If you’re already in danger of ditching your get-fit resolution, spice up your routine with a new class. Celebrities and fitness gurus across the country swear by these eight hot workouts. Try one and you’re sure to keep coming back for more.
This low-impact total body workout relies on tiny isometric movements to tone, strengthen and lift major muscle groups — arms, legs, seat and abs. Words you will hear in class include “tuck,” “bend stretch,” “squeeze,” “lift” and “pulse.” A “tuck,” for example, is a forward rotation of the pelvis toward the ribcage designed to engage the abs and protect the lower back. Benefits of Pure Barre classes include increased total body strength, flexibility, endurance, balance and improved posture. Devotees also swear by the empowering effects of the classes, which strengthen the mind-body connection while toning and defining the body.
This nationally recognized studio and spa has just opened its newest location in Evanston. For a full-body workout try Core Fusion Extreme (CFE), an hour-long class with modifications available for all fitness levels, described by creator Bergen Wheeler as “one-stop shopping for all your workout needs.” Blast calories with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) that takes you through five different stations, working a wide range of muscles, for intervals of 40 seconds. Exercises are focused on functional fitness, balance, plyometrics and cardio. Active recovery allows you to maintain the intensity and keep the burn going for the entire class.
This one-hour interval-based workout combines high-intensity cardio and strength training in a program that changes daily. Classes incorporate treadmills, water rowers and strength training based on functional movements. Instant feedback via heart-rate monitors individualizes your workout and trainers will make personalized modifications. “Everyone is welcome to make OTF their training program — young, old, beginner or advanced,” says Will Wilson, manager at Orangetheory Fitness Evanston. “The workout is an at-your-pace workout, which allows you to work within safe limits.”
Train like a boxer with Equinox’s new The Cut, a 45-minute boxing conditioning class that packs a comprehensive punch, delivering a great cardio and strength workout while improving agility, coordination and balance. Adjustable for all fitness levels and set to an energizing soundtrack that keeps you moving, the class combines HIIT and boxing in five exciting rounds — opening, basics, mastery, knockout, and the final bell.
Supercharge your pilates at Studio LaGree with the Megaformer™, a system of resistance and counter-resistance used to place muscles under constant tension and work them to failure point, ensuring the delivery of swift results. The Lagree Fitness Method, which combines core, endurance, cardio, balance, strength and flexibility training, is a no-impact program performed at a slow and controlled pace, designed to activate slow-twitch muscle fibers and build a long and lean physique. Popular among Hollywood stars and pro athletes, the classes are intense — don’t even think about rest periods — working toward muscle failure in every exercise and keeping your core engaged throughout. A great option for those with a solid fitness base looking to take things up a notch.
For equal parts dance party, inspirational coaching, fat-burning cardio and full-body workout, take your ride inside with SoulCycle, indoor cycling reinvented. During the 45-minute classes you will set an intention, jog, dance, climb and sprint along with a supportive riding group. Light weights and core work make it a full-body workout. SoulCycle fans love the fun, challenging and effective workouts and the added motivation that comes with pushing themselves alongside fellow riders. Though the room is encouraged to ride as a pack, you can always stay in the saddle, go at your own pace and get a great workout regardless of athletic ability.
Music lovers and aspiring percussionists in need of a great workout, look no further. Sweat to the beat of great music with Pound, a drum-based workout that gets you moving while using weighted quarter-pound drumsticks. No need to count reps, just rock out and keep time to the music. It’s no surprise that Pound’s popularity is growing rapidly — the atmosphere and energy set it apart from any other full-body workout. An added bonus: Drumming is a proven stress reliever, giving you an outlet to release tension while also torching up to 900 calories.
Take your workout to new heights with AIR, an aerial fitness program combining conditioning with yoga, pilates and ballet in aerial silk hammocks. “There’s nothing else like this on the market. It’s the fastest way to tone and sculpt,” says Founder and President Shama Patel. “Other studios have aerial yoga but that’s completely different than aerial fitness — it’s more slow-paced and restorative. We are fast-paced and results-driven.” In a typical class, you will work your core, arms and legs, along with some rarely used muscles. Expect varied inversions during class — and to be sore for a few days afterward.
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