Sunday, December 4th, 2016

Top 5 Alternative Fitness Disciplines to Feed Your Passion and Stave Off Boredom

For decades, the word “exercise” has conjured images of overzealous, spandex-sporting, free weight-wielding enthusiasts, seemingly working out to the beat of the all-too familiar – and outdated – mantra: “No pain, no gain.”

We’ve gained some serious ground since then, exercising the freedom to realize that we have myriad options when it comes to getting and staying fit – none of which require us to accept the boring, the intimidating or the ridiculously expensive when it comes to getting healthy, and staying strong and in shape.

We’ve summarized five such options here, all of which are likely to not only feed your passion but also awaken your active self.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, which means "gentle art" in Japanese, is an ancient form of martial arts, adapted in Brazil, which encourages leverage and balance over sheer strength.

Coming to international prominence in the martial arts community in the early 1990s, Brazilian Jiu Jitsu proves that size is not the most important factor. Superior skills, joint locks, chokes and other finesse techniques can help gain an edge over and defeat a larger, stronger opponent.

A Brazilian Jiu Jitsu class may begin with stretching, followed by calisthenic and aerobic drills. Typically, a new student will learn one move per day and then be paired with a partner to practice and hone the technique. There may then be an extended round of live grappling, where participants improve their skills and put them to the test in a trial by fire.

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is similar to kinetic chess and one of the only martial arts where you can spar at 100% capacity on a daily basis.

  • Conditioning  ****
  • Flexibility ****
  • Weight Loss****
  • Strength ***

CrossFit

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning system consisting of constantly varied, if not randomized, functional movements executed at high intensity. The concept was originally developed by US Navy Seals with the goal of creating a variety of workouts not requiring any special tools or exercise equipment.

CrossFit not only trains your entire body to actually be used, but trains you in how to use your body to it's fullest extent. Each workout combines a set of varied movements done with high intensity in relatively short bursts, in order to stress and confuse many different muscles. CrossFit workouts are usually only 20-30 minutes in duration.

In addition to developing every muscle group, CrossFit is intended to build proficiency in ten different physical skills: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, agility, balance, coordination, and accuracy.

CrossFit, Inc. is a fitness company founded in 2000. As of 2012, there are over 3400 CrossFit-affiliated gyms worldwide and CrossFit workouts are used in thousands of private affiliated gyms and many fire departments, law enforcement agencies, and military organizations.

The CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience.

  • Conditioning  *****
  • Flexibility ***
  • Weight Loss****
  • Strength ****

Krav Maga

Krav Maga, meaning "contact combat" is a system of martial arts created by Israel Defense Forces emphasizing aggression, intensity, threat neutralization and simultaneous defensive and offensive skill.

Krav Maga is not a sport, but a system based on principles and concepts and is considered by many as the most devastating fighting and self defense system in the world.

Participants work with grappling, wrestling, and striking techniques as well as weapon disarmament and how to negotiate with a potential attacker.  The cardio exercises have a CrossFit feel, where you engage in workouts that combine various components. Students learn to defend against any type of attack before engaging in full-contact sparring.

Krav Maga is known for its focus on real-world situations and extremely efficient, brutal counter-attacks. A key principle is finishing combat as fast as possible with all all attacks aimed towards the most vulnerable parts of the body -- the face, neck, groin, knee, etc. The aggressive training style helps overcome fear, hesitation and nervousness, all of which are inherent in human nature.

  • Conditioning  ****
  • Flexibility ***
  • Weight Loss****
  • Strength ***

Parkour

Parkour is a spectacular combination of gymnastics, obstacle movement and Ninja Warrior obstacle course running, with a focus on speed and efficiency.

Developed in France, parkour movements include running, vaulting, rolling, climbing and jumping. Parkour obstacle training develops superior cardiovascular conditioning, upper body and core strength, and extraordinary spatial awareness.

As parkour grew in popularity in the mid 2000s, military forces around the world began incorporating parkour into their training. The British Royal Marines hired parkour athletes to train their members and parkour is slowly being introduced into the United States Marine Corps.

Parkour is as much an art form as it is a sport, and indoor gyms focusing on parkour are becoming more and more common.

  • Conditioning  ****
  • Flexibility *****
  • Weight Loss****
  • Strength ***

Kickboxing

Kickboxing is a full contact sport combining the punches of boxing with the kicks of karate, a perfect art to learn self protection. Although the roots of kickboxing date back 2,000 years, modern competitive kickboxing came to the fore in the 1970s when American karate experts staged competitions that allowed full-contact kicks and punches, previously banned in karate.

Competitive kickboxers use a wide a variety of moves to disorient and defeat their opponents. Punches include the jab, uppercut and hook. The hook is among the most devastating of strikes as it powerfully contacts an opponent from the side at full force. Kicks are also devastating weapons with techniques including the front, hook, side, roundhouse and spinning back kicks. The latter is good for surprising opponents as the kickboxer quickly spins and drives his heel backward into his opponent.

Kickboxing workouts involve constant movement and the development of excellent coordination. A typical kickboxing class begins with stretching and calisthenics, followed by a few rounds of cardio, and  drills using pads. Sparring in kickboxing is done infrequently and often performed with limited power.

Kickboxing is a total body workout using body weight as resistance so no one muscle group is worked to excess. Kickboxing conforms to the individual instead of making the individual conform to it.

  • Conditioning  *****
  • Flexibility ****
  • Weight Loss****
  • Strength ***

  • Know of other training methods and disciplines that help avoid workout boredom? Leave a comment below and let us know what you think!

 

Also See

Comments

10 Responses to “Top 5 Alternative Fitness Disciplines to Feed Your Passion and Stave Off Boredom”
  1. Rena S. says:

    Nice article. I also like Plyometrics and Pilates,

  2. proform treadmill discount says:

    I just like the valuable information you supply in your articles. I will bookmark your blog and test once more here regularly. I am slightly sure I will be informed a lot of new stuff proper right here! Best of luck for the following!

  3. gold price says:

    In order to begin training parkour one must begin to journey of mastering their own body weight. Parkour requires consistent training that emphasizes functional strength, explosive power, balance, spatial awareness, agility, control, and precision. To do this one must learn to jump, run, vault, climb, and balance.

  4. Anna says:

    I should try crossfit. Someone just tell me to do it!

  5. That’s a good post.

  6. Excellent post. I was checking constantly this blog and I’m inspired! Extremely helpful information specifically the final part :) I handle such information a lot. I used to be looking for this particular information for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

  7. Q) Is CrossFit safe? A) Yes. We are the leaders in fitness safety! Why? Because our programming begins with functional – or natural – movements. Scientifically speaking, we “use universal motor recruitment patterns, from core to extremity, move the body or other object effectively and efficiently, and are multi-joint”. The number one reason why people get injured in CrossFit facilities is because they don’t listen to their bodies. Sitting, standing, running, jumping, climbing, throwing, pushing, pulling, etc… are all natural movements, but it is essential to build up intensity slowly. Too much, too soon, and any natural movement can be dangerous. So, learn excellent form, begin with a less is more attitude, listen to your bodies, listen to your coaches and have fun!

  8. Followed your blog and subscribed. I am quite interested in Krav Maga, a very good martial art and self defense altogether. I am surprise though why you haven’t put Thailand’s MuayThai. A powerful one and definitely worth trying.

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