8 Gym Classes That Don't Feel like Exercise
Sick of the treadmill? Stay in shape with these high-intensity alternatives!
If your body (or brain) is bored of the same workout routine, it's time to take a new approach. There are tons of innovative gym classes that let you blast fat while you're having fun. Whether you're bouncing around on Kangoo boots or perfecting dance moves to the music of a live DJ, these unique cardio workouts torch calories without feeling like exercise. If your city doesn't offer these exact classes, research local gyms and studios for similar concepts.
A fast-paced fusion of Pilates, boxing, and dance, this cardio workout created by Swedish dancer and celeb trainer Viveca Jensen whips you into tip-top shape.
"Piloxing is a total-body workout," says Kristin Floyd Hurtado, operations manager and trainer at The Piloxing Academy in Los Angeles, Calif. "It burns between 400 and 900 calories per hour. It is a workout that will change your life."
Celebs like Hilary Duff, Vanessa Hudgens, and Ashley Tisdale swear by the motivational group classes, where every student wears weighted gloves to maximize cardiovascular health.
Indo Winter Boarding
If you're nowhere near the mountains (for skiing and snowboarding) or the water (for surfing), the next best thing is indoor Indo Boarding. At Crunch Gym's Indo Winter Boarding class, you'll feel as if you're boarding down a mountain without ever hitting the slopes. The purposely unstable Indo Board, an innovative new tool that improves both strength and balance, helps sculpt legs-and the rest of your bod-into a lean, mean machine.
BOING With Kangoo
Make like a bunny in BOING with Kangoo, a unique class offered at Crunch Gym, where students strap on a pair of the futuristic-looking footwear. The shoes come with springs on the bottom, which help ease any strain on your joints as you hop, jog, and jump to a bumpin' soundtrack.
Rock It Workouts
Rock It Workouts transform your humdrum exercise routine into a dance party. The innovative studio has a live DJ spinning fresh beats during classes like Buns and Guns, which targets your arms, shoulders, and lower body, or Rock It 360, a combo of hip hop and ballet movements to improve core strength.
"The universal feeling about going to the gym is that it's a necessary evil," founder Nicole Winnaman says. "I remember taking this class in college that was essentially 400 kids using a closed down nightclub in the middle of the day to dance with these incredible trainers that would come in during the afternoon." This experience inspired Winnaman to create Rock It Workouts.
Pop Physique, a fitness concept blending ballet, Pilates, and light weight work, offers a workout that's as hardcore as it is fun. Class sizes are limited so each student receives personal attention.
"Pop Physique is the most efficient, stylish way to burn 500 calories," says Jennifer Williams, creator and owner. "When you're in class, you feel feminine, lifted, and tighter. The music and the energy of the class help you through intense exercises to achieve amazing results."
Remember jumping on a trampoline in the backyard when you were little? You were actually getting a blood-pumping cardio workout-and the Urban Rebounding class at Crunch Gym gives grown-ups the same opportunity. Using a mini trampoline, the fat-burning class simulates the rigors of city life and challenges every muscle in your body.
One of Crunch Gym's newest classes, Pound allows you to live out your rock-star fantasies while clocking in a hardcore workout. The class merges Pilates-inspired movements with the art of making music; students use weighted drumsticks to pound, beat, and drum their hearts out as they tone their upper body, back, core, and lower body. High-cut leotards are optional.
Intense boot camp sessions seem less like exercise when set against breathtaking city views. Trainers Hank Ebeling and Nicole Kupish use the natural surroundings in Chicago's Grant Park to conduct their empowering Summer Slim Boot Camp.
"It's a results-based boot camp that challenges participants both mentally and physically," Ebeling says. "From calisthenics to resistance training to speed and agility drills, everyone walks away with a feeling of accomplishment. The various bike racks, stairs, benches, and small hills in Grant Park always make for fun, challenging props during each workout."
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