5 Fitness Classes to Try This Spring
By Staci Amend
February 12, 2015
Struggling to stay motivated on the fitness front? It might be time to sign up for a group fitness class. Sometimes, having a specific place and time to be—not to mention, a class that you truly enjoy—can be more inspiring than a regular gym visit. The group aspect can help you get excited, too; even if you don’t start off with a friend in the class, you’re likely to make a few over the first few sessions. Here are five fun types to start exploring!
If you find your local gym a bit intimidating, don’t worry—you’re normal! That’s exactly why Curves was created. With thousands of locations around the country, many now right inside Jenny Craig centers, these clubs offer a variety of daily coach-led fitness classes, with modifications for all fitness levels. The foundation of the Curves circuit is a series of strength-training machines designed to challenge every major muscle group for a full-body workout in just 30 minutes.
Don’t let the low-impact nature of this class fool you—ballet-inspired classes deliver a serious workout. Often called a “barre class” or something similar, these ultra-toning classes take place in specialized rooms with the mirrored walls and hip-height wooden barres found in ballet studios. Classes are set to music, and blend standing barre work with seated floor exercises. No dance experience? Not a problem; your instructor can help you modify.
If the word “yoga” makes you think of incense and mystery, think again. No longer a fringe practice, yoga has exhaled its way into the American mainstream for good. You need not already be strong and flexible to try yoga for the first time, but you can expect to gain both along the way; regular practice helps to tone the muscles AND quiet the mind. Classes vary dramatically in style and difficulty, so be sure to read up about your teacher and class prior to attending.
By now, nearly everyone has heard of Pilates. If you haven’t yet tried it, consider this: it’s highly adaptable for various ages, fitness levels and physical challenges. The system is founded on the belief that core strength is the key driver for fitness throughout the body. Group classes are typically held on a mat; private classes may involve a variety of Pilates-specific machines.
5. Bodyweight training
Bodyweight training has been around for hundreds of years, but it’s having a major moment right now. Why? Because you’re using nothing more exotic than the weight of your own body to provide resistance and build strength, it can be done just about anywhere, doesn’t require any special equipment—and provides an incredible full-body workout. When you attend a group bodyweight training class in a gym, you’ll likely work out on a mat.