When Two is Better Than One

Restricting yourself to just one type of workout can get boring real fast. Try these sports combos to up the efficacy and fun of your fitness regime.

Portrait of Tammy Strobel
Restricting yourself to just one type of workout can get boring real fast. Try these sports combos to up the efficacy and fun of your fitness regime.
Corbis/Click Photos
Corbis/Click Photos

Going for Zumba classes day in and day out, but still not seeing any changes? That’s because when you stick to only one type of workout, your muscles will start getting used to it – this means that whatever you’re doing won’t be as efficient for calorie-busting. Besides, you’d want to make sure that you work on all parts of your body, not just a specific muscle group. Here are some exercises that complement your current go-to workout, and might even increase your performance.

If you…CYCLE

Try Kickboxing

If you’re a long-distance cyclist, try
boosting your pedal power with the footwork involved in kickboxing. The
high-intensity workout engages your torso and hamstrings, and you’ll
definitely need considerable strength in those areas when cycling
uphill. And since cycling mainly involves your quads and legs,
kickboxing will balance it out by working on your upper body. It’ll also
improve your endurance, which you’ll be thankful for when you’re riding
the last few klicks of a bike marathon.

Corbis/Click Photos
Corbis/Click Photos


Be it ice hockey, field hockey or roller hockey, doing any variation of hockey will come in useful if you’re a tennis player. Both sports require the same lightning-quick reflexes, precise footwork, and quick bursts of energy from the player. Similarly, both tennis and hockey involve reacting to a small, fast-moving object. They say practice makes perfect, so if you’re looking to ascend to Serena Williams’ level without getting sick of the court… the answer lies in a puck.

Corbis/Click Photos
Corbis/Click Photos


Yoga and rock climbing share three things: they both require you to stay focused, remain calm and be in tune with your body. But while yoga blissfully stretches you out, rock climbing seriously puts your core strength to the test. Whether you’re doing it indoors or outdoors, channeling Spiderman makes you work an amazing amount of muscle groups. Besides, you’ll also be working on your upper body, making it easier to pull off poses that requires you to hoist yourself up (like the crow pose).

Corbis/Click Photos
Corbis/Click Photos

If you…RUN

Try Circuit Training

The exercises involved in a
typical circuit training session include pull-ups, squats, burpees and
pushups. As a form of body conditioning, this workout yields a number of
benefits for runners. For one, it decreases the chances of injury and
helps you to run faster thanks to stronger muscles. Need further proof
that this combo is good for you? When training for the 2008 Olympic
Games, athlete Shalane Flanagan devoted a significant amount of her time
to circuit training. The runner finished the games with a bronze medal.

Corbis/Click Photos
Corbis/Click Photos
If you…SWIM

Try Pilates

Olympic swim coaches like
Richard Quick are known to make their athletes do pilates to up their
game in the pool. It makes total sense: pilates builds core strength,
increases stamina, and improves flexibility – all of which are essential
for swimming faster and longer. Pilates also strengthens muscles
without bulking you up, so you can move through water with less