Ten Cheap Ways to Get Moving In Memphis

Ten Cheap Ways to Get Moving In Memphis

Looking for ways to work out in Memphis without breaking the bank? Here are 10 easy, inexpensive ways to exercise, workout, get moving, and enjoy the outdoors in Memphis this year

Whether you're big on New Year's resolutions, interested in working out, trying to brag on your Instagram, or even if you totally reject the fitness industrial complex...you can find something that sparks your interest in this post!

Craig Thompson

For more fun outdoors ideas, check out 13 Ways To Enjoy The Outdoors In Memphis and 10 Outdoor Adventures At Shelby Farms. Here's your list:

1. Walk, run, skate or bike the Shelby Farms Greenline - free

The seven-mile long paved trail runs along an old railroad line from Tillman and Walnut Grove in Midtown to Shelby Farms park in East Memphis. The trail is free and open daily from sunrise to sunset. At some point, allegedly, a two-mile long extension—the Hampline—will connect the Greenline to the existing Overton Park pathways and Old Forest Trail.

The Greenline! (or part of it). 

2. Take advantage of the 60+ miles of bike lanes that traverse the city - free

Whether you're using them for fun or for commuting, we've got lanes in five different neighborhoods and one route around the city core (go here for a map). You can even ride across the Mississippi on the Big River Crossing bridge. Don't have a bike? See #3.

3. Join Explore Bike Share - $5/two hours or $15 month/unlimited one-hour rides


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If you want to ride the Greenline or check out the bike lanes...or want to try to get in some miles in but don’t have wheels, you have to check out the Explore Bike Share program that launched in Memphis in 2018. There are 60 stations (downtown, midtown, and South Memphis) and 600 bicycles. and you can rent bikes on a daily, monthly or yearly basis via the Bcycle app on your smartphone, or the kiosks located at bike stations. Get all the membership info.

4. Take advantage of Memphis’ many parks - free

At Overton Park in Midtown, you can golf, walk through the Old Forest, play soccer or football on the giant field or play on the playground. At Shelby Farms, there are trails (both paved and not), horseback riding, playgrounds, paddle boats and plenty of wide open spaces.

Overton Park Rainbow Lake Playground

5. Run/Walk/Climb/Gasp Your Way Up The Stairs - free

For those in need of a challenging and free work out, run the stairs that run up the bluffs downtown. The first trip up won’t be so bad, but subsequent trips may prove to be a bit of a challenge.

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6. Join a free running group - free

There are many hosted by Breakaway Running, Outdoors, Inc., Fleet Feet, or other groups. They have groups for beginners, trail runners, and people who like to drink beer before and/or after their run. There are groups for people in all parts of town. Check out all the groups here.

7. Train for the 2022 St. Jude Marathon - free to train, but donations are a part of the plan!

It’s not until December so you’ve got plenty of time to get to a point where 26.2 miles is easy. Or, you know, easier. Registration will open later this year, and fundraising efforts will be more important than ever.

8. Reach new heights at High Point Climbing and Memphis Rox Climbing gyms (rates vary)

Memphis boasts two world-class climbing gyms. High Point, just west of Shelby Farms, offers several climbing walls, a bouldering room, a kids' area, and yoga classes. They kind of break our "cheap" requirement at $24.50 for an adult day pass, but monthly $69 memberships are worth it if you plan to climb a lot. Memphis Rox in South Memphis has a pay-what-you-can model and is made for climbers of all levels. Read all the details here. Be sure to read about and follow all their their covid safety protocols.

9. Get Out And Go Hiking - free

Explore hiking trails in and near Memphis! Here are a few to get you started: Meeman-Shelby Forest State Park Shelby Farms Park T.O. Fuller State Park Herb Parsons Lake Trail Tour de Wolf Trail (includes Shelby Farms and Greenline) Wolf River Greenway trail sections (more walking than "hiking")

11. Take A Virtual or Outdoors Class - usually less than $10

Yes, there are some affordable classes! Do some googling and Facebook searching and you can find a few. Off the top of my head, David Quarles in Memphis hosts online Zoom Zumba classes for $3 - $5 and you can sign up here; Any Body Yoga offers virtual workout classes, too. Pay-what-you-can classes were available at some yoga studios pre-pandemic, and last summer and fall, local orgs like Downtown Memphis Commission and the Levitt Shell hosted free online workouts. Please let me know if you have any information on cheap virtual classes, and I'll keep looking!

