Unconventional workouts you need to try

Art by Ina Jacobe

Growing up, you’ve probably encountered the saying “If you find a job you love, you don’t have to work a day in your life.” It may seem like quite a stretch to apply this to exercise, but if you’re going to spend an hour a day working out, you might as well be enjoying yourself in the process. At least then, the gruelling pain of having to move your legs the next day will have been worth it.

Exercise is vital to our lives. But for a lot of reasons, not all of us can seem to incorporate it in our daily routine. Workouts have evolved over the years, and now, there are a lot of options to choose from. All you need to do is find the perfect fit for you.

Clockwise from left: Parkour, trampoline workout, and rowing.


Crash Course: Become the next Philippine Dragon Boat member — or at least try — by using a rowing machine to simulate watercraft rowing.

My experience: I came to the studio without researching much about rowing. As soon as I got in, I saw a row of indoor rowing machines lined up. I had no idea how they worked. They looked like mini-water dispensers with a chair attached to them. Thanks to my lack of research, I joined an intermediate class and not a beginner one. We were required to do a series of actual rowing paired with ab exercises and low-intensity movements during intervals. We did a total of around 3,000 rowing movements.

Overall verdict: ROWING IS LIFE. It may have been my inner competitive Aries speaking, but I really enjoyed it. Especially when I saw that I was going faster than the others. (I was able to keep track of this since there’s a meter on each indoor rowing machine.) Contrary to what you might think, this is more of an exercise for the legs than it is for the arms.

Perfect for: Anyone looking for a good leg workout and killer cardio moves (without noticing that you are dying). Also, in case another flood comes along, you have the option to row your way out of here.


Crash Course: Simply put, it incorporates a trampoline to other workouts such as Parkour, Zumba and volleyball. Since you’ll be too busy having fun, you won’t notice how many calories you’re burning.

My experience: I had the opportunity to try a little bit of everything. Aside from the basic safety precautions and proper ways to jump (yes, there is a proper form for it), I got to try out volleyball, fitness, basketball and, last by not the least, their newest activity, the Bubble Ball. For this, you step inside a large plastic bubble, and become a human ball bouncing around on the trampoline. As for the other exercises, they’re pretty self-explanatory. It’s doing the sports you would normally, except for the fact that you’re standing on top of a trampoline and not a flat surface. The challenge is keeping your balance.

Overall verdict: Aside from jumping on a trampoline being fun on its own, they provide a variety of trampoline-related workouts so you always have something new to try. You really can’t get bored here. I would definitely recommend trying out the Bubble Ball.
Perfect For: Kids at heart — pretty much all of us, and any Parkour buff that wants to add fun into their routine.


Crash Course: Parkour is based around functional and creative movements used to overcome urban obstacles. It consists of natural moves such as running, jumping, flipping and climbing.

My experience: I spent that morning learning the basics of balancing and vaulting. Our warmup required me to run three laps around the Parkour course, and another being chased around by the coach. Help! When I thought it was all over, they had me balance myself on a narrow pole. I swore it looked so easy when the coach was doing it, I agreed to try it right away. Needless to say, I failed. At the end, I had to jump from a six-foot height to a foam pit. Believe me, this training puts Spider-Man to shame.
Overall verdict: I never knew how scary falling would be until I was told to jump falling backwards… even if it was into a foam pit. For the most part, I was just scared of not having the proper form and injuring myself. Overthinking won’t get you anywhere, though. Parkour not only trains the body, but the mind as well — you discover how far you’re willing to push yourself.

Perfect For: Anyone who needs to run away from people on the daily. Definitely not for someone scared of heights, unless you’re ready to conquer that fear.

Find your way to Saddle Row in Serendra, Bonifacio High Street. For more details, visit saddlerowph.com or facebook.com/saddlerowphilippines.

Bounce around at Trampoline Park’s branch in Greenfield District, Mandaluyong City. For more details, visit their website trampolinepark.ph.

Visit Ninja Academy in their branches at Pasig and Las Piñas. For more details visit ninjaacademy.ph.


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