Intimated by group fitness classes at your gym? Don’t be! A new class is a great way to switch up your workout and challenge your body in new ways. Though there are many different classes available, this guide is designed to explain a few of the many popular fitness trends.
Some of the original workouts that have a widespread following
Kickboxing: This is a high impact workout that is good for both cardio and toning purposes. Kickboxing is an intense mix of punches, kicks, and athletic drills that can burn up to 500 calories in a single hour.
Spinning: This class is done entirely on a stationary bike and focuses on training your legs and glutes. Though it can appear intimidating, Spinning can be easily customized. You can change the resistance on the bike or pedal at different speeds depending on how hard you want to challenge yourself.
Zumba: This high energy dance class always includes Latin inspired music and moves. Because the choreography is simple and easy to follow, even the most inexperienced dancer can participate in this class. Zumba feels like an exhilarating dance party and an amazing cardio workout all in one.
Pilates: This class works to build strength and also increase flexibility. Pilates generally focuses on the core by targeting deep abdominal muscles. It is low impact but also challenging, and is sometimes used to rehabilitate injured athletes.
Yoga: Yoga is a simultaneous workout of the body and mind. Like Pilates, it can do wonders for building strength and improving flexibility. Every individual’s practice of yoga is completely unique and will change over time. There are many different styles of yoga, which you can learn more about here.
Some new classes to group fitness that are rapidly growing in popularity
Pure Barre: Pure Barre studios have recently started popping up all over the country. This group fitness class uses a ballet barre and isometric movements to target specific areas and build long, lean muscles. The targeted areas include abs, hips, seat, and arms. Each strength section is followed by a stretch of the muscles that were worked.
Piloxing: This class is exactly what the name implies; a fusion of Pilates and boxing. By combining cardio and toning moves, Piloxing is a high energy, interval workout. This class is also done barefoot to improve posture and prevent injuries.
Les Milles: Developed by the Mills family in the later part of the 1900s, these group fitness classes are becoming increasingly popular. There are ten different classes in this program, but BodyPump is the most well known. A lightweight barbell is used during this class so that over 800 repetitions of curling, squatting, pressing and lifting are completed in a single workout.
CrossFit: CrossFit is one of the latest fitness crazes. It developed out of conditioning programs for police academies, professional athletes and military units, and is typically described as “constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement.” Though workouts are short in length, they are high in intensity and change daily.
Belly Dance: Though this class can vary with every instructor and program, it is generally designed to improve muscle tone while also increasing grace. Belly dance is an exciting way to learn an ancient art form, while working to strengthen your abdomen.
These are only a few of the many group fitness classes available in gyms around the country. If you are curious about a class, research it and take one to see what you think! Some may be intimidating and different from your normal routine, but it never hurts to step out of your comfort zone.
Have you tried any of these classes? Which ones stand out to you? Let’s chat in the comments below!