9 Fitness Classes That Will Make You Want to Work Out in the New Year

You'll Be Dying to Try These New Workout Experiences

Look, if you're not excited about the fitness hullabaloo that inevitably surrounds the new year, you're not alone. It's hard to get overly excited about battling through the crowds to fight your way to a lonely treadmill where the only thing keeping you from falling off the machine out of complete and utter boredom is the latest episode of ​The Big Bang Theory

It's okay. You don't have to love the treadmill.

What you do need to do, however, if you actually want a shot at enjoying the experience of getting fit, is to seek out different forms of exercise. The industry has a lot of them. There's cycling, rowing, dance, and boxing, just to name a few. And while the most cutting-edge classes are typically located in fitness hubs like Los Angeles and New York City, they can still serve as ​​inspiration to help you find similar classes near you, or at the very least, to help you develop your own home-based routine. For instance, check out these nine workouts that are practically guaranteed to make you want to workout this year.

1
Rise Nation

Rise Nation
Rise Nation

Developers of popular cycling and rowing classes have mastered the art of applying heart-pumping music and a club-like setting, to seriously tough workouts. Now Jason Walsh, celebrity trainer and the mastermind behind Rise Nation, has applied these same concepts to a whole new apparatus—the Versaclimber.

During each 30-minute Rise Nation class, participants "climb" between 1,500 to 6,000 feet, blasting up to 22 calories per minute, according to a 2015 blind test done by Men's Health Magazine. What sets Rise Nation apart from other studios is the Versaclimber itself. This "momentum neutral" piece of equipment places your body in an upright position throughout the workout, and it won't move unless you're moving it - you can't count on momentum to do any of your work. It also requires each limb to move independently, promoting a more balanced physique without the impact of exercises like running.

Loui Pacheco, Rise Nation's head trainer, sums up the workouts popularity by saying, "I love seeing the reactions of our climbers when the blinds go down and the room gets dark. It's like they don't know what's about to happen and before they know it, the room fills up with music and lights. You can't get this experience anywhere else and that's why our clients keep coming back. Plus, it's only 30 minutes! Maximum results and a short amount of time. It's the perfect combo." 

The inaugural studio is located in West Hollywood, California, with plans to expand to New York City in 2017.

2
Colette Skate Gym

Colette Skate Gym
Colette Skate Gym

Who would've thought you could create an entire workout around a skateboard? Someone creative, that's who.

Raphael Doub, the Founder and creator of the Colette Skate Gym located in Paris, France, says, "I'd love to tell you that I had this epiphany in front of a skate shop window, but the truth is that it's the result of hours of working with my clients, thinking about new exercises to help them in their progress in a fun yet effective way. The skateboard was the perfect vessel. Funny, young, entertaining and productive... and I do skateboard myself."

It's a genius idea, really. Skateboarding's a legit way to challenge your balance, coordination, and core strength while adding new challenge to traditional exercises. Unfortunately, Doub's class hasn't expanded outside of Paris just yet, but you can easily try the workout at home with your own ​Penny Skateboard (the brand the actual class uses), or with a skateboard you already have on hand. Just try a few of these exercises, provided by Doub:

  • Rocky Squats. Stand on your board, arms stretched up in the air. Squat down to touch your ankles, flexing your knees and pressing your hips back as you carefully lower your glutes toward the board. Keep your back as straight as possible and look directly in front of you as you move through the exercise. You can work up to this in a progression, first touching your knees, then calves, then ankles, aiming eventually to touch the skateboard. Perform three sets of 20 reps as you challenge your lower body, including your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
  • Dynamic Pullover. Position yourself on a mat on all fours, with both hands firmly holding the edges of the board, so your palms are under your shoulders. Engage your abs and carefully roll the board away from you, extending your arms forward from your shoulders as you do. When you've rolled it as far as you can, use your biceps, triceps, chest, shoulders, abs, and back to pull the board back to the starting position. Perform 20 repetitions.
  • Lunge on Wheels. Stand tall, with one foot on the skateboard (the board facing straight ahead), and the other foot on the floor, your feet centered under your hips. Stretch your arms in a "Y" position over your head. With your core engaged, carefully push the skateboard forward as you bend your front knee in a lunge, lowering your back knee toward the floor. As you lunge, lower your arms to a "T" position, to help with balance. When your back knee is just shy from touching the floor, push your front heel firmly into the skateboard deck, and use your legs to pull the board back to the starting position as you return to standing. As you stand, raise your arms back to the "Y" position. Perform 20 repetitions per leg.

To see some of the exercises in action, check out this video.

3
Aerial Physique Aerial Silk

Aerial Physique Silks
Aerial Physique

For anyone tantalized by the drama and athleticism of Cirque du Soleil performers, you can learn to climb the silks (and get a killer total body workout in the process) by trying the Aerial Silk class at Los Angeles-based gym, Aerial Physique. This class, developed by Jill Franklin, is more physically demanding than the average aerial yoga class, and it incorporates a performance aspect that makes it popular with celebrities like Jennifer Garner.

Plus, it's just plain fun. As Franklin herself attests, "Not only will aerial silks class tone your core and upper body, you'll have loads of fun while doing it! Throughout the class, you'll learn an array of inversions, wraps, and climbs leading to an invigorating feeling with excellent results for your body and mind. It's a sneaky workout. You won't realize how many muscle groups you're utilizing until you feel your sore muscles the next day."

