Shape Up For Summer: 5 New Exercise Classes To Try This Year

Need to lose few pre-holiday pounds, but can't face the gym? We tracked down the hottest new fitness crazes sweeping the nation this summer. Helloooo abs!

Xtend Barre
If you still haven’t quite got over watching Natalie Portman twirl around in Black Swan, then this is the class for you. Billed as ‘dance and pilates amplified’ Xtend Barre combines a pilates workout with traditional ballet moves, and is fast becoming the workout of the summer. The moves use weights and resistance bands to firm and tone, while working the stabiliser muscles (they connect large muscle groups) to create a sculpted, not bulky physique. And yes, you actually do do the class at a barre. Here’s to your inner ballerina.

Grit
Short on time? Then the Les Mills Grit Series is for you. Packing a gruelling workout into just 30 minutes, the high-octane classes combine strength training and pylometrics (designed to develop muscle strength) to get your blood pumping and your metabolism working hard. Press ups and toning jumps, followed by running on the spot and some serious stomach crunches are the order of the day here. Classes are fast, fun and a brilliant workout, but be warned: they’re not easy. Lights down, music up, GO!

Aqua Zumba
From the people who brought us Zumba comes Aqua Zumba. The watery workout, which promises the same body conditioning and toning results as the much-loved studio class, has an atmosphere described as ‘reminiscent of a Miami pool party’ and combines the high-octane cardio moves with water resistance training – all to the beat of sizzling latino music. The best bit? It’s actually FUN!

Sculpt
Simply put, it does exactly what it says on the tin. Designed to tone and sculpt key muscle groups, the class also builds strength and endurance, giving your body an all-round workout. The free weight exercises, performed to music, are a great way to have a go at lifting a few weights to tone those bingo wings – all in the safety of a supervised studio.

CrossFit
It may not be for the feint hearted, but CrossFit – a core strength and body conditioning program – certainly gets results. Developed by fitness coach Greg Glassman, classes work on a tiered level system, meaning you learn the exercises from scratch and never accidentally stumble into a session where you have to stand at the back and pretend you know what you’re doing. (We’ve all been there!) The regime covers everything from squats and push ups – perfect for getting that bikini body in order – to deadlift and kettlebells, and also encourages you think about the impact of training on your body. Thoroughly addictive. In a good way.

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