Perhaps the only industry in which trends are as important as they are in fashion is the ever-changing world of personal fitness. Exercise classes inspired by bizarre and intriguing physical activities—everything from ballet to surfing to pole dancing—pop up all the time, and many of them don’t survive long enough to have any significant impact. But others pull out ahead and cross the proverbial finish line.
This year’s trendiest workout classes are a mix of brand new brainchildren of new fitness instructors, and tried-and-true trends that have stood the test of time. Read on for 10 workout classes that are sure to make a big impact in 2014!
1. Trampoline Cardio
Perhaps the newest exercise craze slowly making its way through Manhattan’s chicest fitness circles is trampoline cardio. It’s just what it sounds like: you bounce up and down on your own individual trampoline for 45 minutes, mixing in different choreography, using small hand weights, and generally having a grand old time.
“Group aerobics classes give me anxiety, but this was (happily) routine-free,” StyleCaster’s own editor-in-chief Laurel Pinson says of her experience at NYC studio JumpLife, after a workout class put on by energy shots SK Energy. Plus, it’s impossible to feel bad when you’re bouncing on a trampoline, so it’s a mood-lifter, too.”
2. Indoor Surfing
The indoor classes that use the non-water surf boards—i.e., SurfSet—had their moment in the sun a couple years back. Now, it’s all about WaveShape, the surfboard-less class designed to get your body in “prime surfing shape.” This involves a lot of squats, hopping, ab works, and weird twisting jumps that mimic the movements of surfers on the water.
3. Pole Dancing
Yes, ladies, people are still doing pole dancing as a form of exercise. This craze initially started a few years ago, but it’s still going strong; if anything, it’s gaining speed. And for good reason: its adherents swear by the full-body effects of the workout, which not only packs in cardio and increases flexibility, but also tones from head to toe.
4. Aqua Cycling
For those of you obsessed with going to spin classes but perhaps feeling just a bit bored with the routine of it, Aqua Cycling offers an exciting element: taking the entire experience and replicating it in water. As you can imagine, riding a stationary bike becomes just that much harder when you add in the resistance of water; you not only get the same cardio effects, but your muscles have to work harder and thus will tone up faster.
Piloxing is the fitness version of the labradoodle: an unexpected hybrid of two forms of exercise that on the surface seem vastly different. It takes the strengthening aspects of Pilates and mixes them with the high intensity and stamina-building traits of old-school boxing. The result: equal parts graceful, challenging, and badass.
Bouldering is essentially the indoor, low-to-the-ground version of rock climbing. It doesn’t require that you be tethered to the surface your climbing, which makes it less scary without decreasing the difficulty. Bouldering gyms are starting to pop up all over the country, even in major metropolises like New York, where Brooklyn Boulders is building its membership steadily.
7. Dance/Trampoline/Strength Hybrid Classes
If you’re into the idea of taking a trampolining class, but perhaps you prefer a bit more variety, regimens like Body by Simone might be your cup of tea. They combine trampolining with classical ballet moves and strength training for a comprehensive, full-body workout that hits all the major targets: cardio, stretching, toning, and strengthening.
8. Ballet Barre
These ballet-centric cardio classes have been trendy for some time now, but they’re still going strong. It speaks to the ballerina inside all of us, incorporating the gracefulness, sinuous nature, and mind-blowing strength required to successfully pull off ballet Pure Barre and the Bar Method are the two most well-known versions of the workout.
9. Boot Camps
The folks over at Barry’s Boot Camp call this “The Best Workout in the World,” and while we’re sure there are those who agree, we are more likely to call it the hardest workout in the world. It’s an hour-long, super-high intensity interval training-based class that incorporates everything from endless squats to jumping jacks to push-ups. It’s called boot camp for a reason, y’all.
10. Recess Classes
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Just call it fitness for hipsters: one workout instructor in New York has come up with a class based on the classic recess games of all of our childhoods: red rover, dodgeball, volleyball, and the like. She asks students to do things we all did in gym class in elementary school, like crab-walk across the floor, partner drills, and beyond. We’re sure more of these are going to pop up in the not-so-distant future.