If you’re short on time and can’t get to the gym, take a leaf out of the Thug Workout playbook,
and simply exercise with whatever you have, wherever you are.
What is the Thug Workout?
The full name of this exercise is “Thug Workout: Fitness From the Streets.” It was created by the Ruff Riders hip-hop collective and teaches practitioners how to use everything from playground equipment to picnic tables to street signs to exercise without a gym or traditional equipment. It is an exercise form that is testosterone-heavy and marketed toward men living in urban settings.
A Brief History of an Unconventional Exercise
The Ruff Riders introduced this exercise concept in 2002, and they likened it to Tae Bo in the streets at the time. Some have also suggested it has roots in a prison yard workout. In 2008, Don Broco released a Thug Workout EP, complete with lyrics and a beat that can be used in your own gritty street workout.
Understanding More about the Thug Workout
The Thug Workout is based on the idea that you can use an urban landscape to perform whatever types of exercises you’re interested in. It focuses more on strength training than on cardio. It resembles CrossFit in some ways – for example, using spare tires to perform shoulder presses.
The variations are innumerable because practitioners are encouraged to use whatever they can find to perform whatever type of exercise they like. This can include pull-ups on a children’s playground, tricep dips on a picnic table or push-ups on the spot – anywhere, anytime.
Preparation for this Exercise
The Thug Workout is designed to be a gritty exercise, and it’s marketed to men interested in impressing in the streets. This means you probably won’t be preparing with stretches ahead of time or making sure you’re wearing proper footwear. The Thug Workout, by definition, eschews preparation.
Performing the Thug Workout
The Ruff Riders created a video series to show many examples of how you can use your urban landscape to perform Thug Workout exercises. You won’t be in an organized classroom following an instructor. Instead, you’ll be exercising in a more creative, chaotic manner.
One Unique Benefit
Like any exercise, Thug Workouts can increase your strength, flexibility and endurance. The benefit that makes this unconventional type of fitness unique, is that it can be done anywhere and doesn’t require any specialized equipment – or even a gym membership.
Thug Workout Variations: the Ball is in Your Court
The Thug Workout is what you make of it based on your own needs, interests and urban landscape. While the Ruff Riders demonstrate many ideas using items that are commonly accessible in cities, the Thug Workout has always been in a state of constant evolution. This is because it involves a sense of street competition, which promotes the invention of new exercises to add to the existing Ruff Riders repertoire.
A gritty, testosterone-infused workout like the Thug Workout may not be for everyone – especially those who prefer a class setting with an instructor. However, if you appreciate the cultural evolution of this fitness trend and like a physical challenge, grab the nearest spare tire and get started.