We confess: we’re bored with our Zumba rut, and that dark, dreary treadmill just doesn’t motivate us to jog for half an hour. So, we set out to find the latest workout trends, hoping for a bit of inspiration. For some of these routines, you won’t need anything but your own body, and for others you’ll have to find a studio with those cool yoga ribbon-swings (we claim the pink one). -Natalie Brown
Metamorphosis by Tracy Anderson
Based around your specific body type, you can buy DVD workouts that target either your abs, butt, hips, or entire body. Instead of buying one video and doing that workout over and over, this method combines several different workouts to help you progress without getting bored. Once you buy the first 90 days ($90 total, tracyandersonmethod.com), though, you’re supposed to buy the second 90 days for “ultimate results.” Have extra money to spend? Buy matching mats, water bottles, “Air Hoops,” hats, leggings, trampolines…you can pretty much get anything with her name on it.
Madonna: Addicted to Sweat
A dance and body conditioning video series ($19.95 per DVD, addictedtosweatdvd.com) with some naughty names like “Get Wet,” “Wet, Wet, Wild,” “Slippery When Wet,” and “Dripping Wet,” this series comes from the pop star’s personal trainer, Nicole Winhoffer. They promise to be the exact workouts that Madonna does every single day, and only require a towel, a chair, and your body.
Tara Stiles: This is Yoga
Former model Tara Stiles makes her Strala Yoga accessible to everyone, and although traditional yogis around the world don’t seem to be a fan, she can claim to be Deepak Chopra’s personal instructor. Her DVD series ($20 for four, amazon.com) “embraces every difficulty level,” so even if you haven’t done yoga before, you will probably enjoy it.
While kettlebells are a piece of equipment, not a branded workout program, they’re popping up in gyms and homes around the country because they make results. Done correctly, a kettlebell workout can burn 20 calories per minute (your average boot camp will burn about ten). Kettlebell exercises use momentum and high weight to work several muscle groups all at once — so in one exercise, you can get the benefits of a tricep kickback, a sit-up, and a squat. Need some guidance? Try this Bob Harper Contoured Kettlebell with Training DVD ($54.99, target.com).
A training program developed by Navy SEALs, this ultra-portable piece of equipment uses gravity and your own bodyweight to strengthen and tone muscles. All you have to do to adjust resistance is shift your body weight a little bit, and ta-da! it’s just a tad easier. Almost all of the exercises you can do on this trainer use your core in addition to whatever muscle group you’re working with, so you can kiss that belly goodbye. Some gyms have the equipment available, but if you wanted to get your own, the starter kit’s available here ($199.95, trxtraining.com)
Although it’s been around for awhile, it seems like everyone on our facebook page is working through the DVD set right now. It’s a little pricey ($119.95, beachbody.com), but if you stick with the program, the crazy intense interval training will definitely help you melt off those thighs (assuming you don’t eat McDonalds every day).
Yoga and More
You won’t need your masseuse anymore if you adopt the MELT method, a self-treatment system that supports your connective tissues. Even if you workout like a crazy CrossFit fanatic, you won’t have to be so sore the next morning if you spend some time with the soft foam roller. Plus, you only have to MELT 3 times a week for 15 minutes each day to see the benefits — way better than an hour-long yoga session. The founder, Sue Hitzmann, actually just released a book on the method, although full-length workout DVDs are not yet available.
Pretend like you’re in Cirque du Soleil every time you take one of these aerial yoga classes, which use a circus hammock as a prop to aid stretches and other exercises. Unnata translates to “elevated,” which is exactly how you’ll feel after floating upside-down in the soft fabric.
Wish yoga made your heart race? This class, which fuses your favorite yoga poses and your favorite spin class treks, may be able to help. You’ll start and end with a 10-minute yoga flow, cycling for 40 minutes in between. They also sell DVDs, if you have a spin bike at home ($20, cy-yo.com). Ohm.
It feels a little like dance, a little like yoga, and a little like tai chi, and requires only the floor and a chair (and a yoga mat, but that’s optional). The website’s a little hippie, but the workouts are trending in big cities. Don’t be confused by the Gyrotonic system, which uses complex machinery found only in specialty gyms; the Gyrokinesis workouts are the original. You can buy the Gyrokinesis Level 1 Beginner DVD here for $29.95.
By Personal Trainers
NYC-based trainer Petra Kolber, who has been featured on NBC, CBS, and other media outlets, has a series of DVDs for you to pick from to meet your goals. Most of them are dance-based, but you don’t need years of hip-hop training behind you to keep up with the moves. A few require a step or other nominal equipment. We like Just Dance (16.96, petrakolber.com) or Bootcamp Boogie ($19.95, petrakolber.com), but we’re partial to shaking our tailfeathers.
Terri Walsh the A.R.T. Method
So for this workout, you’ll need a couple yoga blocks, a chair, and some light weights. But its manageable pace makes it very accessible, although we’re not sure we’re ready to sign on for the hour-a-day regimen. But that is the point of the program — excuse us, practice — to incorporate this routine into your everyday habits. If you’re lucky enough to live in NYC, you can take her classes, but the rest of the world will want to get her DVD ($14.99, online-peronaltraining-nyc.com) or stream her classes online ($6.99/month).