Unique Group Exercise Classes For Better Fitness

By:    Published: September 6, 2011

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With the innovation of so many new and interesting forms of exercise, many people who seek a more active lifestyle opt for unique group fitness classes over the regular, repetitive gym reps at a machine. If you are someone who is still in search for the best workout that fits you and your persona, or if you are just looking for something to spice up your already active lifestyle, try one of these unique group exercise classes below for an eye-opening experience.

1. Aerobic Sensual Performing Arts

Many gyms and dance studios are borrowing and incorporating elements of sensual dancing into cardio group fitness classes for the purpose of exercise. Some of these hybrid classes include striphop (a combination of hip-hop and strip dancing), or aerobic strip tease (which combines classic stripping moves with a cardio workout). Other sensual dances, such as pole dancing, burlesque dancing and chair dancing are increasingly becoming popular, widely accepted, and available for those who wish to have an effective cardio workout. Depending on the art of choice, each type of fitness class can target various muscles throughout the body while providing intensive cardio.

2. Zumba

Zumba is a dance-based, hybrid fitness class that incorporates elements of Latin dance, such as salsa, merengue, flamenco and modern day hip-hop into an effective aerobic workout. Not as intricate as traditional dance steps, Zumba can be easily picked up by those who are not well-versed in the art of dancing. Usually paired with international, Latin-flared upbeat music, it is often described as a "dance party" done with sneakers and workout clothes instead of glittering dresses and dancing heels.

3. Urban Rebounding

For those who enjoy trampolines, urban rebounding would be a perfect choice of a group fitness class. This cardio intensive workout uses a trampoline to create an uneven surface for a more thorough work out while placing less pressure on the joints, versus working out on a flat, even surface. It can also strengthen the arms, legs and core effectively, while improving coordination and balance, as many movements are required simultaneously. Sometimes, other props, such as weights and exercise bands, may also be used to enhance the workout.

4. Forza

Forza taps into most men's inner desire of becoming a warrior as well as working towards a trim body. Based on traditional elements of Japanese sword fighting techniques, forza utilizes slicing, chopping and thrusting movements in the air along with steps and lunges for a demanding physical workout. No real swords are utilized in group classes for obvious safety reasons; instead, it is replaced with a long wooden stick, and occasionally, household items such as brooms and mops. As with all types of sword fighting, forza tones the arms and legs as well as enforcing a sharp mental concentration.

5. BOSU

The BOSU exercise utilizes a similar idea as urban rebounding by providing an unstable surface for a more thorough workout. However, rather than using a trampoline, this form of exercise uses a BOSU ball, which is a piece of equipment shaped like a half-dome on one side, and flat on the other. Both sides can be used to create instability, and it is most often used in step aerobics classes as a more intensive cardio workout that also strengthens the core and increases your sense of balance.

6. The Bar Method

If you are unsatisfied with yoga, pilates and ballet dancing because you wish to reap the benefits of all three in one workout session, then the bar method may be the group exercise class for you. The bar method is a low impact workout that uses the principles of isometrics, interval training, dance conditioning and physical therapy with pushups, free weights and the ballet bar. While the emphasis is in elongating and stretching, such as that of a ballerina, it is still a fast paced, intensive aerobic and strength training workout that targets the entire body. At the same time, it may also be suitable for pregnant women as well as men looking for a lean and mean body.

7. Smartbell

Smartbell is the answer to the traditional dumbbell as a new form of free weight that is more ergonomic and easier to use. Mainly used for strength training or as supplemental equipment in other forms of exercise, like yoga, Smartbells allow arcing, swinging and curving patterns unavailable with dumbbells, which are limited to a linear, up-and-down motion. They're shaped like a curved plate with two wide handles, and come in a variety of weights. There are aerobic and anaerobic workout routines formulated around the use of Smartbells, so they are not limited to the function as pure free weights. If you are someone who trains with weights, Smartbells may also be a fresh alternative that can help you incorporate more ranges of motion during training.

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