Fitness is a status symbol now more than ever. Doing specific exercises or going to a specific gym can say a lot about you. The integration of athletic wear into our causal wardrobes has also had a huge influence on the surge of many body changing fitness trends. Yoga pants aren’t just for down dog devotees anymore, they’re also for Sunday brunch and Starbucks. Many retailers, new(ish) and old have gotten in the game and cashed on this trend. Lululemon is simply ubiquitous. The Gap is also a big player with their athletic wear division, Athleta. But, there are also many trendy boutique athletic wear brands just as hot as the latest celebrity handbag such as Zobha, Splits59 and British import Sweaty Betty. Runway designer Stella McCartney even has her own line in collaboration with Adidas.
Here are ten body-changing trends in fitness. Some of these are traditional exercises that have been around since your grandparents’ time, but are currently more popular than ever. Some of these emerging trends combined or reinvented one or more traditional exercises that you might be doing already. Other exercises are entirely new and you might not be aware of them until now, but, everyone you know will be talking about these trends soon enough. All of these exercises have one thing in common: if you do them properly and do them enough, they will change your body.
Lots of women are choosing the barre over the bar, as a place to get together with their friends and get their bodies into shape. Barre classes are based on ballet barre exercises traditionally done by ballerinas. These classes are incredibly popular with women because while they are very intense, you don’t necessarily break a sweat. Pure Barre and The Bar Method have franchised studios all of ever the US. If you are in New York, Los Angeles or Dubai and want an equally upscale, but affective experience, go to Physique 57.
9. Core Fusion
Core Fusion is a class exclusive to Exhale that combines body sculpting, barre, Pilates, Yoga and cardio. Exhale isn’t just a fitness studio, it’s also a very luxurious spa- so definitely book that post-workout massage. Exhale has locations throughout the US, in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Boston, Connecticut, New Jersey, Atlanta, Dallas, Chicago and even an international location on the island of Turks and Caicos. There are several types of Core Fusion classes to choose from, which combines the original concept with many of the other fitness trends on this list including barre, boot camp, sport (plyometrics), yoga and even cycling. With incredible instructors and a little something for everyone, you might just find your core fused to your local Exhale.
While spin classes have been trendy for decades now, this indoor cycling in the dark phenomenon is still gaining speed. Because spinning burns an average of 400-600 calories per 40-minute workout, it’s a great way to get your sweat on without spending hours at the gym. Many celebs can attribute their toned bodies to spin classes including Katie Holmes, David Beckham and Hilary Duff. But, you don’t need to be a celebrity or even live near a spin studio to participate. Peloton Cycle sells bikes that connect to Wi-Fi and live stream classes from their absolutely beautiful downtown NYC studio.
SurfSET takes all the physical benefits of surfing out of the water and into the studio by combing stability training and cardio on a surfboard-like apparatus. These exercises give you a killer core, but you don’t have to worry about killer waves or killer sharks. Well, except for the shark that owns 30% of the company, Shark Tank star and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, billionaire Mark Cuban. There are many independent studios throughout the US that offer SurfSET, as well as some locations of Crunch. However, you can still hang-ten if you don’t live near a studio. The company sells the boards and DVDs for home use.
6. Chaise Fitness
If you think you are spending too much time sitting in a chair, get off your butt and try Chaise Fitness. Chaise Fitness is nothing like you’ve ever tried before. On the surface, it’s a combination of TRX and Pilates, but really it’s much more. Chaise combines a Reinvention Chair (which is similar to a Pilates chair), adds resistance bands overhead (similar to TRX), great instructors and fun, to give you a good challenge and an even better body. Currently, Chaise Fitness only has three locations in New York, but are franchising throughout the country, so keep your eyes open for new locations popping up.
Kangoo shoes will have you jumping around like a kangaroo and burning calories like crazy. Kangoo Jumps are shoes that look like roller blading boots with two oval-shaped springs called rebounds at the bottom. The rebounds let you fly and burn a whole lot of calories. They also absorb the shock, so there is minimal impact on your joints. While it looks hard and a little bit scary, once you get the hang of it, you’ll be jumping for joy. You can take a Kangoo class at some locations of Crunch. Classes are also offered at many independent studios. You can also just Kangoo on your own, around your local track or park.
Although Pilates has been around since the early 1960’s, its popularity is still increasing today. According to one of New York’s premier Pilates instructors, Danielle Havasy of BeYOUtiful Body, “Pilates is a full body conditioning workout. How it works is that you are taught to execute every movement from your core with control, engage every single muscle simultaneously and add even more resistance by actively lengthening your muscles all at once. The effect of doing these intense exercises over a long period of time completely restructures your body into a leaner, longer and much stronger shape.” Another bonus of Pilates is that you don’t sweat a lot, so it’s very popular with women who don’t want to ruin their hair.
Aerial fitness classes are soaring in popularity, combining getting in shape and having fun in a very unique way. One of the most popular aerial classes is aerial yoga, where poses are performed while suspended in a hammock. Some poses are even performed upside down. Aerial helps strengthen and align the body in ways you could never imagine. The hammock is also supportive so there are many yoga poses you can do that would be impossible on the ground. There are many independent studios that offer aerial classes, including OM Factory and Christopher Harrison in New York City.
Boxing isn’t just for Mayweather and Pacquiao, it’s a great workout for everyone. I asked Randy Loveridge, owner of Rock N’ Box in Burbank, California, why people get so hooked on giving right hooks, “With one punch you will feel the exhilaration racing through your veins. By the end of [their] first class [everyone is] exhausted and hooked. Boxing is the only ultimate full body workout that will whip you into shape and also sharpen your mental abilities. After every class you’ll walk out feeling powerful, looking great, and eager to hit the bag again.” And again… And again…
ClassPass is technically not an exercise, but an app and website that is changing the fitness world. It’s currently available in over 30 cities (and growing). For $79-$100 per month (depending on where you live), which is often less than the cost of an upscale gym in most places, you can go to any studio in the ClassPass network up to three times in 30 days. With hundreds of options in many cities, you never run out of classes to take and new fitness trends to experience.