Getting fit consistently tops the list of “most popular New Year’s resolutions.” For most, the commitment starts off strong but staying motivated to hit the gym before or after work when it’s dark out often leads to demise. Boredom-busting workouts are the best way to consistently stay on point. “It’s much easier to stay motivated when you love what you’re doing,” said Steven Koeppel, founder of The Modern Improvement Club in Syosset. “First and foremost, it needs to be fun.” Fun-ctional workouts like spinning classes, boot camps and hot yoga kept heart rates high and devotees coming back week-after-week in 2017. This new year is slated to bring a slew of new fitness trends as well and a few might be found to be more after-office escape than chore.
5 Yoga Moves to Reduce Stress
Forget downward dog or squats. Fresh is the name of the game at The Modern Improvement Club. The fitness center has created their own versions of barre classes, total body toning, hot yoga and more—but it’s this new class that has everyone wanting to get into the box.
What makes it stand out: It’s a mix of all the old favorites—cardio, boxing, toning, lengthening and strengthening—all set to upbeat music. The 60-minute class is held in an 88-90 degree heated studio, which helps to elevate body temperature, heart rate and caloric burn. The moves target the abs, core and glutes, using light weights and other equipment. “We’ve taken these and other classic styles and added a modern-day twist to broaden not only the appeal but also the resulting benefits,” Koeppel said.
Ninja Ready Workout
American Ninja Warrior inspired a legion of couch-loving Americans to turn up the intensity and climb the obstacles featured on the show. Specialized gyms popped up across the country in the years following its debut, but the courses were scarce on Long Island—until now. Ultimate Performance + Fitness in Greenvale offers ninja warrior group classes and personal training.
What makes it stand out: Ultimate Performance + Fitness features specialized ninja training equipment such as a cargo net, warped walls, a Tarzan rope and more. These high-flying obstacles shouldn’t scare off the uninitiated, staff is there to guide beginners and help format personalized workouts based on fitness level. “We also incorporate standard gymnastics apparatus including rings, bars, balance beams and tumbling surfaces,” said owner Anthony Giallanzo. Ninja warrior classes run 45 minutes while the total conditioning version lasts 60 minutes.
Spin isn’t going anywhere any time soon—the classes’ intensity and camaraderie keep it in demand. But if you’re looking for the same vibe on a different mode of stationary transport, test the waters of indoor surfing. Mary Beth Lessing is one of 20 master Surfset trainers in the world and the owner of the only Surfset on Long Island, located in Bay Shore. Surfset is exactly what it sounds like: a workout done on a special surf-inspired board that simulates the demands of shredding waves on the open water. “Our 45 minute classes are structured for optimal fat burn, muscle building and improving balance,” Lessing said.
What makes it stand out: Surfset offers four classes: Balance, Build, Burn and Blend. The Balance workout is yoga-based, Build focuses on strength and definition, Burn is high-intensity and Blend combines them all with an interval-based core session. Each session can burn up to 850 calories and introductory classes get newbies accustomed to the technique.
If your adrenaline flows and your heart pounds when training in a group session then add obstacle course racing to your routine. Down and dirty outdoor courses like the Tough Mudder Mud Run have been popular for years and now Islanders can test their endurance, strength and agility indoors at Obstacle Athletics in Deer Park. It’s all the exhilaration without dealing with the pressure of an actual race—and a face full of mud.
What makes it stand out: Obstacle Athletics is a 6,000-square-foot adult playground, with rock walls, a ropes course, hanging stations and more. The facility is great for prepping for an obstacle course race, but owner Kevin LaPlatney said that his gym caters to non-racers. “With people seeing faster fitness results from these shorter workouts, people of all ages and levels are finding it a more efficient way to spend their time at a gym, rather than hours spent on machine and free weight circuits,” he said. Obstacle Athletics offers open gym times and group classes.
Raise the Barre
Part ballet, part pilates, part yoga, barre has been steadily gaining popularity the past several years. The isometric strength training method is being taken to new heights in 2018. Massapequa’s Emerge Yoga & Wellness hosts a number of AntiGravity classes, including AIRBarre, which allows you to flip, fly and float in an antigravity hammock without putting any pressure on the spine—one reason the aerial workout is gaining popularity. “This class is unique in that it incorporates the principles of traditional forms of dance and focuses on toning and lengthening of the muscles while developing balance and agility,” said general manager Brittany Wall.
What makes it stand out: It’s a barre class minus the bar. The aerial dance program conditions the same as any standard barre class, just in a new challenging way. Inside your antigravity hammock, you’ll plié and relevé while suspended in the air. You might even try splits upside down.