Fitness Classes and Regimens
Beginning and maintaining a regular exercise regimen can be intimidating. Where do you start, and how can you get the most out of your workout? Thatâ€™s where personal training comes in. Personal trainers are certified to help you set fitness goals and then meet them, whether youâ€™re looking to lose 20 pounds, gain muscle mass or bounce back after an injury.
For those who can't choose between treadmills and dumbbells, there's circuit training - a series of aerobic exercises and resistance training performed in rapid succession.
In plyometrics, jumping jacks, push-ups, and lunges are enhanced with the addition of challenging movements, like peddling your feet back and forth from a push-up position.
Pole dancing workouts rely on slow movements off the pole to stretch and lengthen the body, followed by twirling and twisting on the metal pole to build upper body and core strength.
In the late 1980s, cyclist Johnny G. Goldberg invented spinning as a way to train for races in the off-season. Spinning classes have since become a trendy form of exercise for athletes and non-athletes alike.
The Tracy Anderson Method
The Tracy Anderson Method workout is broken up into two segments -- half is dedicated to aerobic dance and the rest is reserved for strength training and stretching.
Invented by Columbian fitness instructor Alberto "Beto" Perez, Zumba is an energetic workout regimen that combines dance and aerobic movement with the musical beats of salsa and meringue.
Specialized Fitness Equipment
The kettlebell is a weight specially designed for cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training. An effective and (usually) portable tool, the kettlebell can be utilized at home, with a personal trainer, or in group exercise classes.
TRX trainer straps provide a range of resistance levels, making the TRX a good tool for both experienced athletes and newbie gym-goers alike.
The Power Plate is a vibrating piece of gym equipment that looks much like a Segway without wheels. As the circular platform shakes, the apparatus forces your muscles to contract up to 50 times per second. (Muscles typically only contract about once every second.)
Yoga, Pilates and Related Programs
Pilates uses resistance training and a rotation of 500 exercises to work the body's midsection, improve muscle tone, balance, coordination, posture, and mental focus. The most common types of Pilates are mat Pilates and reformer Pilates.
Daily downward-dogging can slim, stretch, and tone every limb, ligament, bone, and muscle of the body. Yoga improves bodily and mental health through a series of controlled poses and breathing patterns, some of which focus on relaxation techniques and others that develop flexibility, strength, balance, and concentration. Popular types of yoga include Bikram yoga (hot yoga), Vinyasa yoga (flow yoga), Iyengar yoga and Kundalini yoga.
Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis
Gyrotonic and Gyrokinesis were developed by Juliu Horvath, a Hungarian dancer who spent many years as a principal dancer for the Romanian State Opera, and then later on, for the New York City Opera and the Houston Ballet. He first developed a system called "Yoga for Dancers" that involved yoga-inspired exercises done on a mat, and later introduced several pieces of equipment to add resistance to the workout.
The Bar Method
Founded by former German dancer Lotte Berk, the Bar Method is one of the latest exercise techniques to makes waves among celebrities and gym aficionados. It combines vigorous ballet barre routines (hence the name) with gentle, rehabilitative movements.
Martial Arts-Inspired Workouts
Forza is a cardio and strength-building workout that centers on the use of an ersatz sword. During Forza, lunges and parries activate the muscles of the arms, legs, and core.
Kickboxing sessions typically begin with a slow warm-up period that quickly progresses into fast-paced martial arts-inspired movements, like punching, kicking, jumping and jabbing.
Jumping rope, shadow boxing and Rocky-worthy bag work are all part and parcel of Muay Thai training.
Tai chi is said to improve balance and flexibility, lower blood pressure, improve sleep quality, relieve chronic pain, and promote overall wellness.
Movement Therapy & Education
The Alexander Technique
The Alexander Technique is a one-on-one workshop designed to improve common movements, like standing, sitting, lifting objects, breathing, and speaking.
A somatic (aka holistic) approach, the Feldenkrais Method improves everyday functions like walking, typing and eating by bringing a strong awareness to movement patterns and thought processes.