Photo by Micah Gantman: Le Sweat co-founder Charlee Atkins overlooking le metropolis from SoHo House Istanbul
#AYNTK: While traveling, cities are a breeding ground of opportunity. No matter where you are, you can take a new city and turn it into your urban gym. We encourage outdoor workouts because they let you see and experience a new place from a vantage point you wouldn’t otherwise get. Introducing: “metro-PA-looza” exercises. Here’s the break-down slash build-up of this weird word: “metro” = city; “PA” stands for Physical Activity; and “looza” = the party you’re going to have with yourself or your travel mates while being physical in a new city. AKA: a physical activity party in a city. Here, we highlight Istanbul – a beautiful city full of diverse topography that includes waterfront walk-ways, cobble-stone streets, hilly back allies, and the occasional stairway. There’s a plethora to do there beyond just the “metro-PA-looza” that we highlight below…but this is a good start.
Pushing it up on this ol’ incline on some stairs in Istanbul
What it works: the chest-icles (aka pectoral muscles) + shoulders + triceps + abdominals
Why we do it: if you’re in a particularly “hilly” city, this is great for pre or post exercise warm-up; it’s a stretch to fire up the bod, with emphasis on the arms and core
Just a tip: you can position the body on an incline (hands above feet), or for added intensity flip a 180° and position the body on the decline (feet above hands) Get it?
Taking a little walky-poo up this street in Istanbul
What it works: glutes + hamstrings + thighs
Why we do it: walking lunges require maximum leg movement and additional balance – both of which challenge the legs’ large muscle groups more so than a standing lunge
Just a tip: ensure that the knee does not go past the toes whilst walking the lunge
Running man challenge anyone?
What it works: the ol’ cardiovascular system (aka aerobic exercise)
Why we do it: caveat: this requires that you find stairs or a hill. If you don’t find either, you can also just run the flat surface (more to come on that, but that’s arguably straight-forward, pun intended). If you do find an incline though, take full advantage of it. Any run up an elevated surface is a surefire way to increase the intensity of the workout as well as work new muscle areas you’re probably not used to. You may be sore the next day, but that’s the whooooole point
Just a tip: if you find stairs, break-up the monotony of the run by switching between running each stair to skipping every other stair
Whilst jumping, find your tempo like you’re DJ Mustard
JUMPMAN, JUMPMAN, JUMPMAN
What it works: the lower body (lower legs + thighs + hips + glutes)
Why we do it: plyometrics (or “jump training”) is a form of power/speed-strength training that requires the muscles to exert maximum force in short intervals of time. When looking to add spice to your city workout, this one is creativity at it’s finest…
Just a tip: work your way up to “repetition based” jumping. That is, eliminate the “second-hop” between jumps
Raises of le calves whilst out in Istanbul
What it works: le calves
Why we do it: this can be done anywhere, so it’s a no brainer when it comes to infusing it in your metropo-PA-looza workout. It’s a staple inthe workout regime because strengthening the calves also benefits all other modes of locomotion.
Just a tip: alternate between toes pointed in and toes pointed out so that you target different parts of the calves. This will lead to more strength and ultimate definition.