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The Lifebooker Guide to Working It While Working Out
We always say that summer bodies are made in winter. But if you spent your winter drunk on spiked eggnog and chocolate Santas, spring will just have to do! Fortunately, you’ve got plenty of options to shape up besides dejectedly shuffling along on a treadmill. Here are some of the season’s most buzzed-about workouts:
The Workout: PILOXING
The Goal: Cut the sleeves off all of your t-shirts. A blend of boxing, Pilates, and dance moves, Piloxing utilizes interval training to maximize calorie burning—up to 900 per hour. Meanwhile, weighted gloves and controlled punching work your back, biceps, and triceps faster than you can say “do you have your tickets to the gun show?”
The Workout: HOOPING
The Goal: Make Pink jealous of your abs. Finally, use that hula hoop for something other than role-playing “naughty rhythmic gymnast” in the bedroom. Hoop fitness classes are kind of like doing crunches, except that you’re standing. And you’re swinging a weighted hula hoop around your waist. And you’re not grunting obscenities. The circular motion of hooping also works a wider range of muscles in your midsection, hitting all the spots crunches and situps miss. And unlike crunches and situps, hooping is also a cardio workout, helping you burn the fat that’s hiding those ripped abs.
The Workout: BIKRAM YOGA
The Goal: Be able to reach your toes. With your elbows. If you get weird looks when you do downward-facing dog at the public sauna, Bikram yoga may be for you. Bikram is a series of 26 yoga poses done in a 105-degree room with 40% humidity. Experts say that the heat loosens muscles, allowing a deeper stretch and increasing range of motion. Meanwhile, the humidity induces a faster heart rate, giving you extra cardio benefits.
The Workout: CAPOEIRA
The Goal: Dance off the pastrami weight. A combination of dancing and minimal contact-partner sparring, this energetic Brazilian martial art dates back to the 16th century—but stars like Halle Berry and Jennifer Lopez have put it back in the spotlight. Back bridges, cartwheels, squats, and handstands make up capoeira’s core movements, which are done in a fast-paced, non-stop sequence that stacks up to any aerobics class. And the muscle engagement required to keep balance as you shift your weight works all of your muscles, head to toe.
The Workout: BARRE
The Goal: Get a booty that won’t quit. The basic technique behind this ballet-inspired workout has been around since the 1970s, and it’s gotten supermodels and professional ballet dancers in ridiculous shape ever since. Barre focuses on small, highly targeted movements that tone your thighs, hips, and butt without bulking, so it’s your go-to if you want a seriously sculpted rear view. Plus, now you can hold your own when you challenge Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis to a dance-off.
Back away from that Buns of Steel VHS tape! In San Francisco? Try 20 Bikram yoga classes for $29.