The 12 Most Popular Workouts of 2016 Slideshow
“Life is better upside down” is the mantra of aerial fitness, a style of yoga in which participants are suspended above the ground in small hammocks or straps. Aerial yoga is sort of a combination of traditional yoga, Pilates, and dance, offering a total body workout and improving flexibility. Aerial fitness studios are popping up all over the United States, and this workout trend is sure to continue into 2017.
Embrace your inner wolf with Animal Flow, a modern workout regimen that has participants acting like, well, animals. This style of exercise is like a combination of gymnastics, breakdancing, and acrobatics, but the best part about it is that it doesn’t require any equipment: only your body and the great outdoors (or a large studio).
The Bodyblade is one of the “it” workout gadgets of 2016. The sleek, curved bar uses vibrations to contract core muscles up to 270 times per minute. The Bodyblade’s rapid contraction technology is said to increase strength, balance, coordination, and overall cardiovascular fitness.
Channel your inner second-grader as you participate in this high-intensity dance class based on “drawing” letters and numbers with your feet. Bokwa, a blend of South African dance and a touch of hip-hop, is unique because it replaces structured choreography with simple dance moves, allowing participants to focus their energy on burning calories instead of memorizing steps.
HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)
Short bursts of energy, coupled with low and moderate intensity intervals, are the foundation of HIIT. This exercise strategy is 50 percent more efficient at burning fat than low-intensity workouts like jogging or cycling. HIIT speeds up your metabolism, allowing you to burn more calories throughout the day, even after your workout is complete.
Want to dive into mud, climb over walls, crawl beneath barbed wire, and jump through fire? If so, you should sign up for an obstacle race. During the races, competitors are forced to overcome a number of physical challenges that test strength, stamina, and drive. The number of companies offering races is growing, but some of the most popular are Spartan Races, Rugged Maniac, Warrior Dash, and Tough Mudder. But make sure to research each race before signing up so you know what you’re getting yourself into.
Yoga continues to evolve with its most current incarnation as paddleboard yoga. Simply standing on a paddleboard at it bobs up and down in the ocean is a balancing exercise in itself, and the addition of yoga makes this an exhilarating (and challenging) workout. The water constantly shifting beneath the board requires constant engagement of the core to maintain balance.
Once you get past their association with seedy nightlife, pole workouts build some serious strength by targeting the core and upper body. Both women and men have been gravitating to poles as a way to not just work out but also celebrate their bodies and flaunt those curves they’ve been working so hard to get.
Have you always admired the seemingly reckless exertion of a rock band drummer? If so, look into Pound, a workout class that uses lightly weighted “Ripstix” to transform the motion of drumming into a forceful and exhausting workout. Pound uses carefully curated music to maximize the workout. In one 45-minute session, participants will have completed around 15,000 reps.
Sometimes the simplest technology is the most effective. Thick, heavy ropes have made a comeback in 2016 because when whipped up and down, they work muscles in the arms and back, provide a boost to metabolism, and improves coordination. Besides releasing pent up aggression, slamming heavy ropes against the ground is a low-impact exercise and therefore reduces risk of an injury.
The rowing machine is not a revolutionary piece of fitness equipment, but this low-impact exercise saw renewed interest in 2016, with shape.com calling it the “new Spinning.” When done properly, the rowing motion engages 85 percent of your muscles including upper body, legs, and core. Rowing is light on the joints, which makes it an ideal workout for athletes recovering from injuries.
Though Zumba itself might be old news, adding a small, elevated step completely transforms this workout routine. Zumba Step gives you the signature sweat that comes with traditional Zumba class, as well as adding some extra tension to your thighs and glutes.