Although we love a good solo workout running on the beach, lifting weights, or going for a hike in the Redwoods, group workouts have a way of keeping us focused and pushing us to our limits.
There have been a lot of new fitness classes popping up these days. You have much more to choose from other than that spin class or zumba down the road, and that’s a good thing!
No matter what type of workout you’re after, you'll probably find it.
We put together a few of our favorite group fitness classes that are taking the health world by storm in 2017. Read through our quick guide to learn more about our favorite classes right now.
Perhaps our ultimate new favorite class, PiYo combines pilates with yoga and is a fast-paced set of movements that stretch and tone your whole body.
Every PiYo instructor we’ve come across is fun, down-to-earth, and friendly. It’s basically just positive vibes all around for a challenging yet not over-the-top workout.
In PiYo, there are no weights or fancy combinations, it’s all about using your own body weight to make you feel your best self. It’s a high-intensity workout with low-impact moves.
This means that if you have painful joints, or you simply don’t want to later on in life, this is a great regular exercise to do. And it generally features awesome music to get your heart thumping. One recent class we took was all classic 80’s jams and it was the perfect motivator.
There are multiple pre-designed sets that you go through during each class, and you build on repetitive movements within each set. Everything is about fluidity, balance, strength, and flexibility.
A step up in terms of a workout challenge is the popular Barre workouts that everyone has been raving about recently. Barre is for those who love a good sweaty workout that’s fast-paced and, to be honest, pretty intense at times.
Also, as you can probably tell by the name, it has a dance background and theme to it.
Kick off your shoes and slip on the grippy socks, your barre class will probably use a combination of quick ballet moves, with yoga and pilates combined.
There have been a lot of spin-off barre type classes that have come about since it was first introduced in the fitness scene, and each one has its own personality and challenges.
Barre classes are another kind of low-impact workout. They focus on isometric strength training, which means that you’re doing micro-movements to work specific sets of muscles the whole time.
Don’t take that to mean that it’s not a whole lot of work though. You will be sore after your first barre class, working muscles you didn’t even know existed.
You can expect mostly moves that use your own body weight, but also the use of light weights for toned arms, and exercise balls for core work to really bring the burn.
The main benefits of barre include improved posture, toned muscles, weight loss, better flexibility, and even reduced stress.
Originally standing for ‘Non-Impact Aerobics’, Nia is one of the newest classes to hit the fitness scene with a bang. You know that kind of dancing you do when no one is watching?
That’s Nia in nutshell. Classes are in a group setting and everyone is dancing like no one is watching.
If you’ve ever wanted to experience free movement and an ‘anything goes’ mentality without going to a music festival, Nia is the class for you.
Nia combines dance, martial arts, and mindfulness. There’s a teacher that leads the moves throughout a class, but the moves are only ever a recommendation. Most Nia instructors will encourage you to move however feels best for your body.
Nia is meant to be an all-around fitness regime that works your body, mind, and soul. The main goal is to engage your senses and listen to your body. This is another class that is barefoot and low-impact on the body.
It’s much more free-flowing and open than most fitness classes you’ll come across, and that can be good or bad depending on your personality and what you’re after. It’s a class that’s worth experiencing at least once, if only for its uniqueness.
And finally, there’s CrossFit, potentially the most intense and popular fitness class on this list.
Let's be honest and say that CrossFit is not for everyone. It’s for people who really want to feel a workout and challenge their whole body to the max.
It’s also one of the most common workouts where people injure themselves by pushing themselves too hard, so take that as you may. CrossFit is seen as one of those classes that people tend to really love or really hate.
Unlike every other class on this list, CrossFit is all about high-intensity and high-impact movements while pushing yourself to your limits. Classes generally focus on strength and conditioning in varied and highly challenging workouts.
The goal in CrossFit is to basically build a body that is capable of sustaining pretty much anything. Classes don’t specialize in any kind of fitness, just an overall challenging experience that tests your strength, endurance, and fitness every time.
We would love to know - have you tried any of these classes before? Would you be interested in giving them a go? Let us know in the comments below!