The Newest Hippest Fitness Fads

By  , Jagran Cityplus
Sep 08, 2010

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Tired of the same old gym workout? Maybe you need to get a brand new reason and addiction to put off  the pounds.  Try these adrenaline thumping new fitness fads to rev up your workouts…………


Exercise needs to be about having fun as much as it is about losing weight or keeping fit. As fashion trends change in the blink of an eye, even the most dedicated fitness enthusiast needs a change in their routine to get the right moves. The idea is to find something that captures your imagination and yet gives you a great workout. Check out the latest fitness fads which promise to bring a break from monotony and routine, and yet give you a holistic workout.


Bhangra and Dandiya Aerobics


Yes! You read it right. The Bhangra beat is here to stay and this time it can catch you in the gym. A movement that originated in the US, by NRI Sarina Jain, Bhangra Aerobics has followers everywhere now. Highly popular it takes out the energetic leaps and lunges of the folk performance and gives it a more fine tuned and choreographed aerobics feel.  Kiran Sawhney who offers the Bhangra and Dandiya aerobics at her fitness studio Fitnesolution says, "Bhangra like aerobics is high energy and goes to the beat of music. It is a great way to work out and unwind." Even the steps are a choreographed sequence mimicking this high energy dance form. So you have traditional dance steps like Gidda, Haripa merging to form new steps like Bhangra Slide, or Bhangra Lunge".


The idea is to bring in elements of the dances, like the Dandiya dance or the Bhangra dance and choreograph the workout to a higher energy level. In fact, Kiran adds, "People love the workout because it brings a completely new dimension to their workout. Even the music is more of Bhangra and Bollywood remix, so you have them swinging to the music of Juggy D, Mika, and Rabbi." People identify with it more as the songs and ambience is fluid and more Indian in context. The Dandiya aerobics mimics the Dandiya dance complete with using the Dandiya sticks.


So what is next in line? Bollywood Aerobics, where the jatkas and matkas can actually be emulated on to the fitness floor. The best part of this is that all these dances are group exercises and don't need any props, except a pair of Dandiya sticks if need be. Still in a nascent stage in India, you can only hope to find it at very few studios.




If relaxation, balance and breathing are your preferred form of exercise, try this revolutionary new blend of Pilates and Hatha Yoga. While the latter exercise forms have been around for decades and captured the imagination of many celebrities all over the world, Yogilates started by fitness guru Jonathan Urla, promises to marry the best of both.


Yogilates is a highly choreographed sequence of exercises that require meditative breathing and yet establish a strong fitness core. They work on effective core strengthening while the discipline of yoga integrates with Pilates. While Yoga brings in the mental focus, Pilates focuses on muscle groups and bringing in an element of balance into the workout. Over the years, Jonathan has used his knowledge of exercise science, proper alignment, and sound bio-mechanics, to develop a detailed practice with over 300 exercises from beginner to advanced. A Yogilates practitioner seldom needs any further props except a simple exercise mat. The emphasis is on adding strength and resistance offered by the Pilates technique to traditional Yoga postures. The best thing about this fitness routine is that you don't really need to be in a group to do it. Instead, you can just as soon train from a video so it is perfect for a busy routine. Adds Rahul Narang, owner, Olympia gym, "Yogilates is a fitness fad that has recently caught on with quite a few people. However I would recommend most people not to make it their complete fitness solution, it's a great thing to do to balance out a complete cardiovascular workout also. And as the whole emphasis is on breathing, do make sure that you work on that, otherwise, like Yoga you won't really benefit from it."


Don't opt for it however, if you think this will concentrate on your abdominal muscles only like Pilates. Yogilates is a more holistic workout for the mind, body and soul.




Ramping as created by Gin Miller is designed to be a totally different experience from step aerobics. Although both are cardio activities, the core movement of stepping is lifting the body onto the platform, as where the core movement for Ramping is a walking and pushing motion against an incline surface, The Ramp. A very high energy workout, Ramping once again makes it easy for beginners to get a hang of this aerobic exercise. It is also a great workout for anyone wants moderate intensity.


