If you're looking for ways to test your strength, get fit or just break from the norm in Los Angeles, here are a few tips from celebrated personal trainer and Mr. America 2004, Jason Kozma. Get out and enjoy some of the area's most-enduring landmarks and stretch your physical limits at the same time.
Weight lifting at the new Muscle Beach
On the southern end of the Venice Beach Boardwalk, Angelenos can enjoy Mr. America's personal favorite local activity. Public weight lifting is available just a block north of Washington Boulevard. Use the weights for both heavy weight training and the metabolic conditioning routines you need the most this time of year.
Santa Monica Stairs
Located at Fourth and Adelaide in North Santa Monica, these steep stairs are a great way to get exercise at your own pace. Kozma recommends a repetitive run or walk up and down this famous landmark. When you reach the bottom or top of the 175 steps, stretch and do body-weight exercises for added benefits. With one flight each of wood stairs and concrete, even the experienced hiker will challenge his or her strength.
Related: Best Spots For Cool Cardio In LA
Run The Dunes
In the winter, the city protects the sand from being washed out to sea by strong, negative seasonal tides. The annual dosing of the shore creates dunes at Santa Monica and Venice Beach that are optimal for an intense, low-impact workout. Run, jog or walk the dunes in the brisk SoCal winter, and enjoy the view.
Santa Monica Rings
If you'd like to stay on the shore for more activities, the old Muscle Beach still has its charms. Head over to the rings for a varied workout. You can try a few pull ups, knee raises or just swing, slowly testing your core strength. As Kozma points out, "Just swinging from ring to ring is enough of a workout for a regular person. If you're strong enough, you can lift yourself up to the pike position."
Hiking at Los Liones
Los Liones Trail
West Sunset Boulevard and Los Liones Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90272
Los Liones is a simple but intense trail as it is completely uphill. It reaches only about a mile before breaking off into other destinations. Adjacent to the Santa Monica Pier, make sure you arrive bright and early to avoid crowding in the parking lot.
Hiking at Temescal Canyon
15601 W. Sunset Blvd.
Pacific Palisades, CA 90272
Kozma also recommends the popular nature lovers' trail at Temescal Canyon. The lush foliage helps block out the sun all day, while the steep trail offers a moderate challenge.
Danielle Farve is a freelance writer covering all things Los Angeles. Her work can be found on Examiner.com.
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