NEW YORK – If you've had enough of the same old step, ride and aerobics classes, here are some hot new fitness trends that will help you mix it up — and see results.
Fox News spoke to Cedric Bryant, chief exercise physiologist for the American Council on Exercise, who recommends these alternative ways to slim down.
Balance Training: An offshoot of yoga and Pilates' emphasis on training the "core" or midsection, balance training has participants performing traditional exercises like squats — while standing on a balance device. This helps improve performance "in any type of athletic activity," Bryant says. Two popular pieces of balance equipment are the Bosu Balance Trainer and the Reebok Core Board.
Abdominal Work in the Plank Position: The newest way to work the abs is also consistent with the movement toward working the core. To try it, get down on all fours as if doing a push-up. Bring the right knee in toward the chest, twisting the waist slightly. Repeat on the left, alternating until fatigue. Or check out Linda Shelton's video Re-Defining Ab Training.
Super Slow: In this strength-training practice, each repetition of the exercise lasts 14 seconds — 10 seconds on the lifting phase and four seconds on the lowering phase. The weight should be heavy enough to fatigue muscles after one set of four to six reps. As this approach can be very tedious, Bryant says the average person will not want to go super slow all the time. But every now and then it's "a nice way to provide a little variety" — and wake up the muscles.
Dance Aerobics: Dance moves are making a comeback at the gym as part of an effort to lure younger exercisers, Bryant says. One example is Bally's Pink Funk class, in which students get their heart rate up while learning to move like the pop star.