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Far-Out Fitness Trends You Might Want To Try

By Isa Tousignant

Fitness trends are ever-changing, and while some can seem downright weird – like the punk rock workouts of New York City that happen in clubs and involve breaking for shots – others can be really creative ways to spice up your routine. Here are the top five hottest trends in fitness right now; will you find your match?

Budokon yoga: You’ve heard of Budokon karate, you’ve heard of yoga… but Budokon yoga? The marriage of martial arts and the art of Om have joined forces in gyms from Montreal to Miami, where martial art moves like strikes and kicks are interspersed with slow movements like sun salutations and warrior poses. Burn up to 900 calories an hour with a workout that invites you to let loose with imitations of animal movements – prowl like a lion, why don’t you! – and leaps à la Jet Li.

Circus: They’re big in Auckland and in Chicago – circus workouts involve bouncing on a trampoline, trapeze tricks, silk band choreographies, and partner balancing acts. They’ll work every muscle in your body as you develop your flexibility and balance, and burn calories galore (up to 375 per hour). Imagine the trip of putting on your own show!

Taiko: Keep the beat while sitting in an incline non-stop for an hour – we’ll see how hard your core works! Taiko is traditional Japanese drumming, whose posture and movements resemble martial arts in the idea that the heart of one’s power is the hara (the stomach). Don’t worry though, it also trains the legs, arms, back, abs, shoulders, triceps – and eardrums! (You may want to bring earplugs.) You can burn up to 500 calories an hour.

Hula hoop: It’s no surprise that this trend keeps on gaining popularity everywhere from L.A. to Toronto – it’s ridiculously fun. Harkening back to your schoolyard and pigtail days, hula hoop classes are half dance, half insane core workout. Real pros use weighted hoops, making the path to a six-pack even shorter! Prepare to sweat as you burn up to 400 calories per hour.

Qi Gong: Qi Gong, which translates as “Life Energy Cultivation”, is a martial art that boasts healing properties, thanks to a unique mix of breathing exercises, movements, and meditation. Its main focus is to allow the smooth flow of chi through the body and mind, which, in our overly busy lives, promises a rare opportunity to stop and breathe – and burn about 300 calories an hour, while we’re at it.

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