In our fitness obsessed culture, gyms are going head to head to nab (and steal) new clients by offering some really far out concepts to appeal to as many new people as possible. With the variety of fitness classes available it is almost impossible to find an excuse to stay away.
Check out these 10 alternative ways people are getting fit.
10. Twerk It Out
Who would have thought Miley‘s VMA performance would have inspired twerking in gyms around the world. Classes at London, England’s Gymbox include ‘Twerk It Out’ a dance class with a lot of instructional jiggling while on this side of the pond, Florida’s Body & Soul offers The Vixen Workout (a.k.a. the twerking workout) which has attracted a slew of followers dubbed the ‘Vixen Army.’ According to the company’s website, this is the perfect workout for those looking to “transform into their alter-egos” and get their “Beyonce, Ciara, Rihanna on.”
Think a hula is just child’s play? Think again. According to the American Council on Exercise, hooping burns 420 calories an hour and from this idea, California company, Hoopnotica was born. With a mission to reintroduce the element of play into physical fitness, hoop enthusiasts learn new dance moves and tricks. The company has trained more than 500 hula hoop instructors across America and high-profile enthusiasts include Michelle Obama and Beyonce.
Want to master the art of Japanese sword fighting? Dozens of Batto-do classes have popped up at gyms and training schools across the country thanks to the popularity of martial arts movies and grown men who’ve decided they want to be samurais. Before you make out your will, don’t fret – most classes will only let you practice with a wooden sword (bokken) which will help to strengthen your coordination skills and improve your flexibility.
7. Indoor Rowing
Pack away those bikes and dust off the rowing machines. Being hailed as the ‘new spinning’ (and apparently more effective), indoor rowing classes are all the rage with studios cropping up across the country. This total-body, low impact workout promotes great posture, and zen-like tranquility with its focused breathing techniques. An added bonus: if you ever find yourself stranded on a rowboat in shark infested waters, you’ll be able to paddle yourself to shore in no time flat!
6. Aqua Cycling
Thought spin classes were difficult enough? Try spinning underwater! Gaining momentum across North America and the UK, participants don jelly shoes (remember those?) while bikes are submerged in four-foot-deep pools for added resistance.
According to Aqua, a New York city aquacycling studio, you’ll burn up to 800 calories in a one hour class and cause no stress to joints and muscles.
5. Antigravity Yoga
Using a fabric hammock as a prop, participants are suspended three feet from the ground in this innovative take on yoga. The hammock (which can hold up to 2000 pounds) acts as a soft trapeze and allows the participant to freely float and channel their inner acrobats with headstands and seemingly impossible weightless inversions. Classes are gaining momentum and appear to be in most major cities across North America.
For those looking to channel their inner rockstar, Pound is an intense, upper body workout that incorporates weighted drumsticks (Ripstix) and great beats for a high-energy experience. This 45-minute drumming class allows you to unleash your inner aggression and benefits include lowering of blood pressure and a decrease in chronic pain. Similar to air guitar (without the awkward facial expressions), Pound is offered in gyms across North America.
3. The FitWall
If keeping your feet firmly planted on the ground is a must, then this workout definitely isn’t for you. This intense fitness class utilizes a ladder-like wall which participants hang onto while performing high-impact cardio exercises. You’re hooked up to a heart monitor so you (and your instructor) will be able to track how hard you’re working (your F-factor) and up that heart rate if you’re not working hard enough.
2. German Wheel
Gymnastic tumbling inside of a giant metal hamster wheel?! If you’ve always dreamt of joining the circus, the German Wheel is a must. Classes are available in gyms and circus spaces across the USA including Brooklyn fitness academy, The STREB Lab For Action Mechanics (SLAM). Taught by certified German wheel acrobat Chris Delgado, you’ll soon be flipping, twirling, and swinging away while increasing your flexibility and strengthening your core.
1. Kangoo Jumps
A modern take on roller blades, gyms across North America have gone gaga for these Swiss-engineered moon boots offering Kangoo Jump classes to adventurous participants.
According to the company’s website, these two-foot-high boots reduce impact to your joints (up to 80 per cent), burn about 25 per cent more calories than wearing regular runners, and provide a high-impact, balanced workout. They’ll cost you a pricey $289, or they can be rented for a small fee per class.