If you’re searching for a way to spice up your workout, look no further. New classes, machines and training plans are cropping up in gyms across the country. Here are the top trends we tracked down.Don’t have an hour to sweat? Try a 30-minute class. There’s Zen Core at The Sports Club/LA, a half-hour workout that combines yoga, strength, cardio and restorative postures to tone your core. At Equinox, a large, hollow, rubber tube is held in 30-minute ViPR (pronounced “viper” and stands for Vitality, Performance, and Reconditioning) to activate muscles all over the body as you move through lunges, squats and more.
If a typical spin class isn’t enough for you, try one of its many new, hardcore iterations. In iRide at Crunch gym, video monitors display your intensity in real time to keep you motivated. At Flywheel Sports, each rider’s performance is displayed on a screen for the entire class to see, keeping you accountable and, of course, sweaty.
Move over, dumbbells: There are some new workout props in town. At Crunch, classes Poi and Red Velvet use equipment reminiscent of Cirque du Soleil. In Poi, participants swing tethered weights in rhythmical patterns for a cardio and upper-body workout. In Red Velvet, red silk swings suspended from the ceiling are used in a toning dance routine. In Equinox’s Pound, a set of weighted drumsticks and drumming patterns are incorporated into traditional Pilates moves for sculpted arms and core.
Those thick, white ropes (the kind you climbed in high school gym class) have made a comeback. Called “battling ropes,” they’re used in classes at Bally Total Fitness, Equinox, Crunch and other gyms across the country in workouts targeting legs, core, upper body and back as participants spin, swing and hop over them.
Tabata, a hardcore form of interval training, is taking off in personal training sessions and group classes everywhere. In Tabata, you do repeat rounds of 20 seconds of intense activity, whether it’s burpees, crunches, or a form of cardio, followed by 10 seconds of rest. Each round lasts four minutes, then you move on to the next 4-minute activity.
Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) classes are available at just about every gym in America, including new Ultimate Fighting Championship Gyms popping up across California. At Crunch there’s Rogue HK, a mix of action flick-style jumps, kicks and jabs. At Gold’s Gym there’s BodyCombat, a mix of karate, boxing, taekwondo, and tai chi.
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