Ramping is a simpler and easier form of step aerobics, so that you do not need to have high fitness levels or work on complicated and extremely choreographed exercise steps. Basically a high energy group exercise it is actually the opposite of Stepping. The Ramping activity consists of pressing down on the Ramp, rather than lifting your body weight up as in Stepping. The Ramping activity focuses on the muscles in the back of the legs and the butt, unlike Stepping, which utilizes the muscles in the front of the legs. Performed to upbeat music, the variable intensity of this high-energy, low-impact workout depends on the easily applied increased range of motion, music tempo and the degree of incline of The Ramp exercise device. In a constant interchange of acceleration and deceleration, the rear muscles must handle the backward movement each time the leg "pushes away" off The Ramp exercise device. Since the Ramping technique is derived from the basic lunge, it provides a high-calorie burn.


A group activity, it recommends itself as a great alternative to people who want an aerobic activity without a very complicated set of steps. Also it works very well for mostly of us pear shapes, because the muscles being worked out are the hips, thighs, and buttocks. Kiran Sawhney adds, "It's not complicated and it actually works on a target area most of us have problems with. The only important thing with this exercise is that being a group activity you should be careful about the floor space your trainer provides. You need about six feet of clearance behind and 18 inches of clearance on both sides."


BOSU OR 'Both Sides Utilized'


At its essence, BOSU training is about expanding movement capabilities while reshaping the body and strengthening the mind. It is comprised of thoughtful movement that requires the participant to not only be physically involved, but also "here and present" with the mind fully engaged. The BOSU Balance Trainer is like an exercise ball that's been cut in half with a platform on the bottom. You can use it ball-side-up to challenge lower body balance and stability or use the platform to target upper body strength. You can use it for just about anything. Kiran adds, "Use it for Cardio like a step, with hops, jumps, step ups, leaps, and lunges" But, you can also use it for strength training and do squats, lunges, pushups or balance on it while lifting weights.


Ideal for flexibility, you can stand or kneel on the dome while doing traditional stretches to add more challenge. Or for core training as you can use it for abdominal and lower back exercises to target the core muscles.


This is not really a fitness fad for the faint hearted. It can be physically demanding, but when properly taught, it is appropriate to a variety of fitness levels and physical capabilities. A training programme that actually helps athletes perform better BOSU is a performance and fitness enhancer.  In the end the challenge lies in the fact that you are doing exercises that require you to maintain your center of gravity over a surface that is constantly changing.




Even though Spinning has been around to no longer qualify as a fitness fad, it deserves special mention for the fact that it still attracts a whole lot of enthusiasts to it. Rahul Narang adds, "Its still one of the most popular fitness workouts apart from the traditional gym routine."
Part of the reason could be the way the exercise programme works in a group and uses props like great music and lighting to add to the fun. Nirbhay a trainer with Ozone sums it up, " Spinning is fun because it a group activity and high on energy."


A typical class involves a single instructor at the front of the class who leads the participants in a number of different types of cycling. The routines are designed to simulate terrain and situations encountered in actual bicycle rides, including hill climbs, sprints and interval training. Coasting downhill, however, is not simulated. The instructor uses music and enthusiastic coaching to motivate the students to work harder.


Nirbhay advices, "It can be difficult to stay at the moderate level in a class that is geared towards more intensity. If the exercise is not done correctly, injuries can occur; problems with the lower back and knees are most common, so only go for it if you have no medical history in these areas."


Classes generally use specialized stationary bikes. Features include a mechanical device to modify the difficulty of pedaling, specially-shaped handlebars, and multiple adjustment points to fit the bicycle to a range of riders. The pedals are equipped with toe straps to hold the foot to the pedal, enabling powerful upstrokes. They may also have cleats for use with specialty bicycling shoes. These bicycles do not have the electronic features found on some models of stationary bicycles.


Perhaps one of the reasons for this popularity is that nowhere else in an urban jungle can you enjoy indoor cycling. Most classes offer high voltage rock music or dance music. Some can even choreograph a complete set of moves if the group can get the groove in sync.


Nirbhay adds, "Spinning needs you to be in some degree of fitness from beforehand. It is recommended when riding in a class to bring plenty of water. Indoor cycling is very energetic and causes a lot of sweating and a person who is near dehydration can easily be dehydrated by the end of an hour of hard riding."


All, in all, whether they challenge you mentally, physically or just help you get a groove on, these new fitness fads sure look like they are here to stay.


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