Maybe it’s too expensive.

Maybe you’re too shy.

Some people just plain do not like the gym.  It can be boring, intimidating, and it can seem somewhat redundant.  The good news is there’s another way.  Sports!  Here we’ll take a look at what I feel are some of the most appropriate alternatives to the average gym routine.

In my eyes an ideal fitness program should consist of a few key elements.  Full bodied, primitive movement patterns, intensity, and recordable progression.  Here are my top four sports that I feel possess these ingredients.

Rock Climbing

It doesn’t get much more primitive than scaling a sheet of rock with nothing but your hands and feet.  Rock climbing incorporates a lot of flexibility, leg strength, grip and upper body strength.  All the elements you’ll need to be one ripped monkey.

The Motivator: It’s the perceived matter of life or death.  Succeed or plummet.  Of course you’ll be wearing the proper safety equipment, but no one likes the feeling of having to let go.

Competitive Swimming

I’m not talking about splashing around at the local pool.  I’m talking about timed laps.  To get the
most bang for your buck try and learn all the styles.  Butterfly, breast, back and freestyle.  What with this being the Olympic season these should be somewhat familiar to you right now.  I like swimming as a replacement for the gym because of its low impact on joints, full fluid body movements, and a little something called dynamic variable resistance.  The harder you push, the harder it pushes back.  You have infinite room for progression.

The Motivator: There’s something about being a great swimmer that makes you feel just a little bit more fearless when traveling.  The earth IS 70% water.  Why not conquer it.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

An art form becoming more and more popular as mixed martial arts is more widely accepted in the United States.  As far as movement goes you’re looking at a lot of gripping, pulling, lunging and lifting.  And that’s just on your feet.  Once you hit the floor you’ll experience positions that would make a Yogi cringe.

The Motivator: It’s bad ass, plain and simple.  Not to mention nothing makes you work harder than the possibility of being choked.

Gymnastics

Sure doing gymnastics as an adult may seem a little obscure to you.  But it can be done I promise you that.  And I’m not talking about Olympic level gymnastics here.  Simply being able to master your own body and its weight is far more superior to anything you could achieve in the gym.  Start out slow, be patient, be confident, and trust yourself.  No one knows your body better than you.

The Motivator: Now, not only will you be able to dress like a ninja.  You’ll be able to move like one too.

I won’t lie, I may be a little partial when it comes to the sports I’ve selected here.  But I can tell you this.  In the world we live in form will always follow function.  Master any one of these sports and you can be sure the results will follow.

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