Our Top 5 Sports-Inspired Workouts
Doing the same thing day-in and day-out becomes boring fast. The same goes for exercise. That same gym routine becomes humdrum and a little monotonous.
But you know it’s good for you. The benefits are undeniable. Luckily, fitness inspiration isn’t hard to come by these days. Business owners know there is a constant need for it - and a constant need to keep it new.
Thus, new activities and studios offer plenty of opportunities to mix it up. It’s time to unleash your inner athlete. Remember those sports you played growing up? Well, you can do them as an adult too. The option exists. Will you take it?
Here are some quick fitness tips and sports-inspired workouts to get your motivation back.
1. Into Ballet? Try Barre Classes!
Don’t let those leotards fool you - ballet is tough work. And consequently, so are barre classes. It works your muscles in ways you’ve never worked them before.
Barre combines yoga, pilates, and ballet. It involves holding plie squats for minutes at a time, combined with pulses and controlled breathing. You’ll also use the bar - like in ballet - to perform arm exercises and killer glute exercises. Often, it’s a full body workout. And you’ll definitely feel it in your calves and glutes the day after.
So, what can you expect? Is there a quick version you can do at home?
Normally, you need a specialty studio - but you can do short variations at home. Here’s a quick version if you want a little taste before signing up for that intro membership at your local barre studio:
- Use a yoga mat or a comfortable surface to perform your workout on.
- Spread your feet wider than shoulder-width apart (like you’re about to do a plie).
- Hold 1-2 pound weights in either hand. Hold your arms in front of your body, relaxed straight in front of you.
- Bend your knees and lower into your wide squat.
- Perform 16 bicep curls in this position. On your 16th curl, hold halfway. Your arms should be at 90 degrees with your weights out in front of you.
- Inhale and lower your squat. Do this twice.
- Pulse in your squat for 8 counts.
- Hold for 2-5 breaths. And stand back up.
- Bend your knee slightly and lean slightly forward.
- Position your arms so they are straight back, alongside your body.
- Without moving your upper arm, bend your elbows and then extend back. Repeat this for 16 counts.
- On the 16th count, hold your arms straight back and pulse up for 8.
- On your 8th pulse, hold for 2-5 breaths.
- Then, stretch out your quads, glutes, triceps, and biceps.
This routine should give you some idea what you will get yourself into at a barre class. Come out of the squat if you feel you need to. It does get easier over time. In a full class, you’ll do glute bridges, calf raises, more squats, and core work.
2. Do You Like Outdoor Cycling? Try a Spin Class!
Spin classes are hardcore. We aren’t saying that to scare you. Each person goes at their own pace - or their own gear. You control your level. Yet, most classes involve some sort of interval training. You do heavy resistance, then quickly release it and race. It’s fun. It goes by fast and it might be the exact fitness inspiration you need for it.
Surprisingly, a spin class can burn anywhere from 300-700 calories. It’s great cardio and many studios offer a great community to be part of! When you start going to regular classes, you’ll meet people. It’s bound to happen. Like barre classes, spin classes offer discounts to new members. You can try it out without racking out too much cash!
3. Like Gymnastics? What About Acro Yoga or Aerial Yoga?
If you loved gymnastics and are looking for a similar workout, yoga is it. It offers similar challenges in the form of balance and flexibility. If you are really looking for an exciting way to do yoga, acro yoga and aerial yoga are it.
Acro yoga is often performed by 2 or more people and is a form of acrobatics yoga. And it looks pretty cool! You can make different shapes and yes, it’s much harder than it looks. Luckily, there are many classes offered for beginners. Find one in your town.
According to yogapedia, Aerial yoga, sometimes called anti-gravity yoga, “uses a hammock or yoga swing to allow students to perform postures that they may not ordinarily be able to attempt on the yoga mat.” It’s a mix of yoga, pilates, acrobats, and dance. So if regular yoga doesn’t entice you, this might.
Not convinced? Here are a few quick fitness facts about yoga and its benefits:
- It’s not just about fitness. It’s about soothing and clearing your mind. Constantly bringing your thoughts back to your breath allow for a semi-meditated state of mind.
- No one actually cares how bendy you look. Do what feels good for you. There is no competition here.
- It enhances your natural posture and core strength - all good things when it comes to preventing age-related pains and regular ol’ injuries.
- It improves your flexibility and range of motion.
- It is thousands of years old. It’s origins go as far back as 3000 B.C.
- Your balance will improve.
Look up yoga classes and studios in your area! Maybe it’s the right sports-inspired workout you’ve been craving.
4. Did You Play Soccer Growing Up? Try This Resistance Band Workout!
Soccer requires a lot of footwork. So, this resistance band workout draws fitness inspiration from this concept. Check it out:
- Wrap a resistance loop band around your thighs. Make sure you have enough space to run back and forth. And if you have an agility ladder - even better.
- Get to the opposite end of your space by pushing your right thigh out, against the resistance band - as if you were dodging a cone or an opponent.
- Do the same going to the left.
- Repeat this until you come to the end of your space or ladder.
- Perform 10 quick high knees or mountain climbers.
- Repeat 3-5 times.
You’ll be sweating or at least, breathing heavily by the end of it all! Throughout your workout, imagine you are dodging opponents or running for the ball. Visualizing can help you find your fitness inspiration and motivation to keep going. And you’ll get a great leg and core workout by doing so.
5. Enjoy Swimming? Go For Some Laps.
We’re serious. Swimming laps is an exceptional form of cardio, and you can make it interesting. Try doing 10 laps in under a certain timeframe, or imagine you’re in a race. Try to make it from one end and back as quickly as you can. Race yourself! It can provide a great interval exercise session.
Plus, the buoyancy is easy on the joints. If you’re not into laps, you aren’t limited to just going back and forth. Many places offer aqua aerobic classes, which are also great for the cardiovascular system and your muscles. Sign up for one today! See if you enjoy it.
Get Inspired by Sports Today!
And if you are still active in sports, cross-training is always a good idea. For instance, spinning offers cross-training for runners. It trains similar muscle groups - but in a different way, giving your joints a much-needed break.
See what you can find in your area! Or, just partake in the above workouts in your home. Fitness inspiration is out there. Find yours!