Do you remember when keeping fit meant cringe-worthy aerobic classes, or endless laps of the school footie field? What about those gym circuits that were about as inspiring as filling in your tax return? Thankfully, the fitness industry has come a long, long way in recent years, meaning that getting – and staying – fit is more fun, rewarding and results-driven than ever before.
Here are four trailblazing new workout trends, from the high-adrenaline to the soothing but strengthening, that are worth trying out right now.
When it comes to sporty physiques, dancers easily have the most enviable bodies – strong, toned and not entirely muscle-bound. The latest fitness trend to take inspiration from dance is barre: a combination of pilates, dance and ballet, which strengthens, tones and improves posture. But it’s not all about slow-paced pirouettes. Melbourne’s barre scene takes inspiration from upbeat dance classes as well as resistance training and traditional ballet poses, making for a class that’s great for cardio as well as balance, toning and muscle control.
Xtend Barre is a Melbourne based barre studio that has four fantastic locations – Hawthorn, Melbourne CBD, Bayside and Essendon. The classes are just under an hour long, making them perfect for pre-work fitness sessions, and the entire class is accompanied by up-beat tunes that keep you motivated, no matter how challenging the moves are. Grab your gym gear and make perfect posture your fitness goal this year!
#2: Aerial Yoga
If some one had told us last year that we’d be hanging from the ceiling and perfecting our sun salutations, we would have laughed in their faces. Introducing aerial yoga – also known as anti-gravity yoga – which simply has to be one of the coolest-looking fitness classes out there. Drawing inspiration from traditional yoga teachings, you’ll be suspended in the air using a soft fabric sling that supports your body throughout the class. The different poses are designed to target different areas of the body, strengthening and toning while improving flexibility, and relieving tension in your joints. If you find that you’re avoiding floor mat yoga classes more and more, this brand new aerial approach is just the ticket to reinvigorate your routine.
Studio 3 is a fantastic yoga and pilates studio that offers both beginner and intermediate level aerial yoga classes. The Moonee Ponds studio is stylish, modern, and comes kitted out with all the latest suspension apparatus. Every class is designed to work your body and leave you feeling uplifted, and with classes six days a week, you can drop in for an aerial session whenever suits your schedule.
#3: Circus Arts
Okay, so you liked the sound of aerial yoga but want something that’s a little more for the daredevil in there... How about tackling the flying trapeze, or maybe spinning on suspended silks? If starring in Cirque du Soleil is your idea of a good time, picking up a circus arts skill that is fitness-focused – trapeze, hula-hooping, acrobatics or aerial tumbling – is a fantastic way to learn some circus basics and improve your fitness levels. If one class isn’t enough, many circus centres also run general flexability, control and fitness classes that help you improve in your skill of choice. Plus, your newfound talent will make for a pretty cool conversation starter whenever the occasion next arises.
CircusOz in Collingwood is Melbourne’s top casual circus school, offering everything from aerial rope and silks sessions to doubles trapeze classes. Founded in 1978, the team has been teaching amateurs and professional performers for over 30 years, and works with both children and adults to develop their fitness and flexibility levels. Check out CircusOz online for the latest timetables.
#4: Next-Gen Video & App Workouts
Fitness apps might not be a brand new concept, but the latest generation of technology allows you to tailor a workout to your personal goals, your current weight, your physique, your work-play timetable, and even your charity goals! Our favourites right now are:
Daily Burn, a fitness class app that gives you video workouts perfect for your desired outcomes;
Charity Miles, a fitness tracking app that monitors your movements, and donates to your chosen charity every time you work out thanks to its generous corporate sponsors who front the cash;
Pact, an app that charges you each time you miss a fitness or healthy eating session - and allows you to charge others when they miss a class. Busted!
Anywhere. The best thing about fitness apps is that you can work out anywhere, at a time that works for you. Whether you travel so much for work that a local gym membership is pointless, or simply never make that early-morning work-out, apps allow you to log on and work out whenever it suits - no excuses!
Need some fitness inspo? Check out 8 Of Our Favourite Fitstagrammers! That oughta get you motivated...
Image credit: Xtend Bare by Simon Shiff for The Urban List