Ever wonder what that odd, dust-collector with the seat and two handles is that sits largely ignored in the corner of your gym? Chances are it is an Upper Body Ergometer (UBE), which uses strictly your arms for cardio. Enter Spinning® founder, Johnny G. Johnny saw more potential in this rehab facility staple so he updated it, renamed it the Krankcycle® and thus, Kranking was born. Essentially a Spinning class for arms, Kranking has participants furiously arm pedaling to pounding music, increasing resistance along the way. It is an excellent upper body toner, working your arms, shoulders, chest, back and core and is a perfect way to get some cardio in and give your legs a break.
Kranking classes are available nationwide. For a list of participating fitness facilities, check out krankcycle.com.
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For women who have a more adventurous spirit and want a workout that will challenge both their muscles and their minds, Aerial Dance is a great one to try. In Aerial Dance you take a Cirque du Soleil approach to dance, using pairs of nylon sheets called silks to hoist yourself into the air. Once mid-air, you then perform various moves that require you to hold your own body weight. Though Aerial Dance may seem a bit intimidating, classes are available in most major cities for all levels of experience. For class info nationwide check out this link, and for classes in New York, try this link.
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Another weird workout that will certainly challenge your abilities and tone your muscles is Surfset. Surfset combines cardio, strength and stability training into one highly effective and fun workout that features multi-planar movements to engage both the body and mind. Using the patented RipSurfer X® total-body surf trainer, Surfset participants do a variety of surfing moves such as paddling and pop-ups in a targeted interval-based workout. The result is a super-lean, athletic physique much like the one you would develop by surfing in the ocean.
Surfset classes are available throughout the United States and Canada. To find a class near you, check out this link.
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Perhaps one of the odder workouts gaining popularity these days is the Stiletto Workout. It is also probably the only fitness class where the footwear of choice is high heels 3 inches or taller. Perfect for women who insist on wearing spike heels even though they wobble dangerously in them, this class teaches how to function in those prized Louboutins without breaking an ankle. The Stiletto Workout leads high heeled participants in a dance-based routine consisting of squats, pliés, kicks and sometimes weight-lifting. While the routine isn’t quite the intensity of a boot-camp workout, there is sweat involved as it takes a lot of butt clenching and gut sucking to keep your balance.
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Ever notice how effortless exercise is for most kids? Whether they are running, jumping or swinging from the monkey bars they are having fun and staying fit. One workout for adults that is sure to put a kid-like smile on your face is the Circus Workout. The JUKARI Fit to Fly™ workout was developed by Equinox gyms and is endorsed by Cirque du Soleil. It features modifies versions of circus equipment so that anyone can safely participate in a routine that consists of tumbling, juggling and trapeze work that tones your core and upper body.
For JUKARI Fit to Fly™ classes, check out this link.
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Women who just can’t imagine exercising without their upbeat tunes can take their love of music to the next level with the Pound Workout. Participants in these classes rock out (quite loudly) while they work out, using weighted drumsticks called Ripstix™ to pound the floor repetitiously while holding lunges, squats and crunches. Pound Classes are available nationwide at gyms like Crunch or you can do them at home with online classes. For a complete list of classes and online workouts, check out this link.
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In keeping with the music theme, women who cringe at the thought of classes full of fluorescent clad gym rats bouncing to 50 minutes of irritating pop music might be better suited to a class like Punk Rock Aerobics. These hour-long classes forgo brightly lit gyms for actual nightclubs during off hours, and are set to a soundtrack of punk's greatest hits. Actual exercises even include weightlifting with spray-painted bricks and moshing to get into the true counterculture spirit. Punk Rock Aerobics classes are available in the Boston, New York and the Seattle area. There is also the Punk Rock Aerobics book available for home workouts, as well as a forthcoming DVD. For more info check out this link.
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Fitness enthusiasts looking for a hardcore workout that will leave their muscles trembling need to check out the Rope Workouts that are gaining popularity at gyms nationwide. The workout consists of creating continuous waves with heavy ropes that are anchored to the ground, heaving them up, down and sideways in various patterns to work your arms, shoulders, abs, legs and back. Though it may sound fun and easy, these exercises are pure output with zero momentum. While your arms are moving continuously to keep the ropes going, the rest of your body must stabilize itself or you will fall over. Rope workouts are not for the casual exerciser. It is cardio and strength training in intervals that will kick your butt and leave your arms a quivering mass of jelly.
If you are up to the challenge, check out the Whipped! Classes at Equinox gyms nationwide here.
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For many women, one of the biggest reasons they drag themselves to the gym is to tone what they deem as problem areas such as the butt, belly and thighs. Instead of logging endless hours pedaling the elliptical to nowhere, a better bet is to try BUTI®, a 75 minute class that combines yoga, strength training and tribal dance in a non-stop cardio fest that will get your heart pumping and muscles burning. BUTI®, BUTI® Sculpt and HOT BUTI® torch calories, burn fat and sculpt muscle so you can finally get the booty you’ve always wanted.
For class info, check out this link. Classes are also available online.
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Remember how much fun you had as a kid playing with your hula hoop in the back yard? Well, becoming an adult doesn’t have to spell the end of your hula hooping days. Hoopnotica’s® weighted hula hoop workout is a fantastic total body toner that torches up 600 calories per hour and does wonders for your abs. But the best part is, unlike the monotony of endless crunches, you’ll have so much fun with hula, it won’t even seem like exercise.
Hoopnotica® classes can be found nationwide or you can buy the DVDs and workout at home. Check out this link for more info.
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