Warning: Really, really weird workouts below
Getting bored with the same old routine of going to the gym? Worn out with typical push-ups and cardio workouts? Perhaps it’s about time for you to step out of your comfort zone and try these weird but effective workouts. Mind you, all of these really do exist.
Retro running is a more pleasant term for this kind of workout, but it doesn’t change the fact that it’s still an absurd way to improve your fitness (yeah, it really does). According to a study published in 2011, backwards running uses more leg muscles than the usual forward motion, making anyone burn about 30 percent more energy while going at the same pace as regular running.
A 2014 study further claimed that even when walking backwards, you can improve your overall physical performance than forward walking. Two years ago, a study specified data to support the claim, saying that runners who tried backwards running for five weeks became 2.5 percent more efficient when they went back to running forward. As part of the outcome, they ran quicker without even using too much oxygen.
Of course, there is also a hitch when it comes to pulling off this workout—balance. Quite sure at least once in your life you already tried walking or running backwards or have already seen a person stumble or trip while doing it.
While there are risks to going barefoot when you run outside, removing your workout shoes inside the gym might benefit you more than you expect it to. Going barefoot when doing familiar exercises like squats, deadlifts, kettlebell swings, yoga, and HIIT can strengthen the small stabilizing muscles of the feet, which improves overall balance. “’Podiatrists will make exercises specific to each patient, but some exercises are suitable for anyone who wants to increase foot strength and flexibility,” said podiatrist and podiatric surgeon Emma Supple, who added that podiatrists have long been recommending foot exercises.
Hanging upside down
Who would have thought that by just hanging upside down you can actually reap tons of health benefits? Inversion workout is a type of exercise that can help you stretch and lengthen your spine, but it can also help reduce stress and back pain as well as improve focus, brain function, leg and core strength, flexibility of joints, posture.
A little history about the inversion workout: In 1960, chiropractor Dr. Robert Martin introduced inversion therapy to the United States, and its goal was to reverse the effects of gravity, which will help a person “relieve incredible amounts of pressure and disrupt normal rhythms, which carries with it benefits you cannot get with any other exercise.”
However, inversion workout isn’t for everyone. It’s not recommended for people with high blood pressure and spinal instability as it had been found to “increase the blood pressure and pressure behind the eye in healthy people.”