It’s a new year, so why not use the occasion to explore a new fitness regimen? We’ve met with a host of popular fitness gurus to determine the top trends for 2013. Read on to see which of these workouts best suit your personal style.
If you want to strengthen your core, try…CROSSFIT
Known as the intersection of all sports, CrossFit workouts are popping up in communities all across the nation. A fitness regimen that doesn’t specialize, but instead targets the body’s core through an all-encompassing program, CrossFit uses varied functional movements performed at relatively high intensity in a community environment. “Regardless of one’s fitness or ability level, CrossFit is a sure way to see phenomenal gains in fitness and quality of life,” says Matt Brewster, head coach and programmer at CrossFit CityPlace in West Palm Beach, FL. “It is a fitness program that never gets stale, and members appreciate the support and encouragement of other members who have like-minded goals.”
If you want long, lean muscles, try…PURE BARRE
Set to fun, motivating music, Pure Barre workouts put a trendy spin on ballet using small, isometric movements to burn fat while lifting your bottom, tapering your waistline and toning your thighs, abs and arms. With 113 locations in 30 states, this growing barre franchise offers an intense, athletic workout that can be done by women of all ages and skill levels, and even throughout pregnancy. “Pure Barre is more than just a workout; it’s a lifestyle brand,” says Kara Vinton, director of marketing for Pure Barre. “Women share a sense of community, in which they are inspired and empowered by each other’s fitness and lifestyle goals. In addition to classes, we also offer DVD’s, apparel and equipment so you can even participate at home.”
If you want to sculpt and tone, try…ZUMBA
With 14 million loyal fans attending classes on a weekly basis across the globe, this “exercise in disguise” workout fuses fitness, entertainment and culture into what’s been coined a “fitness party.” Each one-hour class features simple dance moves from dance styles like hip-hop, salsa and belly dance, all set to the beats of world rhythms. Zumba’s easy-to-follow routines are designed to target every major muscle group in your body in order to successfully sculpt and tone while also burning fat. "Zumba is more than just a workout, it's a lifestyle that provides long-term, high-calorie burning physical and emotional benefits, as well as a fun, high-energy social environment that has spawned a Zumba apparel line, top-selling video games and at-home DVDs for those short on time," says Jeffrey Perlman, chief marketing officer for Zumba.
If you want shapely legs, try…FLYWHEEL
A new experience for spinning enthusiasts, Flywheel delivers an indoor cycling workout complete with stadium-style seating, custom engineered bikes, an in-house DJ and complimentary cycling shoes for riders. Including both endurance and cardiovascular training, Flywheel workouts target large muscle groups in your legs to create a shapely look, without the harsh impact on your knees or feet. Instructors suggest target resistance levels to strive for, but you are free to progress at your own pace.
A note to those with a competitive side: the studio also features what’s called the “TorqBoard,” which displays each rider’s real-time performance data on their bike and can communicate with the studio’s central system to determine the leading riders in the class and display them on a flat screen for everyone to see. “With our performance tracking technology, we are allowing our riders to set goals and achieve them in a fun, friendly, upscale environment,” says Jay Galluzzo, co-founder and CEO of Flywheel.
If you want increased flexibility, try…BIKRAM YOGA
Designed for beginners of all ages, Bikram Yoga involves a series of 26 yoga postures in a room heated to at least 105 degrees with close to 40 percent humidity, but don’t let that keep you from trying it. Experts say the heat allows for deeper stretching and injury prevention while reducing stress and tension. “The 26 posture series is always the same and strives to create a balance of strength and flexibility in the body,” says Tiffany Friedman, director of Bikram Yoga Manhattan Beach in California. “It stimulates every muscle, joint, ligament, tendon, organ and gland in the body, which is very detoxifying. Weight loss, increased energy, glowing skin and a focused, calm mind are all benefits of regular Bikram Yoga practice.”
If you live in New York or Los Angeles, try...FITiST
A luxury online fitness and wellness platform, FITiST.com offers one-stop access to top boutique fitness studios in New York and Los Angeles, putting a new spin on the notion of gyms and gym memberships. Based on the core philosophy of muscle confusion—mixing up multiple exercises in order to deliver fast, measurable results—FITiST.com caters to fitness and wellness enthusiasts who enjoy mixing up their routines. “Our short-term membership plans allow you to visit a group of fitness studios for the right mix of classes, and have access to a universal fitness calendar that aggregates all of your favorites into one schedule, so you can book all in one place,” says Neda Talebian Funk, CEO and co-founder of FITiST.com. “Numerous studies prove that muscle confusion and metabolic disturbance are the most effective ways to see results. The hottest bodies in Hollywood follow this protocol.”