By Zerline Hughes
Climbing a pole and straddling a chair. Twerking on an indoor bike. Stretching in child’s pose while trap music plays in the foreground. Spitting out short, panting breaths through clinched teeth. Up next: laughing insanely while in shavansana pose.
You name it, I’ve done it. Perhaps you have, too. In an effort to fit that perfect dress or suit, lose pounds in the single- or double-digits or simply stay toned, I’ve taken to the pole, the bike, the gym, the reformer, the pool and the mat. Somehow, exercise continues to develop year after year, decade after decade with trend after trend. Some of the “inventions” are pretty great. Some of them – not so much, but it’s all about finding your personal fitness fit.
For example, you may look forward to pole dance fitness classes, but your workout partner may be the only one getting Michelle Obama arms while your arms remain … your arms. (But maybe your hip gyrating is getting you props at home!) Maybe you are experiencing weight loss success from indoor cycling, but it’s harshly impacting your knees or neck. Or just maybe your wallet is growing tired of shelling out a whopping $35 each time you take one of those specialized classes. Let’s face it: sometimes our bodies can grow out of certain fitness routines and we must settle on finding another.
Remember: moving our bodies for at least 30 minutes a day is most important. That could entail dancing with yourself, playing an interactive video game (Wii or XBOX 360), walking in the parking lot at your job during break, or in your neighborhood after dinner (Daylight Savings is just around the corner … well, kinda’).
So, to get you started, here’s my pick of group exercise and solo workouts to consider as you begin your 14-Day Formation Transformation with us:
SOULCYCLE. It’s super fun if you like deafening club-loud music playing while you ride a bike primarily in standing position. It’s worth a try but if you get hooked, just know you’ll be out about $35 each time you workout. I got hooked but had to wean myself off due to the cost. A plus: look for their theme classes where you can spin to music you know you’re gonna’ like Missy Elliot vs. Drake, Beyonce vs. Destiny’s Child, or even “Hamilton” Mix Tape.
FLYWHEEL: Another cycling class, but no dancing – straight cycling. If you have a competitive edge, this is your class. You can opt in (or out) to put your name on a class-wide leader board and compete for about 90 seconds with others in the class. A plus: shoes are included in your fee.
TRAP YOGA: I tried this at Khepera Wellness in Washington, D.C. It can be distracting, but for some of us, that can be a good thing – especially those of us who find difficulty focusing on mindfulness or sit in a pose wondering how many more minutes remain before class is over.
POLE FITNESS: This is an old fave of mine, and a giant workout. I sweat the entire time and thought, “the girls who do this in the club don’t sweat!” But with much practice, you’ll get perfect. And it’s a win-win workout for everyone! I loved The P Spot in Washington, D.C. A plus: do I have to say it? 😉
AQUA ZUMBA: ANYTHING in the water is the best workout. Dancing in the water to infectious beats and international rhythms with NO impact to your joints is fun, beneficial, and it gets you sweating … in the water! A plus: it’s no impact aerobics so the pain you feel will be your muscles waking up; not your knees crying for help.
AQUA CYCLING: This must be amazing because I’ve been waitlisted three times at two local recreation centers for this class. Cycling under water seems pretty awesome. If you get into one, please tell me all about it. In fact, tell me when registration opens up! I’ll join you in Maryland, D.C. or Virginia.
ZUMBA: Totally fun! I’m partial as a six-year-long Zumba Fitness instructor, though. Moves focus on the hips as you’re dancing to the hottest songs by Pitbull, Shakira, Daddy Yankee and learning to mix hip hop with salsa, merengue and bachata – moves that you can actually use later at the club. Cardio and toning efforts are reached – especially if you squat a little deeper and jump a litter higher. A plus: I teach classes in Washington, D.C! Join me!
FROM COUCH TO 5K: It’s as easy as it sounds. You don’t have to actually be in training for a 5K, but if you want to actually learn how to run, this easy-to-use app takes you from walking, to jogging to running on your own time. Thanks to @momsdestiny, I used it and it paid off when we participated in the GlowRun last fall. A plus: I lost a lot of weight. Running really does the job!
SWORKIT: This app is great for a solo or group workout. You pick which level you’re at, what type of workout you’re interested in (stretching, high impact, circuit training) and you pick how long you want to do it. It even has a five-minute setting. You have five minutes, right? A plus: The app will even ping you, reminding you to get your workout in before the day is over. It can be annoying, but it’s good to be called out, sometimes!
Which one will you choose? Which one have you already tried?
Let’s get in formation transformation and report back on our private group page on what you try and what offers real results!