Gone are the days when a gym workout only involved ultra boring treadmill runs or hardcore weight-lifting. These days, most people are opting for group exercise classes (yes, they’re no longer simply called “aerobics class”) that are varied and fun. Here are our top picks:
Spinning classes are indoor stationary cycling classes, with an instructor at the front of the class. There are different types of spinning sessions, ranging from beginner classes, where the instructor focuses on the correct bike adjustment and cycling posture, to lower intensity fat burning sessions as well as high intensity interval rides and hill routines. The best part of these classes is that there are no angry cab drivers to dodge, so you can focus solely on cranking it out on the bike to thumping music. ‘
If you’re looking to do a moderate strength workout for general muscle toning, then this is the class for you. Body Pump classes feature low intensity strength exercises with weights that you select yourself, so you’re always in control of how much you’re lifting. Throughout the one-hour session, all the major muscle groups of your body are targeted, so it never gets boring and it’s a great all-round strength routine at a low intensity. And it’s not just women who attend Body Pump classes; men are increasingly becoming regulars too.
Pilates is a solid workout that targets your core torso muscles, including your abs and lower back. These muscles are essential for good posture, stability, and yes, a strong core often comes with nice abs. The good part of this exercise is that you don’t have to be able to touch your nose with your toes, or fold yourself to resemble a human pretzel in Pilates. Rather, the emphasis is on working your core muscles to hold a posture, or to complete a movement.
On the topic of training your core muscles, TRX is the latest fad in fitness. It uses strong nylon webbing suspended from the ceiling or a tall frame, and your own body weight is used as resistance as you pull on the webbing to complete exercises. Because of the dynamic nature of the webbing, balance and stability are required, so you get a more challenging workout than say, sitting on a weights machine and moving one body part.
Zumba has long been a fitness craze in the U.S. It features pumping Latin beats and combines sexy Latin dance moves with old-school aerobics. Think Ricky Martin music video, but minus the frilly shirts. Zumba is a high intensity cardio workout that’s super fun, and at the very least, you’ll really appreciate the infectious Latin beats after a long day at work.
With a whole range of group exercise classes to choose from at our local gyms, staying indoors away from the haze just got a whole lot more fun. Check out Zumba classes at California Fitness.
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