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8 Unique Workouts In Los Angeles That Aren't In A Gym

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Los Angeles has been blessed with a gorgeous climate and fitness instructors who've come from faraway lands to live the California dream. So there's no need to pack yourself into an overcrowded gym. There are plenty of cheap and interesting ways to get a good work out (and keep your eyes peeled on your favorite daily deal sites for a discount). Here are some of our favorites—let us know yours in the comments.

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Pilates Studio M (Facebook)
Aerial Silks

It turns out you don't have to in stellar shape to do splits while suspended in the air like the insanely talented people at Cirque Du Soleil. I surprised myself by doing it at my very first fly gym class at Pilates Studio M in Claremont. The beginner's class is a little bit like yoga and a little bit like pilates, except that you use the aerial silks hanging from the ceiling to stretch out or suspend yourself just a couple of feet from the ground. I confess that I got mildly seasick during one of the classes, but the instructors helped me breathe through it and assured me it just takes a little while for your brain to get used to being upside down and swinging from a ceiling. It seems worth it to learn how to fly. In advanced classes, you can learn to hang from an aerial hoop that's set even higher off the ground. I always love the last moment in a yoga class where they turn the lights down, lie down and try not to think of everything on your to-do list. It's that much better in an aerial silks class when you lie back in the cloth, gently rocking back and forth like a baby. The class set me back $20, but you can get a better deal with packages or from daily deal sites. And you don't have to go to all the way to Claremont to get an acrobatic workout: there are classes at the Cirque School now in Hollywood, Evolve in Mid-City or The Aerial Classroom in the Valley.

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Pilates Studio M is located at 548 W. First Street in Claremont

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Perhaps the most Angeleno pose ever (Yogaqua)
Stand Up Paddle Yoga

If you've ever tried SUP, the water sport that's taken SoCal by storm, you know that it's a killer core workout. Basically what it is is standing upright on an extra-floaty surfboard and paddling your way through the water. Try adding vinyassa flow into the mix, and it's even more of a challenge (and the ultimate zeitgeist-y workout). When you take one of Sarah Tiefenthaler's 90 minute classes in the Marina, you're definitely going to paddle away feeling like you got a great workout. You'll start with a stand up paddle lesson warmup, then anchor your board in the marina for some traditional yoga poses, and then finish things up with a cooldown paddle. And a nap. —Krista Simmons

YogAqua is located at 4101 Admiralty Way, Marina del Rey. (805) 283-9642

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Paddling down the river (Photo by TheDeadFormat via the LAist Featured Photos pool on Flickr)
The Los Angeles River

Last Memorial Day a new section of the Los Angeles River opened up in Elysian Park for the first time since it was channelized 80 year ago. It's a little rockier and wilder than the other sections, but it's a great way to see Los Angeles from a completely different perspective. (If you're not a fan of the water, you can bike or walk alongside on the Elysian Valley bike path). This section closes Labor Day, but come Memorial Day, you can bring your own kayak or hook up with one of the groups like L.A. River Expeditions L.A. River Kayak Safari that traverse the 2.5 mile stretch.

You can start your journey on the Los Angeles River at Marsh Park, which is at the end of Marsh Street in Elysian Valley just northeast of the 5 and 2 freeway interchange

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One of the members of the Eagle Rock Yacht Club playing dodgeball (Photo courtesy of Eagle Rock Yacht Club)
Dodgeball League

You would think you wouldn't want rubber balls thrown directly at you, but call me a masochist, it's actually really fun. Eagle Rock Yacht Club's co-ed dodgeball league is a great social sport where you get to meet lots of cool people in the process and also get a good workout. (Seriously, you'll be sore after the first game.) They have different leagues throughout the city, including Highland Park, Venice, Glassell Park, and North Hollywood. Alternatively, if you don't want to commit to a competitive league, they also offer Lazy Sundays at Glassell Park for pickup games. —Jean Trinh

There are different locations throughout L.A. You can find out more information and schedules here.

Slimmons

It's Richard Simmons. It's classic. He packs in the crowds to his Beverly Hills studio. It's $12, and the catty one-liners and sweaty after-class pictures with the man himself come with no extra charge.

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Slimmons is located at 9306 Civic Center Drive in Beverly Hills, (310) 275-4663

Core Power Yoga

It might seem totally insane to be doing yoga in a 100 degree plus room, and it kind of is, but it's one of the best stretches you'll ever get. The idea was brought to California by Bikram Choudhury (a very controversial figure in the community these days) in the 70s with a class that is the same 26 postures repeated every time. Many studios have riffed off the concept of hot yoga, one of being Core Power Yoga. Their Core Power Fusion classes are similar in that they're always set, but if you like switching things up like us, you'll dig their Hot Power Fusion classes, which are heated and humid, and the flow always changes. The instructors are taught to be teachers and DJs, so there's always good music on. And best of all, your first week is free. —Krista Simmons

There are 6 locations in L.A. You can find out more information and schedules here.

Kickball League

Remember when you played kickball with that red rubber ball on the playground in grade school? Well, you can relive those childhood memories with WAKA. The co-ed kickball league has chapters throughout L.A. and its members are mostly 21-and-over professionals. Plus, you can grab a drink at your local bar with your new team pals after your games. —Jean Trinh

There are different locations throughout L.A. You can find out more information and schedules here.

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Photo by David Lockeretz of Nobody Hikes in L.A.
Hikes, stairs, walks on the beach, etc. etc. etc.

No one Angeleno has to be told this, but the best and cheapest way to get active is to get outside and soak up the sun. Runyon Canyon is close and the people-watching and eavesdropping is unbeatable, and the Hollywood Sign is iconic but mix it up. You can do a couple laps at the Culver City Nature Trail. Check out the views in Palos Verdes or catch a seasonal waterfall there. Check out the wildflowers in the Verdugos in spring. Bring your dog. Ride your bike or jog along these trails. Buy this book on hidden staircases and keep it in your car or bag, so you'll always know how to kill an hour if you get stranded during an Obamajam. Hell, go ahead and prancerise like no one's watching. Remember, this is Los Angeles, and no one cares.