The 15 next big Fitness trends
We spoke with Carol Scott, founder and president of ECA world Fitness, to get the inside scoop on the latest workouts heating up the fitness scene.
Co-founders and former drummers Cristina Peerenboom and Kirsten Potenza combined their passions for music and fitness to create Pound, a full-body cardio workout that uses lightly weighted “drumsticks” called Ripstix. Each class fuses Pilates, isometric movements and plyometrics with constant simulated drumming to sculpt muscle and torch up to 900 calories in 45 minutes. If you’re not exactly musically inclined, don’t worry—the routines are simple to follow and set to calibrated songs so you can get the rhythm down easily.
Find it: At Crunch gyms, other select gyms and on DVD
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Designed by Mike Fitch in partnership with Equinox, Animal Flow taps into your primal instincts to get you moving your body in ways you’ve never imagined. You’ll go through a series of functional bodyweight movements that fuse gymnastics, acrobatics, Parkour, capoeira and breakdancing, all while staying low to the ground (think of the way a lion stealthily stalks his prey) and engaging many muscles at once. (You can try a free Animal Flow workout at home with this routine.) But don’t be fooled by the playful element—this creature-inspired class is a serious, drench-you-with-sweat workout.
Find it: At Equinox gyms and on DVD
Build muscle, burn calories and bond with teammates at one of the new competition-based classes. These workouts rely on the sense of camaraderie, excitement and accomplishment of teamwork to motivate clients, make fitness fun and produce results. Throwback Fitness, a new boutique studio in New York City, divides participants into teams to complete “workouts” based on games like tag, capture the flag and flip cup.
For a more individualized approach, Swerve, another New York City studio, is the first team-inspired indoor cycling workout, where classes are divided into three groups competing for the highest overall energy output. But if you’re having an off day, don’t worry—only the teams’ average scores are shown on scoreboards in class, while you can track your own personal stats on your bike.
Find it: At independent studios
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A pole can provide more than a tantalizing striptease—experts say pole classes are sweat-inducing, super-effective workouts, with the added benefits of learning how to flaunt your curves and celebrate your body. (If you’re skeptical about pole classes, consider these eight things before you rule it out completely.)
Classes like Ann Saldi’s Hip to Strip and New York City studio Body & Pole’s Pole enhance flexibility, tone your body and build strength as well as confidence. Plus there’s nothing like having a few laughs along the way!
Find it: At individual studios
If you love to dance for exercise but hate trying to mimic intricate movements, say hello to your new favorite class. Created by dancer Misty Tripoli, Groove is a revolutionary dance workout that combines powerful music with simple moves. Instead of following prescribed steps, students are encouraged to move freely to the beat in whatever way they feel like. “Since every body is unique, there shouldn’t be a one-size-fits all workout either,” Tripoli says. The dynamic class still delivers plenty of cardio—there’s no way you’ll be standing still—so just get out there and shake your thing. There is no “wrong” way in Groove!
Find it: At select gyms and on DVD
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Ropes Gone Wild
Waving a rope up and down sounds simple—until you try doing so with the Art of Strength’s signature weighted ropes. Ropes Gone Wild relies on the “art of undulation,” or creating a wave-like pattern in the rope with your body. You’ll work every muscle, especially your core, while reaping cardiovascular benefits, improving coordination and increasing metabolic endurance. Plus, this highly effective workout is low impact, so it’s safe for anyone from newbies and injured athletes to dedicated gym-goers.
Find it: At select gyms, CrossFit boxes and on DVD
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Barre + cardio fusion classes
A new style of barre is amping up the traditional ballet-inspired workout by adding a major cardio component. In these barre-cardio fusion classes, you’ll sculpt lean muscle, slim down and get your heart pumping by moving through high-intensity moves followed by brief moments of active recovery. (Did you know some barre exercises aren’t great for your body? See the best and worst barre moves.)
They’re certainly not your old-fashioned ballet class anymore: As instructor Bergen Wheeler of the new Core Fusion Extreme class says, “You’ll experience a fast-paced, full-body workout designed around simple and functional movements, and take your fitness to a level you never thought possible.”
Find it: At Exhale spas, barre studios and on DVD
Personal trainer and The People’s Bootcamp founder Adam Rosante first designed this workout for friends who are professional surfers and paddleboarders. After seeing how effective it was, he decided to put it online for people to enjoy for free. WaveShape is 45-minute, equipment-free workout that draws on the multidimensional movement patterns of surfing and other board sports to build explosive strength, endurance, balance and flexibility. The result? A tight, toned body ready to excel in the waves—or just look hot standing on the sand.
Find it: Online and on DVD
More: Watch this incredible video of a pregnant surfer with amazing skills!
Swiss fitness expert Robert Steinbacher combined his experiences as a dancer and a therapist for special-needs children to create this dynamic bodyweight workout that’s already a hit in Europe. Steinbacher realized that many therapeutic exercises could be just as beneficial for people without physical limitations, and BodyArt was born. Dubbing itself an “extraordinary training concept for a new awareness,” the program integrates functional training, physiotherapy, dance, Tai Chi and yoga positions for a tough yet restorative workout (click here for a restorative yoga routine you can do at home).
Find it: At Equinox clubs, select gyms and on DVD