From Tae Bo to pilates, hot yoga to bikini boot camps, the past decade featured dozens of fitness trends — and then some.

While there are a few I’m happy to see go (celebrity this and that!), some are still worth the sweat for 2011.

What makes these workouts uniquely effective?

For starters, they deliver maximum results in the shortest amount of time. Notice I didn’t say ‘least effort?’ That’s because for any change to happen — be it your body weight or muscle mass — you have to force change, and that only comes about by true, dedicated effort.

Whether you want to lose weight, build muscle or simply get a leaner physique, here are the top workouts you’ll want to include in 2011 and beyond.

1. Circuit training, group classes, dance fitness, bootcamps, ropes, kettles, etc. All of these workouts go beyond the traditional treadmill or rack of dumbbells; they push you to move your muscles in the most challenging of ways for maximum calorie burn and body-beautiful results.

2. Running (five kilometres, 10 kilometres, half-marathon, marathon). Studies show running is an excellent form of cardio and helps build stronger bones. If you’re just starting out, try joining a club. The social camaraderie and instructor-led workshops will have you crossing the finish line without injury.

3. Yoga, particularly yoga that focuses on stretching and meditation such as hot yoga. In addition to improving your posture and body mechanics, yoga helps increase focus and concentration, while ridding your body of stored toxins. It’s no wonder it’s been around for so long. It works!

4. Spinning. For a high-intensity, ultimate calorie, fat-burning workout that’s safe on your joints too, spinning is in a class of its own. Come 2011, look for instructors to challenge riders with new and improved technology to measure heart rate, calories, distance and power for better results.

Remember: What you put into your workouts is what you get in return. Skip the fads and aim for a minimum of 30 minutes of cardiovascular activity every day.

 

For more on personal health and fitness, visit The Daily Squeeze.