Five Hot Fitness Classes

Featured Article,Fitness,Motivation
March 7, 2011

These creative fitness combinations offer fun and variety.

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In their perpetual campaign to prevent workout boredom, health clubs across the country are constantly coming up with new ways to get us moving.  Particularly hot right now are fitness hybrids like “Piloxing” (a Pilates/boxing mashup) and “YAS,” aka Yoga And Spinning. But are these crazy-sounding combo classes worth your time?

Yes—as long as you choose wisely. “As humans, we psychologically and physically crave change,” says Gregory Florez, certified personal trainer and American Council on Exercise spokesperson. “Different stimulation and a variety of movements keep your body from reaching a plateau and your mind sharp.”

Not only that, many of these classes allow you to achieve a full-body workout in a short amount of time by combining complementary workout regimens. “In our society, people are time-starved and over-programmed,” says Florez. “With a combo fitness class, you can maximize your time by getting strength, flexibility and cardio.”

The best mashups offer a mix of cardio to increase your heart rate with accompanying strength or stretching, like the ones listed below. They represent some of the hottest—and best—hybrid classes around.

If you have little time and like a little of everything …

Try the “S.T.A.R.” Treatment—a combination of Spinning (indoor cycling), toning, abs and relaxation offered nationwide at Crunch Fitness. After a good 20-minute sweat on the bike to get your heart rate soaring, you switch to 15 minutes of weights for a super sculpt and hard-core abs. Then, top that off with 10 minutes of relaxation yoga—everything you need in 45 minutes.

If you need to relieve some stress …

Give “Piloxing” a try. A mixture of Pilates and boxing will have you working out those frustrations in no time. “This combination of core strength, balance, cardio and coordination is powerful,” says Florez. It’s rumored that Pilates founder Joseph Pilates trained as a boxer, which makes sense, because this workout will give your balance and agility a serious challenge—and improvement. Piloxing is popping up all over the country. To find a class near you, visit piloxing.com.

If you crave a good sweat …

You’ll love “YAS.” Yoga And Spinning is the ideal workout using the concepts of hard work on the bike and a quick recovery on the mat. Creator of Yoga for Athletes and founder of YAS Fitness Centers (go2yas.com, currently only on the West coast), triathlete Kimberly Fowler is the first to unite the two disciplines in a studio dedicated to the hybrid workout.

If you want an intense cardio workout …

Experience “Ride and Row”—a challenging mix of indoor cycling and indoor rowing. This strong cardiovascular workout will challenge your heart and muscles. “Cycling and rowing together is an intense cardiovascular workout,” says Florez. “These exercises work a huge variety of muscle groups, resulting in an increased aerobic capacity and endurance.” Variations of Ride and Row are being introduced at fitness centers nationwide, including Denver’s Pura Vida Fitness & Spa and Georgia’s Ultimate Ride and Fitness center.

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