. Why add poles? Because they get your upper body in on the act, turning your walk into a full-body workout. Nordic walking is especially great for anyone intimidated by higher-impact exercises. Experts recommend investing in a good set of poles that are adjustable based on your height.
Belly dancing class
Photo credit: vm/istockphoto

BELLY DANCING

If the Latin beats in your Zumba class are starting to feel a little repetitive, maybe it's time to look to the Middle East for your next workout inspiration. Low-impact belly dancing can help tone those ab muscles, improve posture, and boost coordination. Though you can dip your toe in at home, devotees say taking a class is a great way to work out and gain confidence, too. Look for classes at local dance studios or rec centers.
People in a color run race
Photo credit: Be Active Stay Active Lisburn Castlereagh/facebook.com

CRAZY RACES

If that same old charity 5K has become a little less-than-motivating, it's time to check out some of the more interesting races you can tackle this summer. Chances are you've heard of obstacle-filled mud runs, but how about running through massive walls of bubbles? Bouncing through giant inflatables? Being pelted by colorful powder while you power toward the finish line? Even better: Many of these races are kid-friendly, so you can run with your whole family.

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