After a long winter spent on the elliptical at the gym (likely, while watching the apocalpyse unfold on CNN), you're probably feeling uninspired by your typical workout routine — and stressed out enough about the world that you need to blow off more steam that usual. To give you some fresh ideas, we spoke with trainers from top gyms and studios to find out the hottest fitness trends for the summer. Hello, sweat.
Anytime, anywhere workouts
"What I’m finding to be the big buzz is a return to bodyweight training," says trainer Jenn Menzer. "Workouts you can do anytime, anywhere with no equipment. Think squats, lunges, burpees, mountain climbers, dips, planks, pushups." More and more clients are training from the comfort of their living rooms, hotel rooms — wherever's convenient, she says. "I train clients for strength, pilates, and yoga, all through remote training with a laptop or tablet."
Part of the premise of the ever-popular high intensity interval training (HIIT) is that all you need is your body. “You can do it anywhere; you can take what you learn in class on vacation because you don’t need any equipment,”says Adam Sanford, whose classes at his eponymously named studio take “an athletic approach to dance cardio,” incorporating both HIIT and body resistance work. He adds that group HIIT-style fitness classes are ideal in the summer, when “you don’t have to carry all your bags and coats [compared to the winter]. You can just walk outside when you’re done with your class.”
Yoga gets unconventional
From beer yoga to hip-hop vinyasa, nowadays, there is no one way to get your asana on the mat. At YogaSpark, a hot power yoga studio that opened in Tribeca in January, classes are offered under blacklight. Wear white or neon and you’ll glow throughout the poses.
“I think a lot of people say yoga is getting away from the traditional, but I think it’s becoming more accessible,” says Julia Yarwood, a yoga instructor and manager at YogaSpark. “[The result is] more people get their yoga in, in their own way. The different takes draw in more and more people, but they still come away with a lot more mindfulness, breath control and body alignment — benefits associated with yoga for centuries.
And yoga doesn't have to be confined to the studio — after all, you can roll out your mat anywhere. Outdoor classes are popping up at scenic locations, from parks to wharfs to rooftops, that pair your poses with a view.
Group fusion classes
Fitness mash-ups are all the rage. "With fusion, you get two classes in one workout,” explains Maryann Donner, the vice president of Group Fitness Programming at New York Health & Racquet Club. "Summer is a busy season and fusion classes are fun, dynamic, and bring the sweat on fast!"
Popular options include PlyoJam, a dance class fused with intense plyometric training (essentially, interval work that focuses on jumping); or, Tread and Shred, a circuit-style training series which includes treadmill and weight training intervals.
Equinox Gym's newest endeavor, Project, held in a smaller studio space in Nolita, allows trainers to design their own classes, which often include creative combinations. Trainer Kirsty Godso leads a combo HIIT workout followed by an advanced regeneration session from yoga instructor Leah Kim. "Because the classes are combined, Leah can tailor the stretch and yoga flow to specifically focus on key movements and exercise from the HIIT workout," explains Godso. "Guests have been loving the combination as it not only promotes advanced recovery, but is a beauiful, relaxing way to wind down after a busy day."
Spinning: It’s lit
It’s not enough to just get on the indoor bicycle and pump; more and more classes are providing entertainment as you ride. At ImaxShift, riders pedal to the backdrop of music videos or outerspace on the big screen. At Crank NYC, lead instructor Amanda Margusity says they’re also turning up.
"With summer music festivals on the horizon, we're noticing our riders want a live music experience, so we're kicking off a new Live DJ class to satisfy this demand,” she says. The class will be a fun, immersive and interactive atmosphere with glow sticks & other festival-inspired items." (Spinchella, anyone?)