Recently, we’ve entered a workout era where Zumba seems tame and spinning seems ancient. I can always get into a good spin class, but have you noticed that movies made in 2005 had a spinning scene (Fever Pitch), and the movies made recently always have a scene in a yoga studio (and ScoJo as a yoga teacher)?
There’s an aerobic version of just about anything these days. The variety of exercise classes in which you can experiment (yes, I meant for that to sound sexual), embarrass yourself, and work your glutes all at the same time is insane. I don’t know why I’m surprised. After all, we’re also in the era of the standing desk. Here are a few of the latest workout trends you should consider trying:
1. Pole dancing.
People have been talking about stripper workouts for years, and we’re now officially at the point where you can stumble upon a pole dancing studio on your way home from work. When that happens, go in. Don’t underestimate the amount of arm strength you’ll need. The whole “be sexy on command” thing is a bit much for some, but if you can let yourself go, you might find it helps you loosen up. Plus, what’s not to love about spinning around a pole?
2. Aerial yoga.
“JACK, I’M FLYING.”
No, really. While it may not be the most strenuous type of yoga, it’s the most daring. Talk about “elevating your practice.” Everyone needs a break from the good ol’ downward dog. By the way, they make you sign a waiver.
3. Barre classes (Pronounced “bar.” The extra “re” is just to make it look extra pretentious via text.)
The fact that you need to have any sort of ballet training for barre classes is false. Barre training is mainly about strengthening your core. It’s methodical, repetitive and very controlled. The perk- other than feeling like a pretty, pretty ballerina – is that it’s no impact, so you’re never straining your knees too much, or hurting your wrist on a punching bag.
4. Hula-hooping classes.
They originated in Venice Beach, CA. (No one’s surprised.) These hoop classes use the heavy, good-for-your-abs type of hula hoops. You really kill two birds in one stone: tone your core and get ready for your next music festival. Toss your hoop up in the air, and prepare to be surprised when the heaviness makes your arms sore the next day.
Most gyms and dance studios offer a “bootcamp” type class, and now there are even a few centers that are solely bootcamp outlets. The name’s a giveaway- it’s army type workout. Sit-ups. Push-ups. Burpees. Repeat. It’s literally the “let’s see how fast we can have everyone on the ground begging for mercy” class. If you find a good place to go, walking’s going to be difficult the next day. Kim Kardashian’s known for attending a bootcamp in LA, and we can all see how well it’s working out for her.
6. Martial arts/self-defense
I know martial arts have been around since the dawn of time, etc, etc, and most of us grew up with a sibling who did Tae Kwon Do or Judo. But it’s one thing to be forced to take a self-defense class when you turn 16, and another thing to actively seek one out. Self-defense classes have become extremely popular on college campuses. It’s good for you to learn how to protect yourself, and it’s a good workout. And if you can take it on a campus for college credit, so much the better.
I’m not saying we’re all destined to become aerial champs, or avid pole dancers. What I’m saying is: When else are you going to get a chance to learn what it feels like to glide around a pole with a pouty face? When else are you going to get a chance to fly through the air and hang upside down in yoga class? Now’s the time.