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- German inventor of pilates
Fitness fads may come and go, but there’s one that’s here to stay: the group fitness class. But which to try? With so many options out there — Zumba, CrossFit, Cardio Tango Yoga Booty Blast — you may be wondering what’s best for you. Or you may simply be wondering what these workouts are all about.
Well, we’ve got you covered. Whether you’re looking to switch up your regular routine, round out your fitness, or stay on the pulse of exercise trends, check out the 10 most-searched fitness classes on Yahoo.
CrossFit workouts have skyrocketed in popularity and can now be found in nearly every U.S. city. (Photo: Corey Jenkins/Corbis)
Call it a community, or call it a cult. There’s no doubt that the team aspect of CrossFit workouts will inspire you to reach new fitness heights. CrossFit workouts run the gamut from strength training to quick cardio sprints — and everything in between.
Instructors teach an outdoor Zumba class in Jerusalem, illustrating the dance phenomenon’s worldwide appeal. (Photo: Nir Alon/ZUMA Press/Corbis)
If you’ve never done Zumba, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. The Latin-inspired dance class appeals to all ages, ability levels, and languages. Classes stress having fun and simply moving and grooving — not pushing your limits (unless you want to, of course).
Pilates, a strength practice emphasizing posture and alignment, became popular in the U.S. during the 1990s. (Photo: Leo Mason/Corbis)
Pilates was founded by Joseph Pilates in the early 1900s, and purists still adhere to his original principles. But the classes have evolved and now include workouts using various types of equipment, like the megaformer. No matter which type of Pilates class you take, you’ll focus on proper body alignment and strengthening key muscle groups.
Tony Horton, creator of the popular P90X DVD series, leads a training session for members of the military in New York City. (Photo: New York National Guard/Flickr)
You probably know P90X — one of the most popular fitness DVD series in history — from its infomercials featuring eye-popping before-and-after transformations. The 90-day program is designed to cover all aspects of fitness, including strength training, flexibility, balance, and cardio, making it one of the most well-rounded DVD programs available.
Bikram yoga is traditionally practiced in a room heated to 104 degrees Fahrenheit. (Photo: Corbis Images)
Although Bikram yoga’s founder, Bikram Choudhury, has come under criticism lately, the yoga practice he designed is still beloved by many yogis. The classes consist of 26 postures connected in a specific sequence. Most notably, Bikram yoga is practiced in a hot room — so prepare to shed some layers if you try it.
Circuit training classes can be an excellent way to fit in strength training and cardio at the same time. (Photo: Buck Studio/Corbis)
Circuit training classes take many forms, but the basic idea is that you run your body through a variety of exercises (the circuit), and then repeat that circuit several times. For example, you might row for one minute, perform crunches on a stability ball for one minute, and do pushups for one minute — then repeat.
Kickboxing is an empowering full-body workout. (Photo: Blue Jean Images/Corbis)
In the world of fitness, kickboxing classes take several forms — all the way from cardio kickboxing (typically done without boxing gloves or bag) to more traditional technique with a partner or bag. No matter which type you choose, you’ll get a challenging workout that targets every muscle in your body.
Suspension training allows you to do a number of unique strength exercises using your body weight. (Photo: Daniel Waschnig Photography/Westend61/Corbis)
Put simply, suspension training is when you suspend any part of your body using anchored straps and use them to perform strength exercises. The TRX Suspension Trainer is one brand of these specialty anchored straps. For example, you might hook your feet into the straps and perform pushups with your feet suspended. The benefit: a super-intense core workout, since you have to tense your core to keep your body stable.
Of the many styles of yoga, Vinyasa can be particularly good for beginners, who often enjoy lots of movement from one pose to another. (Photo: Buck Studio/Corbis)
This popular style of yoga links movements to breath. For example, you’ll breathe in as you move to one pose, then breathe out as you move to a different pose. Classes can be geared toward beginning, intermediate, or advanced yogis.
Led by Shaun T (front center), the Insanity DVD series promises a seriously intense workout — and serious results. (Photo: Tina Franklin/Flickr)
Produced by the same company that makes P90X, Insanity workouts are, well, insane — but effective! The DVD series focuses on explosive exercises and high-intensity interval training. (Read: Prepare to sweat buckets — and burn mega calories.)
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