Shake Up Your Fitness Routine!
(BlackDoctor.org) – If you’ve been doing the same type of exercise for a while, chances are your body has gotten better at doing it. While it’s great that you’ve been working out regularly, the downside is that you’ll stop getting the results you’re looking for, such as weight loss or athletic performance. The solution: Switch your workout plan about every six to eight weeks. Challenge your body and mind with the following hot workouts.
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More and more fitness centers are offering athletic performance classes that involve sports drills specifically designed to help you excel at an individual sport, such as golf, tennis, snowboarding, or skiing. The drills mimic the stresses you put on your body when you’re playing the sport. For example, you might sprint to improve your tennis game or do squats to get ready for the slopes. Traditionally, this type of workout class has been geared to athletes, but some gyms are offering them for weekend warriors and more casual participants.
Get in Shape With a Boxing Workout
Boxing can be learned at specialized gyms, where amateur fighters can train and eventually spar with each other in practice and competition. But group boxing classes at health clubs — designed more for fitness than fighting — are popular. Most casual boxing workouts are a combination of boxing techniques and a dance workout. They’re more intense, you’ll move faster, and you’ll use different muscles than you usually use in traditional exercise programs.
Enlist in Boot Camp
Modeled after military-style instruction, expect the instructor of a boot camp class to be direct, aggressive, and in your face. And the exercises are a bit more intense — just what you want from a new workout plan. You may be doing moves like climbing ropes and “burpees,” an exercise in which you move from a squat to a push-up to a squat and then jump before starting all over again.
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Kettlebells are rubber-covered metal weights with handles that are used for functional training. This means you use motions — like a squat with a swing or sit-up with an arm raise — that help you gain strength for everyday activities such as raking leaves or improving a golf or tennis game. As with any new workout, expect to feel sore after you start. It shows that you’re using new muscles in new ways, which makes you burn more calories and get stronger. But if you’re in so much pain you can’t do regular activities, you’re overdoing your workout. Consider using lighter kettlebells or reduce the frequency of your workouts until your body adjusts.
Defend Yourself With Krav Maga
Looking for fitness and self-defense? Try krav maga, an Israeli self-defense program that has been used by law enforcement agencies in the United States. Fitness classes use the krav maga technique of self-defense — punching and kicking heavy bags, working with medicine balls and kettlebells, and even doing yoga. This workout class, which uses natural movements, also helps improve balance, coordination, speed, and flexibility. Look for an official krav maga training center to find a workout class.
Muay Thai: A Martial Art With an Edge
Like krav maga, Muay Thai is a form of martial arts, one based on tactics of the Thai army. In its purest form, Muay Thai teaches mental strength and toughness. In general, these classes are physically intense, involve aspects of mind-body awareness, and teach survival skills such as mental discipline and how to stay calm during difficult situations.
Work Your Body With Fusion Dance
Thanks to the popularity of shows like Dancing with the Stars, gyms and dance studios are offering a wider range of fusion dance classes for adults, including ballet, Latin dancing, and hula hooping, according to the American Council on Exercise. And you don’t need to have dreams of being a professional ballroom dancer or ballerina to benefit from this dance workout — these classes are for people who simply want to feel good and get into shape.
Heat Up Your Yoga Workout
Hot yoga, or Bikram yoga, is performed in a heated room where the temperature is anywhere from 90 to 100 degrees. What’s the point of pouring sweat while you strike a pose? Heat helps really lubricate the muscles and joints and increases blood flow. The theory is you’ll have less risk of injury and burn more calories. In every class, you’ll practice the same 26 poses, two times each. Be sure to drink plenty of water before, during, and after the class and be prepared to sweat a lot. Note: You should not do this kind of yoga if you are pregnant or have heart problems. Always speak to your doctor before beginning a new workout program.
Belly-Dance Your Way to a Better Body
Belly dancing is another intriguing dance workout and a unique way to get aerobic exercise. The booty-shaking moves engage all of the core muscles, which include the hips, stomach, and buttocks. Instructors who teach belly dancing say that it will make you stronger, more toned, and better coordinated, and even improve your body image. And if you keep it up for an hour, you can burn up to 400 calories.
Unleash Your Inner Exotic Dancer
The big trend among exotic dance classes is pole dancing — so much so that even men are getting involved. And it’s not just about getting tips for the bedroom. Pole dancing is actually great for fitness because it’s a total body workout, using all of the major and minor muscle groups in the body, including muscles you don’t use very often. If it’s done without a lot of rest in between the exercises, there’s an aerobic benefit for sure.