The World’s Weirdest Workouts

The Naked Gym in Spain

In Spain’s autonomous Basque community the recession has inspired new ways of working out. The owners of Easy Gym in the town of Arrigorriaga just south of Bilbao decided to get creative when memberships took a turn for the worse by dipping into new markets; the local nudists. With a total of 12 nude beaches and local swimming classes offered entirely in the buff, the market for those wanting to workout in their birthday suits was an easy niche for Easy Gym to tap in to – allowing people to flash their flesh and get fit, whilst avoiding any potential arrest warrants.

Circus Aerobics in UK

In London’s green spaces Gorilla Circus, a group of circus-skill trainers, are providing perilous tightrope walking lessons to those looking to shape up whilst learning the tricks of the trade. Although it doesn’t sound much like a workout, and it’s difficult to imagine how tiptoeing could be strenuous, this type of activity is in fact great for the shoulders, abdominal muscles and lats – and not only because of all your bodily tension! You can find out more about the lessons here.


Radio Taiso in Japan

The Japanese are known for their long life spans, which we usually assume is a result of a diet rich in fish and vegetables – but there are, perhaps, other reasons why Japan’s population is out-living the rest of us. In large Japanese companies, before the working day begins, people rise from their desks, conference calls and screens to perform a 15 minute series of warm up calisthenics. These stretches pump blood around the body, warming people up for the day ahead; and also providing everybody with an extra workout session to ensure they’re raising their heart rates at least once each day. Although to an onlooker this synchronised morning routine in the office can look slightly barmy – there is definitely method in this madness.

Kickbiking in Majorca

The kickbike is a hybrid between a bicycle and a skateboard; only infinitely easier to balance on and manoeuvre. Whilst kicking off the ground with one foot, and balancing on the standing-pad with another, kickbikers can use the bicycle-like handles to steer the contraption in any which way they want to go. Companies have jumped on this new phenomenon, arranging ‘kickbiking tours’ of the Balearics and their beautiful coasts, but in areas of Majorca you can find rental shops that will entrust you with your very own kickbike, allowing you to explore the coast at your own leisure (and risk).

Reverse Running in Manchester and London

Whilst most people in England only run for the biscuit tin, get-up-and-go types have brought in a new workout technique that baffles both onlookers and those trying to master the technique alike. Backwards running isn’t easy to grasp, particularly when you’re attempting to dodge those early morning commuters, post boxes, bins, cyclists and stray animals, but is better than its forward-facing counterpart when it comes to improving posture and reducing pressure on the knees.

Karaoke Spinning in USA

As though spinning classes weren’t enough of a challenge already, try doing it whilst belting out your favourite ballads and beat-pumping tracks. Crunch Gym in the USA offers classes where you’ll peddle like a maniac on the bike, then take a brief respite on the downward or straight roads to focus on the screen and sing along to your favourite hits. Assistants will come round with the mic if you’re ready to go solo, but there’s no pressure to sing along if you don’t fancy it. It is, however, a great way to take your focus off those aching muscles for a few minutes!


Hollie Mantle is a travel blogger who just returned to London after spending three years in Japan.  She came across our blog and was kind enough to offer this guest post to us.

Anybody want to start a backward running race in Minneapolis?