4
PLATEFIT

PLATEFIT Pushups
PLATEFIT

The first time you walk into a PLATEFIT facility, you might raise your eyebrows at the oddly shaped Power Plates filling the studio. But it's those same, funny-looking pieces of equipment that will keep you coming back for more.

You see, these Power Plates offer whole body vibration training that requires constant muscular engagement during exercise, amplifying a standard workout experience. Because of this exercise amplification, class length can be cut down to just 27 minutes, and the small, intimate classes allow for more individual attention from the instructor.

The best part is you can do just about any style of workout on the Power Plate, so you can choose between classes like YogaFIT, barreFIT, BootcampFIT or HIIT-FIT. And if you really just need a serious recovery class, there's always RecoveryFIT, which feels more like a much-needed massage atop the Power Plate.

5
Shadowbox

Shadowbox is the group fitness experience that results when you combine the shadowboxing of a cardio kickboxing class with the heavy bag work of a boxing gym, the conditioning moves of a boot camp, and the dimly-lit studio setting of a boutique cycling studio. In other words, it's taken aspects of many different popular fitness experiences and combined them into a whole new workout. Classes themselves are anchored with heart-pumping tunes, while exercises are tackled in high-intensity rounds to help make the 45-minute class go by fast.

With expansion plans underway to take the studio from a single location in New York's Flatiron District to multiple locations in New York and LA, the brand hopes to become the SoulCycle of boxing. And with celebs like Gisele Bundchen and Adriana Lima giving it the thumbs up, they're already well on their way.

6
STRONG by Zumba™

Zumba just broke its own mold (and that of the fitness industry) by stepping away from its uber-successful dance fitness experience to create a whole new workout: STRONG by Zumba™. Think of STRONG by Zumba™ as a high-intensity interval training boot camp that uses body weight exercises to improve strength and conditioning. Sound familiar? It should. This type of workout is widely available in studios and online.

But STRONG by Zumba™ didn't stop there. They decided to reinvent the concept of workout music to focus on music-led interval training. So instead of choosing music as an afterthought, or simply choreographing moves to the beat of a pre-selected song, STRONG by Zumba™ developers started by choreographing the perfect HIIT workout first, then creating perfectly-synced beats to enhance the overall experience. In other words, the music is reverse-engineered to the workout, not the other way around.

7
Mermaid Fitness

Mermaid Fitness
Hotel Del Coronado

When you need a break from a traditional workout, or frankly, from life as a human, it might be time to book a trip to California to stay at The Hotel del Coronado.

Not just, because - vacation! - but because The Del features a one-of-a-kind Mermaid Fitness class. ​

Yes, you heard that right. Mermaid Fitness. Participants actually don a giant mermaid tail to wear during the class that features swimming, core, cardio, and strength training set to a playlist of upbeat music.

The mastermind and instructor of the workout, Veronica Rohan, says she came up with the idea when she noticed the mermaid tails available for purchase at The Del were really popular, "Guests were so excited to be a mermaid! It's a fun way to exercise. A lot of people say they feel like Ariel from The Little Mermaid." Plus, it's a great way to work on your core. You have to use your midsection to move the mermaid tail through the water's resistance, and you can't rely on your legs to do the hard work.

8
Aquaphysical floatfit® HIIT

Aquaphysical floatfit®
Aquaphysical

Just when you thought water workouts couldn't get any cooler than a Mermaid Fitness class, Aquaphysical went and created floatfit® HIIT. This 30-minute group fitness class utilizes the brand's aquabase inflatable floating boards so participants can enjoy a workout on top of almost any body of water.

The aquabase boards are similar to a stand-up paddleboard, but with a wider, more stable design that lends itself to all types of exercises. This means the floatfit® HIIT class can incorporate squats, lunges, burpees, mountain climbers, core work, and more, all while participants float atop the surface of a swimming pool, pond, or lake. And because the water creates a constantly-shifting surface, participants enjoy two additional benefits: First, exercises that are typically high-impact, like running in place and burpees, end up being lower impact on the surface of the water, much like they are when performed on a trampoline or in sand. Second, participants must work harder to remain balanced while on the board, engaging their core muscles, challenging their smaller, stabilizers, and ultimately enhancing coordination.

Most floatfit® HIIT classes are currently available in Europe, but the brand plans to launch in the US in 2017, so keep an eye on the company's website to find a class near you.

9
Asphalt Green AG6 Arcade Class

When you want to harness your inner child to gamify your fitness, look no further than Asphalt Green's arcade-inspired, high-intensity circuit training class, AG6. As of November 2016, AG6 was the first class in North America to use specialized PRAMA technology featuring pressure-sensitive walls and floors that use LED lights and sounds to create an immersive fitness experience where athletes must react to the light cues. The 45-minute workout uses bodyweight exercises, kettlebells, BOSU balls, medicine balls, and other workout tools in conjunction with the arcade-style light system to help participants develop endurance, balance, speed, agility, and reaction time.

Unfortunately, if you're not in New York City, you may have a hard time finding a similar class. The good news is, you can develop your own, "poor man's" version at home by creating your own ​arcade-style home gym.

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