health

Fitness trends: The good, the bad and the CRAY CRAY.

Yes, I tried vibration training.

 

By NATALIA HAWK

You know what I love about living in Sydney? It’s so fitness-y and health-focused. On weekends, the beaches and parks are always packed with people enjoying the great outdoors – volley-balling, kayaking, walking their dogs. It’s got a buzz about it that is unparalleled in any other city.

You know what I don’t love about living in Sydney? The amount of fitness trends that come and go all the time. Every other week, it feels like I wake up and a new hybrid of yoga-cycling-tennis has been born. And everyone’s trying it and going on about its benefits. And I have no idea what they’re talking about.

Enter: Nat’s Guide To Fitness Trends. Some of these trends are new, some are older, some are awesome and some are seriously weird. But hey – by the end of this post, you will be considerably more knowledgeable about all things fitness-trendy.

1. Vibration training. 

I am going to look into my crystal ball and predict that vibration training will be the Next Big Thing in fitness over the coming years. It’s something that started with Russian cosmonauts and is now used by celebrities such as Kylie Minogue, Serena Williams and – randomly – Clint Eastwood.

Essentially you stand on a platform, which vibrates. A lot. And then you do various exercises on it. Lunges, push-ups, planks, crunches – the vibrations from the machine work your muscles harder so that you build core strength, stability and balance without getting too fatigued. It also can help increase joint mobility, muscle mass and blood circulation.

A few gyms are now introducing the machines, and there are also studios starting to pop up – I tried it at Spunky Fitness in Darlinghurst, who run great classes for only four people at a time (so you don’t feel too ridiculous when you’re lying down with your legs wrapped around a vibrating machine… awkward).

Barre workouts in Sydney

2. Barre workouts

Barre workouts are taking off throughout the US and there are a few classes already available in Australia.

It’s a workout that’s focused on the barre typically used by ballet dancers – only it’s not just ballet.

It’s a fusion of dance, yoga and pilates, and seriously good for wannabe ballerinas who might not have the coordination required for actual dancing.

However, it’s more about toning the body and muscles rather than losing weight and burning calories – so if that’s what you’re after, perhaps skip ahead to…

3. BOKWA!

Contrary to what its name might suggest, bokwa is not a vegetable often used in Asian stir-frys. That’s bok CHOY. Bokwa is just like Zumba, only without the choreography. Rather than following moves, you draw letters and numbers with your feet. Copious amounts of energy are required, so perhaps invest in several Red Bulls before trying it.

ADVERTISEMENT

4. CrossFit

CrossFit is what happened when someone to incorporate ALL THE EXERCISE THINGS under one name. It’s a cross between aerobics/gymnastics, body weight exercises and weight lifting. In your average CrossFit session, you may be required to sprint/row/skip/dip/rope-climb/lift kettleballs/all of the above plus more.

You want to be fit already to try it – it’s super-demanding and you will be very, very tired after a session. I’m tired just writing about it. But on the bright side, sessions are usually pretty short so you can go home and collapse on the couch while congratulating yourself for being such a fitness guru.

5. Paddleboard yoga

Photos of paddleboard yoga are incredibly deceiving. Look, it’s a lovely fit lady on a board in the middle of a beautiful ocean! And she’s doing a yoga pose! And she looks so peaceful and content and I COULD TOTALLY DO THAT! And Jennifer Aniston and Kate Hudson are fans and look how fit THEY are!

This is a bad choice.

Well… no. Paddleboards are way more unstable than they look. It’s hard enough just standing on them, let alone attempting a downward dog. So unless you have extraordinary balance, or unless you don’t mind getting wet… maybe stick to a yoga mat on nice, solid ground.

6. Surfset

Speaking of water! The Surfset is a surfboard that you use… on land. It’s designed for people who would like the physical benefits of surfing, without the whole inconvenient ocean bit.

And honestly? To me, it seems to take the fun out of surfing. But hey – there are classes all over the US, and soon coming to Australia, so you can try it for yourself and make your own decisions about non-ocean surfing.

PS. It is HARD to balance on – refer to below photo of me trying one at the Aus Fitness Expo. I needed assistance to climb on and off:

Yes, I also tried the Surfset.

7. Spin classes in water

And last but not least – I just had to show you all this picture:

Yep. The world’s first underwater spin class has officially launched. It’s based at Aqua Studio in New York and the editor of US Allure magazine says it felt like: “splashing around in a swimsuit, wearing jelly shoes, and having a little dance party on a bike. Fun, but not exactly hardcore.”

Just look at the jelly shoes you have to wear. LOOK:

Oh yeah.

They’re almost as bad as Crocs. Almost.

Have you tried any of these trends? WOULD you try any? Are there any trends I’ve missed?

00:00 / ???