Guide to Top 4 Popular Workouts
We know, there are A LOT of different options when it comes to working out. What used to be as simple as joining a gym is now even more complicated with different types of workout programs popping up left and right. Sometimes all of the different class, studio and gym options can be a bit overwhelming. How do you know which is best for you? While it’s always best to try something out first to experience it first hand, here are some facts about 4 of the most popular workouts to help get you started!
Yoga has been practiced for thousands of years and evolved over time with roots tracing back to ancient India sometime around 3300-1900 BCE (1). At the core of most forms of yoga is the intention of bridging the gap between body and mind. Yoga can be beneficial for people of all ages, experience and athletic type (2). Athletes often use yoga to stay flexible and nimble, others use it mostly as a spiritual practice and some join hot yoga or faster-paced studios to burn calories and lose weight (3). What’s great about yoga is that it can be modified to suit your experience and your goals. We recommend doing a bit of research and trying out a few different studios to see which one works best for you!
Barre studios have been popping up everywhere in the last few years. Many credit their success to Natalie Portman’s claim that she achieved her “dancer’s body” through ballet-based workouts leading up to shooting the film Black Swan (4). While Barre workouts have been around for longer than that, they’re certainly becoming more and more popular. Barre classes combine different forms of Pilates, yoga and strength training. The exercises are focused around small, isometric movements in high repetition that are said to help build a strong and lean figure, ideal for dancing (5). Many Barre studios are equipped to handle beginningers and will gladly teach you all that you need to get started! Keep in mind, many Barre studios are for women only, so call ahead if you’re unsure (6).
CrossFit is another workout trend that’s exploded over the past few years. CrossFit is actually a single fitness company founded in 2000 that licenses its brand name to gyms (which are often called “boxes”) across the country (7). CrossFit is not just a workout but also a competitive sport. The “CrossFit Games” draw CrossFit athletes from across the world to compete every summer. CrossFit is a strength and conditioning program with varying workouts (called WODs or “workout of the day”) which combine weight lifting, aerobic exercises and body weight exercises or gymnastics. CrossFit gyms are known for their tight-knit and supportive cultures. Before getting started at a CrossFit box, you are required to take one or more introductory classes to learn the basics. These classes are often offered for free so that you can see if it’s a good fit (8).
Spin, also known as indoor cycling, has been a top workout for over two decades. In fact, Rolling Stone magazine named spinning the “hot” exercise of 1993! Spinning classes are often taught with upbeat music and a fast-paced routine given by an instructor. Many die-hard spinners focus on achieving a high heart rate with the help of a heart rate monitor to maximize results. While instructors provide instruction on how fast to peddle, whether or not to stand up and whether or not to increase or decrease pedal resistance, everyone in class is free to modify as they see fit (9). Spinning classes are often filled with people of all ages, sizes and skill levels. It is a great option if you enjoy a community-based fast paced workout but want the freedom to adjust difficulty. Nowadays, classic spinning is offered in nearly every gym around the country and customized spinning-only studios are gaining popularity as well. Some, like Soul Cycle integrate light weights to maximize results and mix it up (10).
- Frawley, David. “Sanskritization: A New Model of Language Development.” American Institute of Vedic Studies. American Institute of Vedic Studies, 13 June 2012. Web. http://vedanet.com/2012/06/13/sanskritization-a-new-model-of-language-development
- Wood, Emily. “Bridging the Gap Yoga as a Treatment Method for Eating Disorder Recovery.” Rethinking Yoga and the Application of Yoga in Modern Medicine. UC College, 4 Mar. 2014. Web. https://www.ucollege.edu/files/users/humanities/docs/First-year Emily Wood.pdf
- “Yoga Can Help You Stay Forever.” The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 5 Apr. 2014. Web. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/active/10615428/Yoga-can-help-you-stay-forever-young-like-Ryan-Giggs.html
- Lerner, Abby. “Natalie Portman’s Black Swan Workout.” Shape Magazine. Shape,INC, 11 May 2011. Web. http://www.shape.com/celebrities/celebrity-workouts/natalie-portmans-black-swan-workout
- Rogers,, Andrea. “What to Expect in a Barre Workout Class.” What to Expect in a Barre Workout Class. Spark People Inc., 9 Sept. 2011. Web. http://www.sparkpeople.com/blog/blog.asp?post=what_to_expect_in_a_barre_workout_class
- Mongrain, Rebecca. “A Beginner’s Guide to Barre.” Seattle Refined. Sinclair Interactive Media, LLC, 3 Mar. 2015. Web. http://seattlerefined.com/lifestyle/a-beginners-guide-to-barre
- “Origins of CrossFit.” Origins of CrossFit. Cruz Bay Publishing, Inc, 5 Oct. 2012. Web. https://www.theboxmag.com/crossfit-training/origins-of-crossfit-9629
- “What Is CrossFit?” CrossFit Games. CrossFit, Inc., 2015. Web. https://games.crossfit.com/about-the-games
- Brannon, Jordan. “The History of Indoor Cycling.” The History of Indoor Cycling. Mad Dogg Athletics, 2 Feb. 2013. Web. http://www.spinning.com/en/community/history-of-indoor-cycling.
- Morris, Alex. “The Carefully Cultivated Soul of SoulCycle.” The Carefully Cultivated Soul of SoulCycle. New York Media LLC., 6 Jan. 2013. Web. http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/01/evolution-of-soulcycle.html