8 Exercise Trends That Don’t Require a Gym

Posted: Jan 30 in Getting Active by

You are probably familiar with gym workouts that include cardio machines and some weight lifting. Those fitness sessions can produce results, but they sometimes get boring.

Shake things up by trying an exercise trend that doesn’t require time spent in a gym, or even indoors. Here are 8 trends in exercise that you can try with no gym membership required.


The only equipment you need for slacklining is a long piece of webbing that is an inch or two wide. Attach this flexible rope to two trees or other stable obstacles like a tightrope. Then climb on top and try to maintain your balance as you make your way across. When you get really good at it, you’ll be able to do jumps and other tricks.

Slacklining is great for balance and core strength. Highliners take the activities to literal new levels by walking across strips of webbing high in the air.


Hanging is a fun fitness activity that involves simply hanging around. There are all kinds of places to practice hanging, from playground equipment to bridges to ledges. Use your arm and core muscles to hold yourself up as you hang. Also practice pulling your lower body up using your abdominals.

Rock climbers often train with hanging techniques by practicing moving from bar to bar or along the edge of a structure. Doing this will help strengthen your grip.

Stand-Up Paddling

Stand-up paddleboarding combines meditative outdoor exercise with strength training. All it takes is a board and a long paddle. Balance on your board and use your paddle to cruise your way around a lake or other smooth water.  Some stand-up paddleboarders also practice yoga on their boards.


Climbing stairs is an everyday activity for many people, but it’s also a fitness trend. Running or walking up and down stairs is an excellent way to increase your heart rate and build your muscles and endurance. This healthy exercise can be done indoors in the stairwell of a building, or outdoors on any structure with steps. Stadium steps are an especially popular choice, and many people like to climb staircases of famous landmarks.

Natural Water Swimming

Swimming in a pool is a completely different experience from swimming in an ocean, lake, river, or pond. Swimming in natural water allows you to enjoy the great outdoors while engaging in healthy exercise. Tidal water provides an even tougher challenge, and natural water is sometimes cold.

Natural water swimming can be dangerous alone, so find a group of people to swim with.

Snow Shoeing

If you are lucky enough to live in or visit a cold climate, you can strap some snowshoes to your feet and try hiking through a winter wonderland. Snowshoes allow you to increase the size of each step so you can balance your weight over deep snow. You’ll find a whole new view on the outdoors.


Planking started as a workout trend in gyms to increase core strength, but this simple exercise has become popular in all kinds of spaces. Planking involves positioning yourself on the ground or on top of an object in such a way that your body is straight and you are balancing on your elbows and toes.

You will now see people planking alone and in groups at parks, in forests, and even on outdoor city structures. Some people like to plank on benches, along the edge of fountains, or on the beach. You can do this activity almost anywhere.

Community Obstacle Courses

As fitness becomes more important in people’s lives, many communities have responded by building outdoor public facilities where people can have fun and get some exercise. Some of these spots are almost like playgrounds for adults, with all kinds of obstacle course activities that anyone can try. These obstacle courses may include climbing walls, jumps, and balance beams.

If your community doesn’t have an outdoor fitness obstacle course, contact your local representatives. Maybe you could lead the effort to create one.

Working out doesn’t have to happen inside a gym. There are many ways to exercise, and they often involve being outside in the fresh air. Try one of these fitness trends today as a way of supplementing your gym workout or as an alternative.

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