Fitness Trends for 2011
- Thursday, 14 April 2011
Looking back at my life in fitness, I recall early memories of tumbling class, baton twirling, and summertime sports camps. As a teen, there were the Jane Fonda videos, the Buns of Steel series, and step classes at the gym. As time passes, workout options change and grow, giving us an opportunity to renew ourselves with a workout makeover. Finding a new fitness experience can be like a makeover for the soul—it is renewing to your physical body, your mind and your spirit. Here, we have looked at some of the current fitness trends that are available in most locations.
Boot Camp is an outdoor workout designed to get you out of the gym and moving like you never have before. Described as “a combination of soccer practice, meets the Military, meets high school P.E. class, meets weight lifting with a personal trainer who is funny” by Boot Camp L.A., this is a fun but serious workout. Typically held in the mornings between 6am and 8am, sessions run for usually four to eight weeks. Because of the variety of exercises done at Boot Camp, you are sure to notice slimming and toning in your physique. Other great benefits include meeting other fitness-minded people who are going through the same drills and who refuse to be defeated, which is always motivating, and being outdoors for your workout!
High-Energy Fusion Pilates
High-energy fusion Pilates aims to do one thing: get your body in the best shape possible, in the least amount of time. So, if you are a parent on the run, an executive with places to be, or a student with due dates, this could be a great way for you to keep your curves kickin’ without too much time tickin’. High energy fusion Pilates classes usually run between forty and fifty minutes in length, and are a hybrid of Pilates, cardio, and weight training. These exercises, set to upbeat music, are shirt-drenching fun, and work on tightening and toning, while developing muscular strength and flexibility. "Your tush will be higher, your abs tighter, and you will feel a difference after only a few sessions" according to RockIt Body Pilates owner, Judie Aronson. Three to four group classes are recommended weekly, and many studios have unlimited monthly plans, which make the classes more affordable than many traditional Pilates classes.
Got some extra toxins you would like to sweat away? Then hot yoga might be for you. Bikram Yoga is the most popular form of hot yoga here in the US, and was founded by the yoga guru Bikram Choudhury. It consists of a series of 26 yoga poses including 2 pranayama breathing exercises that are designed to renew the body from the inside out, down to the cellular level. Bikram Yoga classes are 90 minutes in length, and are held in a room heated to 105 degrees with an instructor leading you through the series. Other yoga centers have adopted Bikram’s heated room because of the benefits the heat offers. Some find that the heated room improves their flexibility. Others believe that the action of sweating releases toxins built up in the body. In any sort of hot yoga class, benefits include weight loss, increased cardiovascular endurance and an awareness of how one’s mind reacts in stressful situations.
If you love Cirque du Soleil and always wished you could swing like the acrobats, an acrobat workout could be for you. Some acrobat gyms provide highflying trapeze, which works your entire core, upper back strength and gluteus. Other studios offer a trapeze that is low to the ground and can be accessed from the floor. Students hold the trapeze and work at using their core and arm strength to pull themselves over the trapeze. Other exercises involve swinging or climbing on silks. The benefits of acrobats are toning and strength training. It is a workout experience that is fun and will keep you smiling while you sweat.
Running For Charity
If you are new to running or are already an avid runner, running with a charity organization is a great way to give back through your sport and give yourself a great challenge. You could train and run for charity on your own by registering for a local race and participating on race day. Or, you could get connected with a local charity that goes beyond the race fees to raise money for those in need. Typically, organizations have a financial goal that runners must raise to participate. The runner usually receives training by professional race trainers leading up to race day. They receive guidance in how to avoid injury and a schedule of how to best train given their experience level. Then, the charity team works toward their fitness goals and charitable goals as a group. It is a great way to get to know other fitness-minded people, help a worthy cause and meet new fitness goals all in one.
Barre Fitness Classes
If you have a ballerina inside with an itch to dust off that tutu, head to your local barre class. While you might not be trained in the perfect arabesque, you may develop a long, lean physique in this workout that typically combines elements of ballet, Pilates and yoga. Fans of this workout like small, precise movements intended to tone you up in the shortest amount of time. Mental focus in class will have you going back into your day feeling renewed. And while you might not be able to wear the tutu in class, you will feel good knowing that your legs are prepared for short lengths.
Pole workouts are no longer reserved for the exotic dancer. Burlesque is becoming a go-to workout for housewives everywhere, and don’t be surprised if you pass a studio with loud music and women in stiletto heels instead of running shoes. You do not have to be coordinated to join an exotic dance class to learn a few moves and burn as many as 500 calories in an hour. Too embarrassed? Try the Pussycat Dolls at home workout DVD, which features several dance styles incorporating feather boas and stiletto heels.
Most fitness centers offer discounts for first-time clients. Consider giving yourself a ‘Taste of Fitness’ and try a few different workouts to help you find your own niche. Incorporating different workouts is beneficial to your body, because it keeps your muscles guessing. Perhaps you will find your groove in a few areas, and your expertise will be a fusion of several different styles. Burlesque Boot Camp, anyone?
By Katrina Goldberg, RockIt Body Pilates