Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Just the other day, I was brainstorming with friends about new ways to keep physically active in 2008. Yes, sadly I'm already talking about my New Year's resolutions - which hopefully I'll actually stick with this time around. Anyway, although I was thinking more along the lines of joining a master's swimming program -or taking up tennis or golf lessons - one buddy suggested trapeze classes at the Circus Arts Institute in Atlanta. Say what? Well, according to the institute's Web site, weekly sessions utilize equipment such as the trapeze, Spanish web (soft rope climbing with tricks), circus rings, balance boards and juggling, to name a few. And a little bit of online research shows that "circus arts" is one of the newer fads in fitness - with gyms like Crunch dedicating classes in its honor.
Remember when group fitness consisted of weight training, step aerobics and spin classes? Just a couple years ago, I was thrilled to take belly dancing, along with my first "urban rebounding" class - i.e. aerobics on a mini-trampoline - at Bally Total Fitness in Chicago. Now, those classes are virtually old-school. From mock Japanese sword fighting workouts to burning calories on a pogo-stick, gyms today are offering all sorts of imaginative classes to lure in new members and maintain existing ones.
Here are a few of the more unorthodox classes I saw offered up at gyms around the country.
Stiletto Strength. B.Y.O.H. – Bring Your Own Heels and strut your stuff runway style in this calf-boosting, posture-building, cat-walking diva class.
Ruff Yoga. This free yoga class will bring you and your pup closer as you do traditional and non-traditional yoga poses on the same mat. Mats will be provided. Class takes place outdoors, weather permitting.
Dodgeball. Get ready to duck. Dodgeball is back and this time it's not just for the schoolyard. This class includes a gym style warm-up, 3-5 rounds of the game, abs and final stretch.
Yoqua. A yoga class in water.
WarriorSati. A fast-paced flow of martial arts movements designed to increase precision, strength, courage and power.
Pogo Bootcamp. This fun, high-intensity interval workout using the Flybar 800 is a class that’s sure to have you jumping through the roof. Pretend you’re back on the playground while burning calories bouncing on these “ultra pogo-sticks."
Air Band. Rock your way to a rockin’ body with this head-banging cardio dance class. Get pumped up as you air guitar to the grungy sounds of Classic Rock and new Indie Pop.
Pole Dancing. The dancer’s pole isn’t just for professionals anymore. This challenging and sexy class combines intense upper body and core strength, coordination, and balance to turn even the shyest performers into toned and sultry vixens.
Hula Hoop Pilates. The class incorporates traditional Pilates movements and techniques with the addition of core routines using hoops, bands, foam tubing and 7-inch fitness balls.
Indo-Row Strength. A circuit class incorporating 30 minutes of rowing with 30 minutes of weights.
I'm digging the sound of some of these classes. Who knows? 2008 just might be the year I finally stick to that pesky "exercise more" New Year's resolution.
If you know of any more fun and fascinating classes, holler! I'd love to hear about them.