Fitness + Well-being

8 Amazing Fitness Programs to Try Before Bikini Season Arrives

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We don’t want to be alarmist, but the leg-baring, body-flaunting fashion season that is spring will be here in just days–days, people, not weeks. If you are feeling a little underprepared for short-skirt season, you’re not alone–we tpo are looking for miracle ways to get fit, fast. 

Unfortunately, haven’t found a miracle, but we do have the next best thing: Eight workouts and studios the fitness crowd can’t stop talking (and Instagramming) about.

From low-impact Pilates-based activities, to fat-shredding workouts, and even free online programs, here are the eight best ways to workout right now.

FlyWheel

With classes offered all across the U.S., Flywheel indoor cycling is one of the most buzzed-about full-body workouts. While your legs are cycling and burning with uphill climbs and sprints, your arms will be lifting weighted bars, and your ears will be pumping with the choreographed playlists. If you haven’t tried it yet, what are you waiting for?

Tabata

Based on the principles of high intensity interval training, Tabata is a fat-burning workout that gyms across the country are quickly starting to offer–and you can also do equipment-free versions of the workout at home. In the ’90s a Japanese professor led a study showing that exactly four minutes of intense interval training was just as effective as hours of lighter workouts–the “Tabata Protocol” was born.

A proper Tabata workout should include a 10 minute warmup during which you increase your heart rate by doing stuff like lunges or high knees. Then, the “Tabata” part of your workout should only last for exactly four minutes, and usually involves repeating one exercise quickly and intensely (like squats or jumping jacks) for 20 painful seconds, and then taking a 10 second recovery.

This is repeated eight times, with a focus on working just one muscle group, and really pushing yourself 100 percent during the 20 second working period.

Kayla Itsines

Instagram sensation and Australian personal trainer Kayla Itsines is only 23 years-old, but her eBook workout is an international hit. With 2.3 million Instagram followers across the world, her account is dedicated to incredible before and after pictures submitted by dedicated followers, plus  motivation from Itsines herself. The $69, 12 week program incorporates bodyweight circuit training with running and stretching and has already been used by over one million women.

Megaformer

Megaformer is a mix between Pilates, cardio, and strength training, and is perfect for Pilates-lovers looking to break a bit more of a sweat at their classes. Pilates and fitness studios across the country are using the “megaformer” technique, including FitMix, Studio6, PilatesPlus, Platinum Pilates, JetSet Pilates, WundaBar, and SLT.

F45

F45 is Australia’s most talked-about new fitness trend: A 45 minute, high intensity circuit class designed to burn fat and build lean muscle. Now, the makers of F45 are coming to the U.S., with plans to expand across the country in 2015. Like the F45 U.S.A Facebook page for updates on new studios and class locations!

Fitness Blender

If getting yourself to the gym and affording a membership is half the battle when it comes to your weight loss war, Fitness Blender is just the thing you need. It’s a completely free online service providing workout videos and health information–just sign up online to build your own workout calendars and get real time feedback on your progress. Did we mention it’s free?

Physique F.I.T

Barre exercisers have long loved Physique 57, and now the studio has introduced a new class, Physique F.I.T., to its schedule. The sweat-inducing new routine uses intervals training for a mix of strength and cardio workouts. So far there are studios on the the East and West Cost of the U.S. and in Dubai.

Shadowbox

Shadowbox is so new, their doors haven’t even opened yet! With plans to launch in New York’s Flatiron District first this spring, the brand-new boutique fitness concept takes the best bits of Soul Cycle and applies it to boxing. As boxing becomes the workout of choice for Victoria’s Secret models, the high energy class is capitalizing on boxing’s trending popularity by offering 45-minute classes based on traditional boxing techniques. Classes also include shadowboxing, bag work, and body weight exercise, and promises to combine thumping music, dimmed lighting, and awesome instructors.