Alternative Gym Sports


Students nationwide are breaking a sweat to extreme sports and non-mainstream exercises for P.E. credit. It’s all part of an effort to get people who aren’t into traditional team sports to find workouts they enjoy.

Click through the slideshow and tell us which of the latest gym exercises you’d want at your school in the comments below.

Video Game Exercise

At Madison Junior High, Naperville, Ill., students can play the foot-controlled video game Dance Dance Revolution and ride stationary bikes hooked up to Sony PlayStations.

Mountain Biking to Softball

P.E. means the great outdoors for students at Cabell-Midland High School in Ona, W.Va., where students have favored mountain biking to softball.

At Home Fitness

Self-motivated students at Minneapolis Public Schools in Minnesota can work out at home and plan to stay in shape after high school by doing online worksheets and creating their own fitness plans.

Skateboarding & Snowboarding benefits

With help from skateboard education program Skate Pass, the teacher and students at Douglass Elementary School in Boulder, Colo., have used skateboarding to obtain balance, core strength and higher self-esteem. Snowboarding would probably work on those too!

Surfing is Great Exercise

Surfing P.E. originated in 1972 at San Dieguito High School, now San Dieguito Academy, in Encinitas, Calif., and has spread to many coastal high schools as an alternative to regular P.E.


Students at Brockport High School, Brockton, Mass., train at a local ski center, then learn moves like sliding, stopping and turning on a small ski hill.


Experts say students at Wilson Middle School in Appleton, Wisc., build critical thinking skills, learn teamwork and improve trust while racing down zip lines and balancing on 40-foot high towers, cables, poles and ropes.

Rock Climbing

Students can climb rock walls before classes start at Fargo South High School in Fargo, N.D.


More students attending Miami-Dade County public schools in Florida are choosing to take P.E., which is only required for one year, now that classes like kayaking and snorkeling are offered.


Teenagers at Northport High School in Long Island, N.Y., can sign up for archery, which improves hand-eye coordination, arm strength, patience and concentration.


Palm Springs High School in Palm Springs, Calif., allows students to take yoga classes outside of school and get P.E. credit for it.


Students at Westview High School in Poway, Calif., are light on their feet in gym class when doing a Filipino folk dance that blends jumping, fast footwork and rhythm.

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