5 Workouts Your Gym Doesn't Want You to Know About
Save money, time and gas with these ingenious new workouts you can do at home (bonus: none involve jumping jacks).
The Fitness Classes You'll Almost Never Bail On
, a new online wellness community. "Premium members" who pay $19 a month have access to virtual group classes (a new and still rare concept). This means that some pre-recorded classes are played only at specific times, you can see the names of other people who are also working out, and you can ask the instructor real-time questions about how to correctly perform a move or how to modify exercises. This gives more of a sense of we're-all-in-this-together than you get from streaming a video – but for days when you feel like doing yoga at the same time the abs & core class is offered, Grokker offers streaming videos, too.
Exercise Videos Cool Enough for Rock Stars
The Pound series
ain't your mama's home-workout routine. This at-home version of a popular fitness class at Crunch gyms involves constant simulated drumming with lightly weighted drumsticks. Each jam session combines cardio, Pilates, isometric movements and plyometrics. This concept was developed by two certified group-fitness instructors who also happen to be recreational percussionists, and they swear Pound torches fat and sculpts drummer-chick arms (we can attest to the fact that all that pounding made our biceps burn—in an awesome way). For $40, you get your own pair of Ripstix as well as two DVDs with instructions and four workouts
that you can do alone or one after another. You also get the freedom to rock out like a Muppet
in your living room without feeling self-conscious.
The Workout That Helps You Feel Like a Million Without Spending a Million
You may have heard celebrities like Kelly Ripa and Lisa Rinna
raving about the transformative effects of Physique 57
, a boutique fitness class that combines ballet, Pilates and isometrics. The intense moves done on the floor and at a ballet barre are designed to improve your posture and strengthen your core, which can help you look longer and leaner. The studios are currently located only in New York and Los Angeles, and classes can become addictive and prohibitive ($31-36 for one class; $110-$250 for the first month
). For as little as $5, you can "rent" a video
for up to 48 hours led by the same graceful-but-ripped instructors who teach at the studios (all are dancers). You'll need a sturdy piece of furniture and a set of hand weights for some workouts, but you might not need to get a second job to afford them.
Yoga Classes for the Overscheduled and Unorganized
Going to yoga class can be more stressful than staying home: You hustle to get there but still arrive late, squeeze into the last few inches of space and modify the poses to avoid accidentally punching someone in the face. Members of the online community YogaGlo
can download videos to watch at home, allowing them to take whatever kind of class they want, any time of day or night. For $18 a month, you get unlimited access to more than 2,000 streaming online yoga videos taught by certified instructors, and you can search classes by style, duration, personal goal or body part. So while you won't get hands-on adjustments from a live instructor, you can find exactly the class you're looking for—like a 20-minute Hatha sequence for lower-back pain—and you're guaranteed to get a spot.
The Videos for When You're Just Not Feeling the Afro-Pop
Love Zumba but crave something new? Mix up your routine (and your tunes) with the new Doonya Bollywood Workout DVDs
($25 for a set of 3; streaming online workouts for $10
). The wonderful thing about Indian dance is that it can involve high-impact, celebratory moves like hopping, stomping and spinning, but it never feels like aerobics. These routines are set to invigorating music that fuses Indian classical and folk tunes with jazz and "Bolly-pop"—stuff you most likely haven't heard outside of a Bollywood musical or an Indian wedding. Instructors, who teach at studios in New York, Los Angeles and Washington, DC, break down the individual moves and explain how dances are incorporated into Bollywood movies (a replay-able gift for the uncoordinated). So once you get it all down, you’ll feel as if you're performing on set...even when the only other extra is your cat.
Next: More fun ways to work out