As we noted in our 2016 Trend Report, the idea of spending time at a traditional gym is becoming less and less appealing as out-of-the-box fitness concepts start to take over.
After all, why run on a regular treadmill when you could be toning that bod in far more entertaining ways?
We take a look at some of the weird and wonderful workout options that have arisen locally and abroad.
An unusual alternative to standard yoga, this fitness option combines the postures and poses of the standard practice with aerial arts through the use of a soft fabric sling that hangs from the ceiling at hip height. The ‘hammock’ reportedly helps exercisers to stretch deeper and to hold challenging inversions for longer, leading to increased strength, mobility and balance. Plus, it looks whimsical and graceful too. Find classes in various parts of South Africa and in neighbouring countries at aerialyoga.co.za.
With studios in over 200 locations in the US, Canada, Europe and Asia, the Surfset concept is taking the world by storm, and we’re fairly confident we’ll see it in South Africa very soon. This fitness routine is inspired by the sort of workout you get while surfing, only it all happens in the gym. The use of a modified board encourages multi-planar movements that engage the core and build the sort of lean, toned body typical of pro surfers. Watch the video below to find out more about this exercise option.
electrifying 20-minute workouts
Considering that wearable technology is the number one fitness trend for 2016 (according to the ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal), it’s not hugely surprising that Bodytec is quickly spreading across the country. This concept combines high-intensity training (another trend) with electro muscle stimulation via a wearable vest to intensify contractions and activate deeper muscle groups. So you can quite literally ‘shock’ your body into shape (don’t worry, the currents are harmless). According to the Bodytec folk, this regimen works the entire body at once and only 20 minutes a week are required.
Although using an arm-cranking machine for exercise is not an entirely new option, it is one that’s only really gaining popularity now. In as nutshell, kranking involves peddling with your arms on an arm bike of sorts to build cardio fitness and upper body strength while resting the legs. It looks a little ridiculous but word is it’s an effective form of exercise. Learn about classes at the Kranking Fitness Studio at Cape Town’s famed V&A Waterfront.
old-school fitness fun
Now this is a concept that we really hope hits South Africa soon. A US-based studio called Throwback is gamifying fitness and capitalising on the nostalgia of childhood by using workout routines that are modeled on the sort of games that kids play on school playgrounds – think Capture the Flag and Dodgeball, for example. The sessions are even accompanied by retro music designed to get you pumped up and feeling 10 years younger.