Remember the days of step aerobics in the village hall? How fitness moves on eh? Every year means new trends, new classes, new research and new ways of working out. We asked some fitness experts what to look out for in 2013, we do so like to be on trend you see. Face Yoga anyone?
Five key trends
1. Dance like your bits are on fire
If 2012 could dance, it would shake its ass to the Latin beats of Zumba®. But all good things evolve and although Zumba® will still be going strong for a while yet there are some great spin offs and other dance-related workouts to try.
- Aqua Zumba®
It’s Zumba® … in a pool. Virgin Active is rolling out the wet workout across its gyms. Expect the atmosphere of a Miami pool party, sans the cocktails we presume.
Who needs blokes anyway? In this dance class your chair is your partner. As well as dance moves, seated tricep dips, squats, lunges and other exercises are performed on and around the chair. Kinky. To find a class near you visit www.zumba.com/sentao
According to David Lloyd, Bokwa will be this year’s Zumba®. It’s a cardio workout with moves from South African war dances, Capoeira, kickboxing and step. The footwork is based on the alphabet and numbers, and there’s some American sign language thrown in too. It all sounds a little odd, guess we’ll have to try it and find out. Classes are available at all David Lloyd clubs and Harbour Clubs.
Ah, good old Gymbox. When it comes to fun exercise classes they’ve got it in the bag. In this class you ‘learn sassy hip hop dance moves with some serious booty action’ all to the sounds of everyone’s favourite Barbadian popstar.
2. We love a quickie
Busy, busy, busy, everyone’s so busy but that’s no excuse not to exercise. This year, according to research from Fitness First, classes are going to be getting shorter. But that doesn’t mean they’re easier, oh no no. ‘High Intensity interval training workouts (HIIT) were a big trend last year,’ says Gillian Reeves, National Exercise Manager at Virgin Active, ‘and they’re set to become even more popular’. Check out these little beauties designed to fit perfectly into your lunchbreak.
Classes in the Les Mills GRIT series may only last 30 minutes but they are TOUGH! They’re all about strength exercises, plyometric drills and annihilating your muscles for short intervals of time. Ouch.
Another half an hour HIIT workout, Ugi has recently hit these shores from Canada. Practiced barefoot, balls of various weights are used to perform strength, cardio and core training moves. Try a class at Virgin Active.
The beauty of HIIT training is you don’t need a gym membership you can do it in the park, at home, anywhere (within reason). Grab a mate to motivate you and check out our new ‘Fancy a Quickie’ section of workouts from qualified fitness professionals, we’ll be adding to them regularly. Here’s a TRX circuit to get you started
3. Pick and mix studios
At a recent talk, a speaker from a large chain of gyms told us that the US trend for joining lots of independent specialist studios – such as hot yoga, Crossfit etc – therefore paying for what you want rather than joining a gym and also paying for lots of things you don’t, was taking off over here too.
- Barry’s Bootcamp
Could this be the most exciting fitness news ever?! Barry’s Bootcamp, the workout class that Hollywood stars including J-Lo and Kim K swear by, is opening in London at the end of Jan. The purpose-built studio will run hour-long, pay as you go interval classes. Expect it to be popular. Very popular! Find out more here www.barrysbootcamp.com
- Indoor cycle studios
If you’re a spin fanatic or love cycling and triathlon, cycle studios are fab. They’re often cool underground spaces manned by cycle experts with classes throughout the day. They’ve been popping up in London over the last couple of years and the trend is spreading with Cyclebeat opening in the city next month. Classes range from fun workouts set to disco tunes to three-hour endurance classes. We love Boom! Cycle in East London and we’ve heard good things about LifesCycles in Edinburgh too.
- Hotpod Yoga
If you can’t get to a studio, get the studio to come to you. Hotpod yoga has large inflatable pods that can be erected in your office or workspace for an hour’s hot yoga. To celebrate their launch earlier this month, Hotpod is hosting pop-up classes throughout January and February in a number of London locations. Check out the timetable here.
4. All in the mind
Yoga, meditation, stretching, relaxing and other lovely things are all set to become a bigger part of the average weekly fitness routine. ‘Research has proven that meditation helps performance in every area of your life from sex to work,’ says Fran Gillibrand co-founder of Blue Cow Yoga. ‘New York, always ahead of the curve, began to see more clients asking for meditation and the trend is now emerging on this side of the Atlantic.’ Get your Zen on with some of these classes.
- Move and Meditate
Quite fancy the idea of meditation but worried you’ll fidget and giggle if you have to sit still for ages? Lunchtime Move and Meditate classes at Blue Cow yoga are perfect, they combine mind, body, breath and movement and explore the idea of meditation without requiring you to be still and silent for hours. Go back to work feeling refreshed. Hug your boss.
- Face Yoga
Yep, really! A full body workout featuring key yoga exercises to tone your legs, core and upper body, this class finishes with a face circuit to tone and firm the 57 muscles in your face and neck. As class holders Gymbox say, ‘Why have two firm cheeks when you can have four?’
5. Anyone for tennis?
At long bloody last we have a British tennis player that actually wins stuff! And the Andy Murray effect has crossed over into gyms. Of course you can always hit up your nearest court for a game but you could also try one of these variants.
- Cardio Tennis
This group class at Virgin Active features drills to give players of all abilities a stonking good workout. There’s a warm up, cardio workout and cool down phase with a thumping soundtrack. Good way to see if tennis is for you.
- Padel Tennis
A tennis-squash hybrid, padel tennis is massive in Spain and Latin-America. Using a special padel bat and ball it’s fast-paced and played on a shorter court than tennis with glass panels at each end so the ball bounces off and remains in play. It’s easier than normal tennis (hurrah because we’re rubbish at ball games) and is available at select David Lloyd clubs. Check it out here