From Capoeira to Dance Dance Revolution, discover the best exercises for weight loss
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Any closet circus fans out there … who aren't afraid of heights? Flying trapeze class, believe it or not, is a great workout for those seeking an adrenaline rush and some upper body strength training. Trust your fellow aerialist to catch you and you're on your way to toned biceps.
Dance Dance Revolution
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Dance Dance Revolution, a video game available for various gaming consoles, is the new fitness revolution. Follow choreographed moves on a dance mat to the beat of catchy dance tunes to earn points. Burn calories, and before you know it, you'll be at the next level and a DDR pro.
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Capo-what? Capoeira is a Brazilian art form that combines martial arts, acrobatics, dance and music. With deep roots in African and Brazilian history, this is not your average workout. Be ready to try complex moves with high kicks, punches and non-stop moving and shaking.
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Add kettlebells to your cardio workout. It's a great way to up the ante of your monotonous cardio routine. This double-whammy workout is a full body strength training and cardio exercise.
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Your friends may be asking how you got your physique after a few sessions at Physique 57, an interval training class comprised of cardiovascular exercises, strength training and stretches to give you a long, lean body. While Physique 57 classes are only currently offered in NY and LA, the DVDs offer the same workout for those in other areas.
Indoor Rock Climbing
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If you're tired of your standard workout routine, mix it up and try a more adventurous sport like indoor rock climbing. Take a break from the elliptical or treadmill at the gym and hit the rock wall. Sometimes a change of scenery and pace is all you need to get back on the exercise wagon.
Masala Bhangra Workout
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Masala means "spicy" in Hindi, and Bhangra is a traditional Indian folk dance. So, why not spice up your workout routine with Masala Bhangra? It'll keep you moving to popular Bollywood beats with traditional Bhangra dance steps. Get started with the DVD. You can't watch a Bollywood film without wanting to get up and dance, which is why Masala Bhangra is the perfect dance workout!
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AntiGravity Yoga, or what we like to call acrobatics for the average person, is a unique workout that combines yoga practices with aerial moves to help with compressed joints and align the body. If you're a yogi looking for a challenge, defy gravity at one of the many nationwide classes, or if you're taking a trip to New York, check out Unnata® Aerial Yoga, pronounced ooo-NOT-ahh.
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Take traditional kickboxing moves and combine it with fast-paced movement and upbeat music and you've got cardio kickboxing. Get a kick-butt body with this high-intensity workout. Cardiovascular fitness has never been so empowering.
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Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee. Take a tip from Mohammed Ali and try boxing. Okay, maybe you're not ready for Raging Bull just yet, but cardio boxing or boxing classes are great high-impact workouts to burn calories, improve coordination, build muscle, and enhance speed and agility. Plus, traditional boxing techniques could come in handy if you were to ever need them.
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Black Swan got you curious about ballet? While you may not be at Mikhael Baryshnikov's level quite yet, ballet-inspired workout classes can help you get that ballerina body. Ballet barre work, floor exercises and stretches will help with posture, balance, strength and agility. This low-impact class can provide high-impact results.
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Who doesn't love Ultimate? The only better thing than group sports is sports with friends, so grab some buddies and hit the park for a competitive game to break a sweat and work off lunch.
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Unleash your inner wild child and tone your body at the same time. Pole dancing workouts or "striptease" workouts are fun ways for women to let loose a little without quitting their day jobs quite yet to become exotic dancers. Pole tricks work the entire body by strengthening the arms, abs and legs. And, who doesn't like feeling sensual and sexy every once in a while?
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Jumping rope is not just for kids! It's actually a great aerobic exercise that really burns calories. Depending on your intensity, you can burn up to 20 calories per minute just from jumping rope. Why not relive your Double Dutch days and pick up a rope today? This workout is not only efficient; it's budget-friendly.
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If the intensity of boxing is not for you, Tai Chi might be. Tai Chi is a centuries-old Chinese practice that connects the mind and body through slow, controlled, fluid movements and meditation. This traditional workout increases strength, improves coordination and even lowers stress and blood pressure. So if you're more of a lover than a fighter, try this low-impact workout with powerful results.
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Urban rebounding is a unique, low-impact cardiovascular workout using a trampoline. It's easy on the joints, but is also sure to make you sweat. If you prefer not to invest in your own trampoline and the DVD set, Urban Rebounding is offered at various gym nationwide.
Bosu Ball Workouts
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Bounce, bounce around. The bosu ball is a piece of equipment used in many cardio workout classes. This half bouncy ball can be used in place of a step platform to add intensity to any aerobic exercise. You can use the Bosu both flat side or ball side up to improve balance and core strength.
