disq workout

Photo: Courtesy of DISQ

The New Device That Makes Resistance Bands Feel Obsolete
What: The Disq, developed by elite Dutch speed skaters, involves stretchy cords attached to disks you wear on your hips to fine-tune resistance.

Why: That resistance makes your muscles work much harder when you’re doing functional movements like power lunges and overhead presses. There's no impact, so it's softer on joints, and you can still move in different directions and do advanced moves.

Why now: In September, Crunch gyms unveiled Transformer, a new cardio-plus-sculpting class that features complex, challenging moves with the Disq set to music. The company has also released a lighter consumer version of the Disq to help you feel—and look—like Optimus Prime at home.
cyro cuff

Photo: Courtesy of Pop Physique

The Classes Every Curvy Woman Should Try This Fall
What: While most barre classes emphasize that the ballet-inspired moves they teach help aspiring dancers get long and lean, body-conscious spin-offs like bootybarre and Pop Physique have a different focus: To sculpt you a J. Lo–like backside.

Why: Bootybarre adds fluid dance movements and cardio moves to boost your heart rate and burn extra calories; Pop Physique involves extremely focused exercises for every muscle in your butt.

Why now: Because a nicely toned bottom will still get noticed even when your arms and legs are covered by layers of wool, denim and down.
yoga workouts

Photo: Courtesy of Sherri Rosen, VP YAS Fitness Centers

The Workout That's Two for the Price (and Time) of One
What: The line between yoga and cardio continues to blur as classes combine yoga and cycling (YAS), yoga and hiking (Hiking Yoga) and yoga and weight training (Hot Yoga Plus, Xen Strength).

Why: While we now know that static stretches like toe touches don't do much for your flexibility or your performance, yoga's flowing movements help you limber up, cool down, stretch out sore muscles and mentally prepare for your post-workout life.

Why now: The weeks between Labor Day and New Year's Day can be the busiest of the year, so the more multi-tasking we can cram into one workout, the better.
prostretch plus

Photo: Courtesy of Helix Co.

An Impressive New Twist on the Elliptical Machine
What: The Helix Lateral Trainer has pedals that move in a figure-eight pattern (i.e., sideways as well as up and down).

Why: A small study by the University of Tampa (commissioned by the manufacturers) shows that the lateral trainers worked more of the muscles of the lower body and core than standard ellipticals: 43 percent more of the outer thigh and 42 percent more of the outer hip.

Why now: You can now find them in national chains like 24-Hour Fitness and Anytime Fitness as well as local YMCAs. There's an at home version that's comparable to an elliptical in price ($1,395 to $3,495).
dirty girl run

Photo: Courtesy of Dirty Girl

The Best Run for Women Who Hate to Run
What: Women's-only adventure competitions like Dirty Girl require you to overcome creative obstacles while completing, say, a 5K course—like the infamous Spartan Races or Tough Mudders but with less testosterone-fueled intensity.

Why: For many people, mud pits and crawl-through tunnels (nicknamed "utopian tubes," heh) are more compelling challenges—mentally as well as physically—than mile splits and finish times.

Why now: If you can't get into one of the Dirty Girl fall races in Colorado or upstate New York, you can still plan ahead and train for the many races in other states next spring.