12. Join a team - usually $10-$30

This one's not exactly relevant at this time due to the pandemic, but I'm keeping it on the list for future reference...Working out alone isn’t for everybody. For those of you that need a little bit of support, grab some friends and join some adult sports. Most of them only require smaller fees. There are more than ever in Memphis now: - The City of Memphis hosts leagues for softball, kickball, basketball, soccer, flag football and coed volleyball
- Grind City Memphis is an organization that hosts leagues for flag football and soccer.
- Riverfront Parks Partnership has hosted soccer tournaments and leagues in the past.
- Memphis Roller Derby has teams and rec league play.
- The Memphis Hash House Harriers are a drinking club with a running problem.
- 901 Volleyball hosts their own sand volleyball tournaments at Railgarten, and keeps tabs on local volleyball leagues and tourneys in the area.

Got more ideas? Leave 'em in the comments.

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Teresa Faulk
Holly, We have a group on Facebook called Outdoors Inc Trail Running where people can connect for trail runs and learn the trail system in Memphis and Shelby County. Thanks, Teresa
January 22, 2014 10:33am
Check out the Memphis Hash House Harriers.  We are a very fun social running/urban exploration beer loving group.  Our website is www.memphish3.com and we have an active Facebook page.
January 22, 2014 2:12pm
Fleet Feet Sports
Fleet Feet Sports also has several free weekly runs! Mondays at 6pm is our Fun Run and Thursdays at 6pm is a Track or Hill workout. They both leave from the store in Laurelwood. We're also planning a FREE pub run series this year. More information is on our website: fleetfeetmemphis.com
January 23, 2014 9:02am
Fit Nation is an Awesome organization that focuses on getting fit and healthy while building relationships. Plenty off free workouts across the city. www.wearefitnation.com
January 23, 2014 7:12pm
Bluff City Wat…
If you're a swimmer looking for a different athletic endeavor, Bluff City Water Polo is just getting started in the Memphis area. We'll take all ages and experience levels. Send us an email at [email protected] for more info.
January 26, 2014 10:15pm
Jessica G
Thanks for including Breakaway Running store on your 10 Cheap Ways To Get Moving in Memphis. I was a fairly competitive runner in high school and took a 5 year break in college... I started back casually running with a friend and then was introduced to Breakaway's free running groups, along with the @SaltyDogRunners (downtown from Bardog). I have to admit not ever going to a group run was extremely intimidating and all I could think was "I am not a runner anymore"... "I will be left behind" ... but Breakaway and the Memphis running community welcomed me and my friend(s) with open arms AND complimentary ice cold adult beverages afterwards. 5 years later... I am not only in love with Breakaway (and their staff), but the Memphis running community in general. Thanks again.  Follow Breakaway Running on Facebook for latest running events and stuff... https://www.facebook.com/BreakawayRunning  Shop Local, Run Global 
December 30, 2014 5:56pm
Amy Lenkszus
Sumits Yoga is opening its first Memphis-area studio, located between East Memphis and Germantown at the Carrefour shopping complex.  Come celebrate Grand Opening with FREE yoga on Saturday and Sunday at 10am & 3pm.  Sign up on our website to save your spot!  Sumits also offers 2 weeks unlimited yoga for $20 for new students!
December 30, 2014 7:08pm
Larry Unterberger
Did you know that since 2012 the Mid-South Curling Club has offered Learn To Curl sessions and recreational league play 16-18 weeks a year? Contact me for more information on the coolest game in town!
February 6, 2020 9:31pm
Holly Whitfield
Larry, this sounds really fun!! I'll keep it in mind.
February 7, 2020 12:44pm
Any Body Yoga is still doing 100% virtual classes: https://www.anybodyyogamemphis.com/
January 4, 2021 2:37pm
Holly Whitfield
Thanks, I'll get it added.
January 4, 2021 3:18pm