Workouts for People who Hate Lifting


You don’t have to get a gym membership or buy workout equipment in order to get and stay in shape

As summer approaches, many Knoxvillians have been working on getting that toned “beach bod” just in time for pool days and tropical vacations.

The prospect of getting in shape is exhilarating at first, but that motivation often dies down after a couple of weeks. It is hard to be consistent with a fitness plan if you do not enjoy what you are doing. 

Many people automatically assume that lifting weights in the gym and running on the treadmill are needed in order to stay fit.

If this is not your forte, then there are many other workout options that don’t involve weights or treadmills at all. And they can all be found right in the Marble City.

1. Get Outside

If you are outdoorsy and are looking for a way to get fit while admiring nature, then hiking is a great option!

Steven Hodge, a personal trainer in Knoxville, says, “East Tennessee is pretty much the Mecca of hiking in the Eastern US, and it’s right in our back yard. Especially when you consider the distances people travel to catch some of the views during the spring and fall months.” 

For anyone wanting a more casual outdoor activity, look no further than Knoxville’s parks and greenways. Many of these outdoor spaces have pickleballs courts along the way. Pickleball, which has been on the rise, is a paddle sport that can be played by two or four people. This game is accessible to a wide variety of people which makes for a perfect game with family or friends out in the sun. Head here for the 10 courts that are free to the public.

You might also find disc golf to be more up your speed. Picture throwing a frisbee with a friend but with a target and a course like that of a golf course! Head here for a list of some of the area’s best disc golf courses.

2. Kick it Up a Notch

If you are looking for more of that trainer-led experience to simply sign on to, Knoxville also has plenty of unique workout classes to choose from on this front—from kickboxing and martial arts to yoga and pilates—many of which offer free first classes or trial memberships.

If you’ve never tried kickboxing, this is a serious full body workout and is a great form of cardio. Unlike regular boxing, kickboxing also incorporates kicks and knee strikes. It may seem intimidating, but it actually quite accessible to any fitness level. Places like Total Fitness Kickboxing and Kick and Fit Club offer free day passes to check them out.

If you’re looking to really break a sweat, infrared saunas have grown in popularity. While it is common to go to a sauna after a workout, there are now studios that allow you to workout while receiving the benefits of infrared energy and heightened temperatures. Hotworx, a 24-hour infrared studio, has various locations recently opened a new studio by UT. And plenty of studios, like Real Hot Yoga, offer hot yoga classes to make the sweat pour.

3. Dance Your Heart Out

You might not think dance would help you break a sweat, but you’d be surprised! Sure, there is Zuumba and other dance-based classes at gyms, but a variety of other places in the community offer dance instruction to make it quite a different experience. Places in the community like Angela Floyd School for Dance are not just for kids, but offer adult classes as well. Others like Marble City Ballroom and Circle Modern Dance are at the ready with adult classes and opportunities to perform if you end up really getting into it.

One more thing. With all the incredible parks in the region, you can combine all of the above and get outside for classes, too! The City of Knoxville’s Program in the Parks has a host of partners who bring exercise and wellbeing to the parks across the city. Must-trys! With all that Knoxville has to offer, it’s easy to try a variety of activities and classes to see what works best for you.

As Steven Hodge states, “I’m a big advocate for movement in general and whatever gets people to it is fine by me.”

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