For most gym rats, leaving the weight room is like breaking an addiction. Many of us have become so accustomed to our barbells and 45lb plates that we can’t imagine any other exercises that will give us the pump and rush we seek.
However, as cross training and high intensity workouts prove, you can work your body parts with a number of exercises that don’t require the often cramped and stuffed rooms of your local gym.
Here are a few:
Mountain Biking: And you thought squats could make your legs scream? Take a 20 mile ride on rough terrain and see what that does to your legs. Biking is one of the best exercises for your legs, including quadriceps, hamstrings and calves, and also is a great exercise for cardio.
Swimming: A complete body workout, swimming is a terrific exercise that really works the shoulders and cardio. Whether in a lap pool, lake or ocean, swimming a few miles a day will definitely put your body to the test. If you are new to the exercise, do not swim alone. You’ll be surprised how soon you are gasping for breath and if unattended this can be a problem.
Boxing: Before cross training, ironman’s and triathlons, the fittest athletes were boxers. The combination of ring work, punching bags and jump rope was a full body workout that is still practiced today in a number of forms including cardio-boxing. If you don’t feel like lacing the gloves up and taking a few punches, you can always borrow the training regimens of former world champions from Marvin Hagler to Evander Holyfield for non-weight related exercises that will get you in shape fast.
Running: If biking and swimming is not your thing, start each morning with a run. Start with a light jog on your first day, see how it feels and slowly increase your distance and speed. Not only will running tone your legs but will also provide a superior cardio workout.