Tired of the same ol’ workout? These expert-approved fitness trends are sure to shake up your New Year:
“Avid spinners, for example, may be missing a strength component,” she says. By taking a fusion spin class that uses resistance bands or free weights, they can train a wider range of muscle groups.
What’s more, these classes can be a fun way to change up a stale fitness routine.
To get started: Pick a class that has one of your favorite workouts in the name, Matthews suggests. If you’re a yoga fanatic, classes such as Yogalates (yoga + Pilates) and stand-up paddleboard yoga (yoga done on a paddleboard) can be a great way to introduce a new type of workout.
“There are so many workouts you can do with limited space and no equipment,” Matthews says. You can easily tailor the intensity to fit your ability, and by allowing your body to exercise in its natural planes — rather than in stiff motions — these exercises relieve pressure on joints and reduce the risk of injury. While bodyweight workouts have been a pillar of at-home workouts for years, gyms are now upping their no-gear game, according the 2013 American College of Sports Medicine Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends. More personal trainers and group fitness classes now integrate bodyweight training into their workouts.
To get started: Try your gym’s gear-free classes or make an appointment with a personal trainer. They can teach you new bodyweight training moves, correct your form, and give you the skills to get in a great workout wherever you go.
“You have the camaraderie of people going through the experience with you. They know your name, will cheer you on, and call you out if you miss a session,” Matthews says.
To get started: Ask your fittest friends to sign up with you. People tend to exercise at the same level of those around them, according to researchers from Santa Clara University. So the faster and stronger your workout companions are, they faster and stronger you’ll be, too.
To get started: Ask your gym if it offers outdoor fitness classes, or run a simple Google search for running, biking or outdoor yoga groups in your area. If you decide to head out solo, keep your phone on you in case of emergency.
To get started: Crank up the intensity of your favorite workout. You can pace any exercise – from running to weight lifting – with short burst of intense exercise followed by short recovery breaks, Matthews says.
“Rather than isolating muscle groups, functional exercises require various parts of the body to work together as they were designed to,” Matthews says. While this total-body technique is important for any exerciser, it is particularly beneficial for people recovering from injuries or people that have developed muscle imbalances due to training that misses key muscle groups.
To get started: Ask your gym if its personal trainers can administer a Functional Fitness Test, which will evaluate how your body performs the five essential movements. By revealing which of your muscle groups are weaker than others, it will give you the opportunity to better incorporate those groups into your future workouts.
To get started: Before you purchase kettle bells, exercise balls and cardio equipment, try working out using your own body weight for resistance. You’ll still get a great burn, and the no-gear routine will give you a chance to see if you like working out at home before you invest in gym equipment.