The Newest Fit Thing
having fun with fitness
The gym can be boring, running monotonous, cycling a challenge. Luckily, the surrounding areas are home to gyms staving off boredom with innovative classes and styles of exercise that are keeping people engaged and healthy. Here are the newest trends and where to find them.
Combining the spirit of a dance class with the results of weight training, pole classes and studios have become increasingly alluring. At Form Fitting Fitness in Brookfield daily pole classes focus on conditioning, holds, and maneuvers, inversions, and strength building, respectively. This fall the Ridgefield Playhouse hosts its annual pole showcase, bringing studios together to compete for pole supremacy.
Aerial Hoop/Suspension Hammock Training
Aerial hoop and suspension hammock classes work out a variety of muscles. The sole piece of equipment one needs for an aerial hoop class is, literally, a steel ring that hangs suspended from the ceiling on which a variety of mounts, grips, and moves are practiced. A hoop conditioning class is a grueling workout for your core, arms, and back that includes pulls ups, rows and crunches, among other movements.
If you feel like one-dimensional fitness classes are not giving you the results you desire, it may be time to try something new. Health clubs around Litchfield County are combining different workout disciplines in exciting ways known as hybrid classes that are both challenging and fun. The New Milford Sports Club offers Pilates-boxing amalgam, known as Piloxing, and a fusion of cycling and high-intensity training called the 30/30 Ride. Torrington’s Energy Fitness and the Litchfield Athletic Club offer weekly hybrids that combine cardio, weight training, aerobics and stretching for a balanced workout that will spare no muscle from soreness.
Parkour and its European cousin, freerunning, have become popular over the past two decades through films and documentaries (see the hair raising chase scene in Casino Royale or Michael Scott’s riotous attempts at the sport on the American Office), and now has a significant following nationwide. In parkour, runners attempt to get from point A to point B in the most efficient and artful way possible, through a series of obstacles. Entire gyms dedicated to the sport, like Fairfield’s GCA Parkour & Freerunning, offer classes in obstacle passing for runners of all ability levels and varying landscapes designed for runners to practice maneuvers and skills in different ways.
Adrenaline junkies looking to build upper body strength and challenge themselves will love the indoor climbing walls just a short drive away at Carabiner’s of Fairfield and Sports and Wellness of Danbury. Carabiner’s offers classes for all ages and ability levels, competitive climbing and thousands of square feet of bouldering. Not to be outdone, Sports and Wellness offers nearly a thousand square feet of wall with open climb four times a week and group climbs available by appointment. Explore new paths up the wall or perfect your ascension up familiar ones.
Paddle Board Yoga
Do you ever find yourself in yoga class, hitting a downward dog and thinking to yourself, “I wish this were harder?” If so, stand-up paddle board yoga may be for you. The added instability of a paddle board on water presents a challenge for even the most experienced yogi. Combining hatha and vinyasa yoga poses with the strength and balance of surfing, the emerging discipline is drawing athletes from a variety of sports to this extreme form of cross-training. At the Litchfield County Paddler in New Hartford groups can rent paddle boards, slap onto the lake, and learn from one of their five certified instructors.
Torrington’s Becoming Balanced Pilates studio offers classes in Barre. Barre is a Pilates-ballet fusion created as a form of rehab in the 1940s by a Russian dancer who suffered a severe spinal injury. Combining the gracefulness of ballet with the core strength associated with Pilates, participants get a truly dynamic workout and see serious results. A similar fusion—this one ballet and yoga—is offered at Charym of Litchfield. Charym’s dynamic class combines the movements and stretching of ballet with the poses of yoga.