With every new year come the resolutions about exercising. By now, you’re a month into 2017, and maybe the old aerobics class or 20 minutes walking on the treadmill have already become a bore. There’s plenty of other ways to work up a sweat. Here’s a sample of what’s out there and gaining in popularity.
Using a blend of ballet, Pilates, yoga, light weights, and body weight exercises, barre workouts sculpt lean muscles, increase strength, and improve flexibility in an uplifting atmosphere. Lotte Berk, a German dancer living in London, came up with the idea to combine dance conditioning with rehabilitative therapy. Lydia Bach, an American student of Berk’s, brought the workout back to the states in 1970s. Barre has morphed from a class for nimble dancer-types to become the workout of choice for fitness fiends everywhere. It starts with a mat-based warm-up full of planks and push-ups, then a series of arm exercises, and continues at the bar with a lower-body section to work the thighs and glutes. participants finish with a series of core-focused moves at the bar or a short session on the mat.
Locally, try Barrecor at 360 Tormey Lane NE #194, Bainbridge Island, phone 206-451-4207. Emiliana Prado and Daniel DeBellis opened their Barrecor studio two years ago and ever since, have seen numbers of participants increase. Men and women from ages 15 to 80 take barre sessions. They offer up to 28 classes a week.
“Our member like the results they get,” Prado said. “For a very reasonable price they get the fun and friendship of a group class, while getting personal attention from the instructor.”
Barre is taught so that persons of various levels can take the same class and adjust according to their fitness level and any injury they may be recovering from.
If you like Pilates but feel your workout has become less interesting, Pop Pilates group fitness classes might be the right step to recharge your 2017 exercise routine. Developed by YouTube fitness guru Cassey Ho, Pop Pilates blends Pilates, dance, and music for a powerful and effective full-body workout. Using only your body weight, Pop Pilates sculpts and strengthens your muscles. Pilates is a physical fitness system developed in the early 20th century by Joseph Pilates. Pop Pilates is the combination of total body Pilates exercises with the attitude of choreographed dance and the energy of music. Students will be challenged to flow from one exercise to the next, developing a rock solid core, leaving no muscle untouched. Every exercise can be modified to fit personal needs.
Locally, try Westcoast Fitness in Port Orchard at 4740 Ramsey Road SE, phone 360-874-2818. Andrea Zabel has been teaching Pop Pilates there since last June. She has three classes a week and has seen them grow in popularity.
“We’re the only place that has it around here,” Zabel said. “People think of it as a stretching and breathing class and some shy away from it because they want something where they’ll work up a sweat. But once they try it and find that they are sweating with the whole body workout and the cardio, they love it. And the music — Top 40 songs — makes them want to move.”
Her classes range in size from eight to 10 participants, both men and women of all ages.
Kickboxing and boxing
While boxing isn’t exactly a new fitness trend, it’s seeing a surge in popularity thanks to Instagram videos of stars in old-school rings boxing their way to a toned body. With a mix of cardio, strength training, upper cuts, and right hooks (just to name a few), boxing provides a full-body workout, relieves stress, and gives a feeling of empowerment. If regular ring boxing is something you want to try, check out Bainbridge Boxing at 9463 NE Business Park Lane, Bainbridge Island. Whether you want to compete, learn self-defense, or just get in shape, coaches put you through the paces of a professional boxer’s workout like you’re training for a shot at the title. The club offers open gym time, plus a complete schedule of boxing classes – more than 20 per week – all included in your membership.
Kickboxing can be found locally at a number of places including ilovekickboxing.com, 10516 Silverdale Way, Suite 300, phone 360-633-3632. According to the website, “it’s is a bag-hitting, adrenaline-flowing workout that anyone can do. It’s a place where passionate instructors really do care about you and your goals – and will do whatever it takes to help you achieve them.”
Pole dancing or aerial yoga
Jump into a silky sling and consider giving gravity-defying aerial yoga a try. This can best be described as “yogi meets acrobat meets gymnast.” For those who think hanging from the ceiling seems a little too gimmicky, aerial yoga provides some serious health benefits: There’s next to zero impact on your joints; the cardio involved is similar to brisk walking; and it’s one heck of a core workout. Plus, many classes will end in a zen-like savasana while you’re enveloped in soft fabric, making it a true mind-body experience.
Expansions Yoga at 9479 Bayshore Drive, Suite 101, Silverdale, phone 360-990-9642, has a variety of yoga classes to try, including and over 50 class, Bro-yoga and Vinyasa, a heated yoga. But for an aerial yoga class, you’ll have to travel to Seattle.
However, you can find a place to learn to pole dance in Port Orchard at the Dolphin Dance Studio at 1341 Bay St., phone 206-201-3635. Start with warm-ups and stretching and then go to the pole to learn holds and pull-ups. Choreographed routines follow. Or try Envy Fit in Bremerton at 243 Fourth Street, phone 360-930-2107 which also teaches pole dancing.
One of the most promising workout trends is Peloton indoor cycling. Peloton offers a studio-quality, indoor cycling experience without having to leave your home. Once you’ve made the $2,000 investment to own the exercise bike in your home, Peloton offers wide array of classes to choose from and makes indoor cycling convenient and fun. One special feature of this cycling and technology combo is its ability to connect you with other riders from all over the world for every class, so you’re never alone when you cycle. During the class you’ll hear the instructor’s instructions as well as see various camera shots live of the instructor and others in the class. When you’re watching the screen, you’re seeing actual humans in a live class in New York City, not just some recorded thing somewhere without others.
But if that’s out of your price range, try a spin class at any of the local gyms. Basic cycle classes and advanced are typically available, like at Poulsbo Athletic Club, 19611 7th Ave., NE, Poulsbo, phone 360-779-3285, where an instructor guides a 30-45-minute fitness class which uses stationary cycles in a group setting.
Classes are easily adapted to a variety of fitness levels since each participant is in control of their bike.
This article originally appeared in Kitsap Living – Winter 2017.