You’ve Zumba’d, you’ve yoga’d and you’ve gone from Couch to 5K. If your regular routine has gotten a bit dull, we recommend trying something new to give your workouts some oomf and pizzazz again. This list highlights the best workouts that you’ve never tried! These workouts take the regular gym class and crank up the heat—or even take you off the ground.
1. Bikram (Hot) Yoga
It’s getting hot, hot, hot! Bikram yoga, or “hot yoga,” is traditionally practiced in a studio with the temperature set at 105 degrees. Proponents of hot yoga claim it has injury-healing, emotion-strengthening, toxin-flushing and weight-managing properties. The classes are traditionally 90 minutes long and focus on sequences of different yoga poses. With hot yoga, you will sweat! Be sure to exercise safely: hydrate before, during and after practicing hot yoga.
Find a Bikram studio here.
2. AntiGravity Yoga
Specialized studios are taking yoga to new heights by combining it with aerial movement. Participants hang in hammock-like harnesses and move through a series of poses. The idea behind anti-gravity yoga is that by eliminating your anchor to the ground, the harnesses allow the body to move freely in every direction and give participants a larger range of motion. Class locations can be found here.
The newest fitness trend to sweep Hollywood is Piloxing—which has nothing to do with pills or boxes. Instead, it’s a fusion of Pilates and kickboxing. This high-intensity interval training class combines the muscle sculpting of Pilates with the fat-burning of kickboxing. A class typically is an hour long, and you can wear normal workout attire. The only equipment is weighted gloves, which enhance the muscle-sculpting properties of boxing. Locations can be found here.
Barre is a ballet workout that brings you the ballerina body without the tutus. Focused on full-body muscle toning instead of cardio, barre uses a ballet barre and ballet positions to challenge participants. No prior dance experience is required.
“I started taking barre classes in high school at Pure Barre and have been hooked ever since,” says Sammie Levin, a junior at the University of Michigan. “I like that the classes are set to fast-paced, fun, popular songs because it keeps me energized and motivated and distracts me from my burning muscles—and you really do feel the burn because the isometric movements engage muscles that you’ve never worked [before]. When I do it regularly, I notice a visible change in my body, so I like that it gets you results. Also, the all-female atmosphere is comfortable to exercise in.”
5. Trampoline Class
Remember the cool kid in the neighborhood who had a trampoline? You don’t need her anymore! Trampoline workout classes are taught at various gymnastic gyms and trampoline parks across the nation. The classes are cardio-blasting, leg-muscle-toning fun! Participants are assigned a personal mini trampoline or a segment of a large trampoline, on which they jump, turn and twist through a class. The classes are mainly a cardio workout but have some sculpting portions as well.
New York City’s SoulCycle has created a trend of adding weight-based circuit training to a spin class. SoulCycle is the new-and-improved spin class that incorporates cycles of arm-toning exercises (such as bicep curls and shoulder presses) using light weights into a high intensity bike ride. You do the moves while you’re still pedaling on the bike, so you don’t have to break your momentum. Instead of just working your legs and butt, SoulCycle hits your arms and abs too.
Class information can be found here.
7. Pole Dancing
We know, we know—pole dancing? But it is a great workout! The workshops teach various spins and lifts while empowering participants to feel comfortable and sexy in their bodies. This is a great, fun workout to do with friends, so if you can convince some ladies to join you, look for group discount rates for these classes on Groupon. And although the class will be fun and maybe even a little silly, you’ll still get an intense strength-building workout.
The name of this class comes from a combination of two words: “BO” stands for light boxing, and “KWA” symbolizes the traditional South African dance style Kwaito. It has less choreography than Zumba; instead, it focuses on drawing numbers and letters with your body while performing a cardio workout. Bokwa isn’t quite dancing, but more of forming figures in rapid succession—making it perfect for those who aren’t quite coordinated enough to be a dancer.
These workouts have varying degrees of intensity, so whether you are a seasoned vet or gym newbie, it’s perfectly acceptable to show up and challenge yourself. Before committing yourself to a year of pole dancing every Wednesday night, ask about single class and student prices and if the gym offers a free trial. Mixing up your workout is a great way to recommit yourself to fitness. It also might lead you to finding your next favorite class!