11. Carve the core. If you want to define your core and increase flexibility, strength training through Pilates is a great option. The moves, which can be modified to fit any fitness level, are designed to condition the body (with an emphasis on the core) and improve balance. Feeling a little more adventurous? Take your Pilates mat skills to the Reformer, a machine that will really put that strength, balance, and coordination to the test.
12. Jump on it. Unleash the kid in you and hop to the nearest trampoline. This bouncy childhood favorite is the latest fitness craze, and not just because it’s super fun. Just six minutes of cardio moves on a trampoline is the equivalent to running, oh, about a mile. And thanks to the trampoline’s low-impact cushioning, joints are protected as you jump up and down.
13. Dodge balls. As in, play a game of dodgeball. A gym class favorite, the game is a fun way to get moving with a group of friends. It’s not all fun and games, though. Dodgeball delivers a surprisingly good cardio workout, moving in all planes of motion as you duck and fly over your opponent’s strikes. After a few vigorous games, you might find yourself more sore than expected — hopefully not from a ball to the forehead (ouch!).
14. Get fast and furious. If you haven’t tried plyometrics, get ready for an intense workout with seemingly simple moves. Plyometrics workouts incorporate explosive movements like tuck jumps, jumping jacks, and single-leg hops to improve cardio endurance and strength. Just remember: Our bodies adapt to challenging workouts faster than you’d think, so be sure to keep switching up that plyo routine. For a great at-home option, check out the Insanity Workouts.
15. Shoot hoops. No need to wait until summer to make like Mike (or LeBron, that is). Engaging in a friendly (or not-so-friendly) game of indoor hoops can burn more than 600 calories per hour. Running full-court can also improve your athletic endurance, not to mention balance and coordination as you play hard D and put up some shots. And while a full-on 5 v. 5 game is always fun, you only need one other person to get the stakes up (and earn those bragging rights). What’s not to love?
16. Soc-it to me. Don’t relegate soccer to a warmer weather-only sport. When it’s too cold to get outdoors, indoor soccer is a solid option for kicking out your frustrations and working up a sweat. And the benefits are worth it: Soccer means crazy good cardio, plus some sneaky core work with every pass, shot, and corner kick. Studies show the world’s favorite sport can also improve oxygen uptake (a measure of cardiovascular fitness) in adult athletes, and help with balance, too. Score!
17. Kick it up a notch. It’s a full body workout, a stress reducer, a self-defense class, and flexibility workshop. No, folks, this isn’t a magic pill. It’s the power of kickboxing. Combining karate-style kicking with boxing punches, kickboxing takes the best of both worlds to give your upper and lower body a kick-ass workout. It burns about 750 calories an hour, and the emphasis on core movements will help tone the body as well. And if you’re ever in a situation where you need to throw a punch or two, kickboxing’s got you covered.
18. Start swinging. Who knew swinging cast iron could reap such huge benefits in so little time? If you want to combine strength training and cardio workouts into one effective, calorie-blasting workout, pick up a set of kettlebells. One recent study found that, in a 20-minute workout, participants were burning about 20 calories per minute — the equivalent of running a 6-minute mile pace.
19. Row it out. Turns out those rowers at the gym are onto something. Each rowing stroke can be broken down into a leg press, a dead lift, and a row (how’s that for a full-body workout?). And though you’re stationary, since all the muscles are working at once, that heart rate shoots up just as fast. Not up for rowing solo? Rowing classes can torch up to 1,200 calories in just one hour-long session. Plus, the resistance is created by how hard you push or pull, so the intensity level is up to you.
20. Get some hang time. Lifting weights is hard work. But using your own bodyweight to perform challenging moves, all while suspended from different angles? Welcome to TRX. A favorite among Navy SEALs, the portable suspension trainer works the whole body, including the core, and does it all while you fight against gravity. Exercises can be modified depending on your fitness level, making it a worthwhile investment no matter what your fitness level is. If you’re not ready to purchase your own system, check out local gyms for TRX classes and trainers.
What’s been your favorite indoor workout this winter? Tell us in the comments below, or tweet us at @MapMyFitness.