Image: Ryan McGuire / Gratisography
While it's true that most Malaysians are adopting a healthier lifestyle these days, some of us still need a little push to get our bodies going. And what's a better way to motivate us into breaking a sweat than introducing fun workout classes?
Whether you're into fitness or not, we're sure most of you have seen some of those insanely cool fitness classes (like the Harry Potter-
themed yoga) offered in other countries. Here are 10 of such classes that we hope will find their way to our part of the world soon (psst... dear gym instructors, take a hint):
Image: Collective Evolution
Ever wished to wield a katana sword like a samurai? With Forza, you can get a taste of what it's like to be the noble warrior AND walk away with toned arms and great physique. Named after the Italian word for power and strength, Forza is a toning and cardio class that combines sword fighting and martial arts. You'll be expected to perform a series of movements while slashing a wooden sword (sorry to disappoint you here, but no, you're not allowed to use a real sword) through the air during class.
Image: Surfset Singapore
Now that we have hot yoga, Hatha, lyengar, Ashtanga, yin yoga, Bikram yoga and others that are available here in Malaysia, it's time to take it up a notch by practising yoga routine on a surfboard (yes, you heard us right). But instead of doing yoga on water, this one is done comfortably indoor. Do not underestimate this workout's level of difficulty because it's a lot more challenging since you’re required to balance or hold a yoga pose on an unbalanced surfboard. Drawing inspiration from the real movement of surfing, SurfSET aims to help individuals build balance, core strength, stability, lean muscle and coordination.
If you're still trying to learn how to twerk like Nicky Minaj and Rihanna (especially to her song “Work”), now's your chance. Before you dismiss it as just another dance class, hear us out. Besides the fact that twerking is all about toning your booty, this amazing fast-paced exercise can also work to improve your confidence level. Twerkout encourages people to burn some major calories while having fun at the same time. No more embarrassing yourself on the dance floor on your next girls’ night out!
#4 Kangoo Jump
As suggested in its name, this workout is all about jumping. Kangoo Jump is a low-impact workout, which allows you to run, jump and bounce without jarring the body. It's essentially an intense cardio workout in a short period of time that can improve not only your fitness level, but you'll be guaranteed to have fun while doing it. Oh, one more thing, you’ll also need to put on a pair of special jumping boots in order to hop like a roo in class.
Image: Wise Choice Boxing Training & Fitness
Ballet and boxing? Many of you may think it’s absurd to mix these two exercises in one because they're so different and work on different principles. But that's exactly the reason why these unlikely pair works so well! Incorporating ballet and boxing, this class challenges your flexibility and strength. It is also specially developed for non-dancers to get quick sculpting results through high repetition of basic muscle endurance and fatiguing exercise. You'll be expected to perform barre moves to test your coordination and endurance with quick-paced jab combination.
#6 Ropes Gone Wild
Yes, you've guessed it. This is a conditioning exercise that forces you to repeatedly swing heavy ropes in a consistent wave-like motion. By creating this wave-like pattern continuously with your arms, it elevates your heart rate to build cardiovascular endurance. Besides, you get to work every muscle in your body by doing this every day.
#7 Aqua Cycling
Image: New York Times
Love spinning? Then you'll definitely enjoy aqua cycling, an underwater cycling class. Like your regular spin class, you'll train with a stationary bike, but this time you're doing it in a pool. Sure, cycling underwater sounds cool and all, but don't forget you're paddling against water resistance and trust us when we say it's a lot tougher than doing it on land. The upside is, you'll feel blissfully energised after each session. Through aqua cycling, not only do you shape your body in a more efficient way, but you also protect your health, bone structure, joints and muscles at the same time.
Image: Anytime Fitness Blog
No, you don't have to go to a lake or river to attend this class. This high intensity indoor rowing class combines a mix of rowing, strength and aerobic exercise for a muscle-building and calorie-burning workout. Besides using rowing machine, you also get to do strength workouts on the mat – free weights, squats and planks. Each stroke on the rowing machine works nine main muscle groups to give you a full body workout each session.
Image: Club Aspire Health and Sports
We hope you know your ABCs because in Bokwa, you'll have to 'draw’ the letters with your feet while performing a calorie-burning cardio routine. In this fun and innovative class, there are no rules or choreographies; instead, you have to make up your own dance moves by moving to the beat of the music. And the best thing is, you get to burn up to 1,200 calories in just one workout!
#10 Animal Flow
Animal Flow encourages you to tap into your primal instincts to get your body moving in ways you've never imagined before. Through this workout, you'll go through a series of functional bodyweight movements that fuse gymnastics, acrobatics, Parkour, breakdancing and capoeira, all while staying low to the ground – think of the way predators like tiger and lions stealthily stalk their prey.