Latest Best of LA

Best Unique Workouts Outside of A Gym

July 18, 2014 5:00 AM

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(credit: H. Kamiah)

(credit: H. Kamiah)

(credit: Joy Bitonio)

(credit: Joy Bitonio)


From land to sea, and everything in between, the outdoors beckons you with a natural alternative to the shiny equipment and fluorescent lights in a gym. If you’re motivation to work up a sweat needs a reboot, it’s time to get physical with one of these unique workout activities outside of the gym.
(credit: Joy Bitonio)

(credit: Joy Bitonio)


San Antonio “Mt. Baldy” Hike
8401 Mt. Baldy Road
Mount Baldy, CA 91759
www.fs.usda.gov

Up for a challenge? How about an ascent up Mt. Baldy, the highest peak in Los Angeles County at 10,064 feet. The trailhead, which starts north of the Manker Flats campground at San Antonio Falls Road, includes 10 miles of serenity in signature So Cal style. You’ll traverse through dry rocky desert areas, alpine covered mountains, and a treacherous area known as Devil’s Backbone to get to the reward up top: 360-degree views of the mountains, ocean, and city all in one place. Did we mention the sense of accomplishment? There are two routes to the top, but for a more interesting view and test of athletic ability, opt for the Ski Hut Trail. Think of it as Mother Nature’s stair climber, offering up an intense vertical ascent for the majority of the trek up. Pack some snacks and lots of water to enjoy when you get to the top, with the option to take the ski lifts back down at the halfway point descent (get tickets from the ski shack). Best to enjoy in the summer or fall; be sure to get an Adventure Pass to display in your car for parking in Angeles Crest Forest recreational areas.

(credit: Grand Park LA)

(credit: Grand Park LA)


Grand Park’s Boot Camp
Grand Park’s Fountain Overlook
200 North Grand Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90012
www.grandparkla.org

Rather than going from eight sedentary hours in the office to sitting in traffic, Grand Park suggests you get your body moving. To sweeten the pot, it’s free. Designed for all fitness levels, Grand Park’s Boot Camp beats braving the rush hour commute each and every time. Check the event schedule online.

(credit: franklinhills.org)

(credit: franklinhills.org)


Franklin Hills Stairs
Starting at 2505 Hyperion Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
www.franklinhills.org

Throughout LA neighborhoods lie historic staircases lining hillside communities. Hidden within this East Hollywood enclave you’ll discover 14 pubic stairways that were originally built in the mid-20’s as a shortcut to get to trolley lines. In this time period, people got around the city without cars, so these staircases served as direct routes for pedestrians to go about their day-to-day business. Today, they offer a variety of elevation changes and stairway lengths throughout charming residential areas, offering a fun way to explore the city on the same routes as residents of times past. This is a great lower body workout, and one offering as much cardio training as you can handle. Use Baller Hardware store as your starting point of reference to find the first stairway. Check the website for a full map.

(credit: Joy Bitonio)

(credit: Joy Bitonio)


Trapeze School New York
370 Santa Monica Pier
Santa Monica, CA 90401
(310) 394-5800
www.losangeles.trapezeschool.com

Working out can be fun if you know where to look, especially when it gives you a birds eye view of the Santa Monica Pier and the means to fly. Gain strength and balance with this heart-racing and exhilarating way to get fit. You’ll fall, bounce, fly, practice catches, and sweat your way to the enviable physique of a circus performer. Not only is it fun, but getting on the trapeze is fun too!

(credit: T. Igbot)

(credit: T. Igbot)


Kayaks On The Water
5411 E Ocean Blvd
Long Beach, CA 90803
(562) 434-0999
www.kayakrentals.net

Paddling is unrivaled as a functional core and upper body workout that can be done solo or with a friend. In this part of the city, kayaks can be rented for a leisurely wade through the Naples Island Canals, or opt for a more intense race down the waterways. During summer, you can paddle up to the cove that is full of non-stinging moon-jellies at select times in the season. Another fun option is to get fit with Fido. Just be sure you’ve got a canine life jacket and you’re good to go for some fun at sea.

(credit: H. Kamiah)

(credit: H. Kamiah)


Go Surf LA
Ocean Front and Bay St
Santa Monica, CA 90405
(310) 428-9870
www.gosurfla.com

Stand Up paddle boarding is a fantastic way to build balance, core strength, and stability, with big blue as your playground. Introductory lessons are offered to teach newbies the basics, with equipment and wetsuit rentals available if you’re ready to go at it without guidance. You can expect to burn up to three times the calories of surfing when SUPing, especially if you work your way up to paddling on waves.

What are your favorite unique workouts? Share in the comments below!
Joy Bitonio has the phrase “Joie de Vivre” tattooed on her shoulder, a reminder to enjoy life every single day. She has a voracious appetite for fun, adventure, food, good cocktails and works out like a madwoman to keep it all together. She will soon be launching m0th2flame, a fitness and lifestyle blog. Check out what else she recommends around Los Angeles in the links below.Follow Joy on Twitter | Instagram | CBS LA

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