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Try something new today

It’s the New Year and many of us turn our thoughts to getting fit and toning up. So what’s new to get you moving? We ask the experts

Carl Cautley, Owner, Health & Fitness Together

“The 3 major pillars of fitness — strength, cardiovascular health and flexibility — will never change, but they can be presented in ways that are new and fun."

TRX classes A low-impact combined cardio and strength training session. They use just one piece of equipment – a strap secured to a rack or ceiling – and the exercises can be adjusted to suit people of all fitness levels.

Obstacle courses You know those Tough Mudder-style muck runs your friends and co-workers are always talking about? They’ve been one of the biggest new fitness trends of 2016, and will only increase in popularity over the coming year. They’re equal parts fun and challenging, which makes for an incredibly rewarding experience.

Pound Are you a big fan of music? Then you’ll love Pound. It’s a fusion of Pilates, aerobics and ‘air drumming’ set to a rhythmic beat for an intense 45-minute workout. Pound has taken the US by storm, but is yet to find a foothold here in Ireland. So, while you’re waiting for the first classes to start appearing, you can grab the workout on DVD and follow along at home.

Team-based workouts These classes split participants into teams for games like Tag or Capture the Flag, or to compete for the highest energy output. It taps into your natural competitiveness and sense of camaraderie to produce a fun workout that gets serious results. You’ll find yourself pushing harder for your team than you ever would on your own.

Barre cardio A popular exercise method based on how ballet dancers train. It’s been around for a while, but now some studios are adding a major cardio component to get your heart pumping and ramp up your fitness.

John O Neill , personal trainer at Club Vitae, Clayton Hotel, Limerick

“One of the biggest fitness crazes to hit in 2017 will be the importance of movement training which has been brought in to the full spotlight by MMA superstar Connor McGregor. Ever since he was seen working with a movement coach there has been a huge surge in this type of training popping up not just in health and fitness clubs, but in parks and studios all over the country. It is a practice which has been around a long time with many of the exercises very similar to what we may do over a course of a day like squat, lunge, bend, twist, push, pull and more. Movement training allows our joints and muscles to be mobile, move in a variety of directions and slowly develop important health components like balance, body awareness, coordination and control. One of the great aspects of this type of training is that it can cater for everybody no matter of the age, level of fitness, whether you are a complete beginner or elite athlete plus it can be performed just about anywhere meaning that a hectic schedule should not be a major issue as it can be for other types of training.”

Natalie Taylor, a personal trainer at Icon health Club

“Group exercise classes are great for most gym users, from beginners to even more experienced users. They are fun, motivating and most of all you don’t need to think about what to do in a class because a good instructor will have a full plan of activities and will demonstrate each one.

“One such group exercise class that has started to trend in a lot of Irish gyms is the adoption of the New Zealand-based Les Mills classes. The classes include Body Pump, Body Attack, Body Balance, Body Combat and many more. The difference with these classes are that they are choreographed to the latest music and fitness moves. You can even find them on YouTube and many don’t require any equipment except for a mat.

“Another class that is breaking through as a hot trend is hydrorider. This water-based class involves exercising on an aqua bike that allows you to pedal while immersed, taking advantage of the many benefits of the aquatic environment. This class is designed for the post-rehab patient to the elite athlete. Hydrorider has many benefits including massaging action, reducing stress on the knees and back and strengthening the lower and upper body.”

Tom Dalton of TD Fitness

Boxing In addition to boosting strength and cardiorespiratory fitness, boxing improves a number of skill-related parameters of fitness, including balance and coordination. It’s great for killing stress after a long day. Can be found from local clubs to classes in commercial gyms.

TRX Since each of the kick-butt moves you do with the adjustable TRX straps can be made easier or harder by simply changing your body angle, anyone from beginner to advanced can get an amazing head-to-toe workout. One hour-long class and you’ll be hooked.

CrossFit Super-short and intense, these workouts may have you climbing ropes and sprinting one day, then doing handstand push-ups and lifting weights the next.

Barre This barre-based toning is done in micro-movements (up an inch, down an inch) targets the butt, legs, and core so you can sculpt a dancer’s body. Most classes last about an hour, incorporate upper body work, and use equipment like exercise balls and hand weights.

Note: Always check with your medical advisor before starting a new exercise program.

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