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Health

I Took Some Fitness Classes at the UConn Rec Center and Here’s What to Expect at Each of Them

Fitness classes: a perfect way to force yourself to properly exercise, instead of running a mile on the treadmill, doing 15 sit-ups, and walking home. 

HIIT (60 minutes)

The main goal of HIIT, or high intensity interval training, is to increase one’s heart rate during short periods of intense exercise, then to use less intense workouts as a way to rest your muscles after reaching exhaustion. 

HIIT is great for fat burning since it aims to stagger your heart rate from from moderately low to moderately high, which is proven to help you burn more calories all day long. Consider taking this class if you’re looking to push yourself to the limit without having to step on a treadmill, which is music to everyone’s ears. 

Some exercises you might commonly do at HIIT are: plank jacks (a high plank combined with moving your feet to the outside of the plank in a controlled scissor motion), different variations of jump squats, burpees, and much more. This class is my personal favorite.

50/50 (60 minutes)

50/50 is essentially HIIT combined with more strength training to build up muscle mass. Many Of the 50/50 classes I have attended have been sectioned into three areas, beginning with upper body strength training, then moving into core strength training, and lastly lower body strength training. Typically a challenge workout is done at the end of class that targets either your core or your lower body before you begin to cool down.

50/50 is a class to look out for if you need to build muscle mass, but also want to keep up your endurance up while doing so. 

Some exercises you might typically do in 50/50 are: bicep curls, tricep dips, sumo squats, and shoulder taps in the high plank position.

 

Spin (60 minute/45 minute classes offered)

Spin, as most of you probably know, is an intense workout on a bike that focuses on building endurance and strengthening your lower body and core. For my first spin class, I chose to attend a 45 minute session to ease myself into this new exercise– which I will admit was difficult at first– but within no time I got the hang of it. 

During this class, you’re going to feel the burn mostly in your glutes, quads, and hamstrings, specifically when resistance combined with high RPMs is being encouraged by your instructor.

Keep in mind that core engagement during spin is key in order to take some of the work off of your legs. Be sure to stretch for a long time after the class so that you don’t cramp up on the walk home (which definitely did not happen to me…) 

Some things to expect at spin class are: various spin positions on and off the seat, as well as hills and jumps that are simulated through different resistances and spin positions.

Core (30 minutes)

Core is a quick and fun workout I look forward to doing each week because it gives the rest of your body a break while also providing you with a nice burn in the abs. Those who sign up for this class should do some moderate cardio beforehand to get that heart rate up so your exercise is balanced. 

This class consists of interval periods with different core exercises that work your stomach and lower back. Weights under five pounds are used in workouts to provide just a little bit of added difficulty to work your core even more.

Some exercises you might see in the core class are: variations of mountain climbers, up-down planks, supermans, and “penguins”, which consists of a typical sit-up position with knees spread slightly more apart and moving your arms to your heels in a side to side position. 

Each instructor I have had for all of the classes that are listed have been super accommodating to every level of fitness and understand that we all have different needs for our body. They encourage exercise modifications if the ones given are too difficult to do that day. You typically stretch for 5-6 minutes before and after each class, and hydration is key before, during, and after exercise. Registration for any class opens 24 hours before the start time, and the schedule of every program and the instructor each week can be found here: https://recreation.uconn.edu/programs/fitness-and-wellness/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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From Fairfield, CT. A current business major hoping to switch to, or at least minor, in English. Loves writing (obviously), running, soccer, coffee, and Cody Ko.
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