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I’ll be the first to admit: I hate working out. Don’t get me wrong, I work out often, and I love feeling accomplished afterwards—but I never seem to find grueling workouts particularly fun in the moment (ya feel me?). That’s why I’m always looking for ways to burn calories without burning my spirit.
Luckily, fitness is getting a heck of a lot more fun. There are tons of classes out there that are so enjoyable, you don’t even notice the pain, but still get the gains. Check them out:
If you’re looking for more of a rockout than a workout, this class will be music to your ears. Pound® is a cardio and strength class inspired by playing the drums. In the class, you use lightly weighted drumsticks—called Ripstix®—for a full-body workout (and full-body jam session) that shifts your focus from reps to rhythm. If rocking out to sweet tunes doesn’t sell you, you’ll burn up to 900+ calories per hour while drumming your way to a leaner physique.
Remember the days of jumping on a trampoline as a kid? Great news, it’s still socially acceptable to bounce over the age of 12. Even greater news, it’s actually good for you. Trampoline (also known as rebounder) fitness is a high-intensity workout with cardio levels equivalent to running, but has a lower impact and is easier on your joints. Group trampoline classes channel your inner-child and still give you a great workout, and they are springing up all over. These classes work every muscle in your body and raise your heart rate, but don’t make you feel like you’re exerting as much energy. Now that’s something to jump for joy about.
Throw your preconceived notions out the window—pole dancing has emerged as a mainstream form of fitness. As a sport that requires incredible strength and training, pole dancing uses the body as resistance and incorporates dance and gymnastic-based moves. If you’re looking for a way to increase core strength, tone your body and boost your confidence, try a beginner’s class near you.
Given the choice between spending time on a treadmill in the gym or dancing the night away with my friends, I’m going to pick the latter every time. If you can relate to that, it’s time to give dance classes a try. From hip hop to salsa to twerking, cardio dance classes are popular as a fun way to shake off some calories. You may even get some new moves to bust out next time you hit the dance floor with your friends.
If you’ve ever wanted to feel like a merperson, now’s your chance. From aqua aerobics to aqua cycling, more and more classes are taking it below the surface. These classes take advantage of the higher resistance that builds naturally underwater, making you stronger and the workout more effective. Water classes are a lot easier on the joints, too. The buoyancy of the water takes off some of the impact that our bodies face during land workouts, which is especially good if you’re recovering from an injury or have a condition that limits you. Plus, these classes are great on a hot day—so you can be cool in more ways than one.
You don’t have to quit your day job to run away to the circus, take a class instead. Combining fun and focus, circus-inspired workouts are flying in as a thrilling way to get fit. If you find yourself in a fitness rut, raise the stakes with acrobatics, aerial arts, trapeze, tightropes and more. These classes help you build full-body strength, as well as courage to let go and say yes to new things.