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If you're bored of your usual workout and ready for a challenge, give indoor cycling a try. The energized atmosphere will make you feel like you're cycling through a disco. With an instructor, or DJ, leading the high-energy class, you'll burn maximum calories on a stationary bike personalized to your liking in resistance and comfort. Plus, don't forget how amazing your legs will look after a few of these indoor cycling sessions.
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A step platform is used in many aerobic workout classes. Exercises with a step platform simulate walking at an incline, such as climbing stairs. It's a great way to enhance any cardio workout to tone your rear. No one said getting a cute butt has to be hard.
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Ready? Plie. Barre exercises are performed by dancers as a warm-up technique. The barre can be used as a great tool to stretch out your legs and warm up your muscles, but also strengthen your body. The wooden barre can be found in gyms and dance studios—it's a great balancing support tool. The Bar Method offers classes across the country. Visit their site to find studio locations near you or order one of their DVDs.
Exercise Ball Routines
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An exercise ball (or stability ball) is an inflated vinyl ball used in a multitude of ways. From mountain climbers to Pilates to wall sits, the exercise ball helps to strengthen the body and improve core stability and balance. Plus, sitting on an exercise ball can help with posture and performing crunches on an exercise ball strengthens abs by challenging your body differently than if you were to do sit-ups on a mat. So, should we just call it a miracle ball? It does it all.
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Once upon a time, yoga and Pilates got married and had a workout child named Yogilates, a balanced blend of yoga and Pilates techniques. This hybrid workout involves mat exercises and yoga postures that work the muscles, but also helps one become more aware of one's body.
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Is Step Up your guilty pleasure? Then a hip-hop dance workout might be the exercise for you. The fast-paced, choreographed routines will make you sweat and burn calories without even feeling like you're working out. Think of it as a Friday night dance off at your favorite nightclub; but unlike a night out, you'll feel great the next morning.
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How do surfers get those long, lean bodies? It's the way the body is worked when surfing, training their bodies to use strength, coordination and balance. While we all can't hit the waves regularly, indoboarding is a great way to simulate the surfing experience to get that surfer body. An indo board is simply a plank set on a cylinder that allows the body to pivot back and forth. Try using an indo board to train your body to be in control. First comes the body, then comes the surfer tan.
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Total body conditioning is just that, a method to condition the body to increase stamina, endurance and flexibility. It usually involves equipment, such as weights, body bars, resistance bands and more. Total body conditioning classes are offered at most gyms and are worth it to have instructors guiding you through strength exercises that many people do incorrectly.
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Need that extra kick in the caboose to get in shape? Try enrolling in a boot camp session in your area. With the style and intensity of a personal training session, but the support and group setting of a fitness class, boot camp will surely do the job, especially if you're someone in extra need for motivation to work out. This way, you can't say no, unless you want to endure the penalty of 50 pushups.
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Circuit training is a fast-paced conditioning workout that incorporates resistance exercises with high-intensity aerobics done in a rapid, fluid movement. Once one circuit is done, you resume with the next circuit. Increase muscle and improve cardio-respiratory through this demanding workout.
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One of the best workouts to get toned arms is rowing. The rigorous paddle movement against the resistance of the water strengthens arms and burns calories. Don't live near a body of water? A rowing machine simulates the same movement and gives you an equally challenging workout inside.
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Toned abs might just be one of those goals that we all have, but don't quite ever reach. Regular abdominal exercises, whether as part of a class or done individually, may be one of the easiest, quickest workouts you can do. Try just 15 minutes of ab work (crunches or sit-ups) before or after your routine workout and you'll start seeing results. Or, try sneaking in crunches while you're watching TV during commercial breaks—it's that easy!
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Yes, you read that correctly. Cycle Yoga is a new hybrid workout combining the zen qualities of yoga with the intensity of indoor cycling to provide a balanced workout that not only burns fat, but also connects the body and the mind during the rigorous activity. Get the best of both worlds and try something new!
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Dream of toned arms? Dumbbells (or free weights) make a good (cheap) investment to achieve just that. Spend around $15 for 10-lb weights to lift your way to toned arms. Dumbbells can also be used with cardio exercises to add strength training and increase intensity.
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Build a strong core to help improve your performance in sports and other physical activities with core condition. Through regular core condition—a combination of Pilates, yoga, and cardio, along with upbeat music—your mind and body will be stronger and at ease. Exhale Spa offers various types of Core Fusion classes across the nation.
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Running is a great excuse to get outside, especially while the weather is getting warmer. Spring is the perfect time for outdoor runs—make an adventure out of it and explore different areas in your neighborhood or park. Not a runner? Don't fret—pace yourself and add a mile to your distance each time you hit the pavement.
TRX Suspension Training
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TRX Suspension Training is bodyweight exercise using suspension ropes. It was created by a Navy SEAL to train while away on missions, which makes this resistance workout one you can do anywhere. For total body conditioning, invest in the equipment or find a class near you.
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Don't you love that a Nintendo game can also be a workout? With Wii Fit, you can play all of your favorite sports and have guided workout sessions right in your living room. Plus, you're able to personalize your workouts, track your progress and keep count of calories burned. Who ever said spending hours in front of the TV was bad for you? We're loving 21st century fitness.
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Biking is a great warm weather exercise that burns calories and passes the time without you even realizing it. Biking not only allows you to get a workout in, you're also able to explore new surroundings. Sites, scenery and a little sweat never hurt anyone. In fact, it does your body and mind good.
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Splish splash! Make good use of pool time as soon as the weather is warm enough. Pool exercises such as water aerobics (or AquaFit) and Aqua Zumba are great resistance training exercises for those in need of low-impact workouts. The water reduces the risk of muscle and joint injuries and allows for a greater range of motion. Take a class at your gym or come up with your own aquatic workout routine.
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Nature lovers can hit the hiking trails for a fresh air aerobic exercise that is sure to tone the entire body. Depending on the terrain and how vigorous of a hike you go on, you can burn up to 500 calories during a one-hour hike. A little sunshine and a nice walk surrounded by nature may just be what your body ordered.
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If you're not really a gym rat, but want to stay active, club sports may be just the thing for you. Friendly competition can be motivation to get your body moving. Whether it's kickball, softball or even dodgeball, joining a team sport will surely keep you active.
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The season is here to put on your tennis whites and challenge your friends to a match. Competitive sports are a great way to burn calories while having fun. And really, it's a win win for you, since you still get a great workout regardless of the final outcome of the match.
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Unless you live in the very few cities where the weather is perfect year round, rollerblading falls under the radar a lot of times. Rollerblading is an aerobic exercise that works your body a little harder than cycling, but not quite as hard as running. So if you're looking for something in between, this sport is for you. Invest in a pair of rollerblades and burn up to 450 calories in 30 minutes!
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Say it with us… Omm. Achieve inner peace, find balance and strengthen your body through yoga—it truly is the perfect workout for anyone with a lot on their plate. It's also a great activity for athletes to work muscles that aren't regularly used in common sports. Vinyasa is a popular style of yoga that connects the postures in a fluid way and focuses on breathing with the different poses. It's a relatively fast-paced style when compared to other types of yoga.
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Get ready to move to the beat of the music with Zumba, a popular Latin-based dance class offered at gyms nationwide. It's a fitness party that will make you sweat and burn calories in a fun, upbeat setting. There's not much needed for this energy-packed class, except your dancing shoes and a little rhythm.
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Ready for a hot new workout routine? No, we really mean hot. Bikram Yoga (or hot yoga), is a type of yoga performed in a room heated to 105 degrees F with high humidity. This yoga practice will be sure to make you sweat and give you a deeper stretch, preventing injury and restoring the muscles. Who needs a sauna when you've got hot yoga?
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Walking, we do it every day, but never really thinking of it as a workout. Did you know that walking 10,000 steps per day could help with weight loss and improve health? That's equivalent to five miles, or 30-60 minutes of walking, approximately. So what are you waiting for? Get up and take a walk!
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While we're not all swimmers, swimming can still be a very beneficial workout for anyone looking to break out of the monotony of the gym. It gets your heart rate up, but it's not hard on your body. Gliding through the water doing various strokes can also be very soothing. Swimming works almost every muscle in your body. Time to get that swimsuit ready for your new swimsuit body!
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Pump up the music and just dance! Fitness doesn't always have to be regimented or dreaded. It can be fun and casual! Home alone? Put on some tunes and rock out. Friday night? Go out dancing with friends, just hold the cocktails. Just curious? Take dance lessons at a local studio. Foxtrot or tango may just be the new cardio.
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Having a workout buddy provides motivation and support for those who struggle with exercise. Having a horse for a workout buddy is just plain fun. Did you know that horseback riding provides some of the same benefits as yoga? Riding tones your lower stomach muscles and helps with breathing, balance and control. Now are you up for that riding lesson?
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Get a cultural, musical and active experience with African dance. Learn traditional African dance moves while getting a cardio workout. In many African dance classes, a drummer sets the pace and rhythm. Any workout is fun when there's live drumming involved!
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Pilates is a popular workout that will work your core and your muscles. Learn control over your muscles and proper breathing while strengthening your body. Founded by Joseph Pilates over 70 years ago, this practice is now one of the most popular workouts today. Find various types of Pilates classes at your local gym or Pilates studio.