If you’re stuck in a rut when it comes to working out, change up your exercise routine to boost your performance and motivation.
Pioneered by legendary American big-wave surfer Laird Hamilton, water-based resistance training will boost your core strength, improve your breathing techniques and enhance your muscle power. Wielding dumbbells underwater might entail small movements, but the resistance of the water means your muscles need to work harder to achieve each stretch. So don’t think you’re getting off lightly.
What to expect Yes, you’ll be swinging kettlebells and dumbbells underwater – but don’t be put off if you’re new to the art of weightlifting. Although more experienced sportsmen can pump big iron while fully submerged, newbies can start with small weights while only partially submerged in the gym swimming pool.
Who should try it Lifting in liquid certainly isn’t just for muscle men. Performing workouts in water puts less stress on your joints, so if you suffer from arthritis or are recovering from a recent injury, this could be the perfect exercise to try.
Bonus One of the many good things about this craze is that no-one will see you sweat.
Where to do it Virgin Active gyms in the UK already offer Hydro XPT classes. Expect them in SA soon.
Unleash your inner child and experience the thrills of the playground as an adult. Created by Finnish designers, the Kickbike is a grown-up kids’ scooter that offers a low-impact cardio workout while you whiz around outside.
What to expect This might seem like a lighthearted approach to exercise, but there’s nothing childish about the benefits. While you zoom around on this high-performance scooter, you’ll be activating all the muscle groups normally associated with cycling and running – plus you’ll be giving your core, back, shoulders and arms a good workout. Sturdy handlebars make it easy to switch from one kicking foot to the other – and the kick motion stretches your body, leaving you loose and relaxed after a vigorous outing. For added impact, try raising your stabilising calf while pulling your kicking leg up to your chest. You’ll feel – and see – the results in no time.
Who should try it This is the ideal exercise regimen for busy parents of youngsters – it encourages you to spend quality time together outdoors.
Bonus The really fun part is coming up with your
Where You don’t need a class or a timetable – simply buy an adult kickbike from a local bike shop.
When the eighth instalment in the popular Rocky series hit big screens last year, it triggered a renewed interest in fitness boxing. Almost immediately, gyms started offering classes that saw us lacing up our boxing gloves and working out in a mirrored studio, rather than the ring. Punches weren’t aimed at opponents, and fitness boxing offered a great cardio workout while improving balance and coordination. In 2020, Muay Thai – a style of Thai boxing – is set to be the next big fighting thing.
What to expect This ancient martial art focuses on using the hands, fists, elbows, knees and shins. In other words, you learn how to use all your natural “weapons” when you kick, punch and clinch (stand-up grapple) your way to victory.
Who should try it If you’re looking to add self-defence techniques to your training programme, this has your name written all over it.
Bonus Exercises inspired by traditional Muay Thai will improve reaction time and coordination, and help you tone up.
Where Martial arts studios nationwide.
It has been said that fitness trackers and wearable tech are the future of healthcare. In fact, experts predict that wearable tech will eventually become as commonplace as cellphones – and will be integrated into our existing accessories. Think earrings that track your body temperature, shoes that gauge when you’re picking up weight, shirt buttons that double as emergency panic alarms, and even contact lenses that analyse your tears and suggest ways to boost your emotions. These won’t be novelty items that simply motivate you to make healthier lifestyle choices: healthcare professionals and medical aid schemes will use the harvested data to streamline diagnostics, health and wellness. In other words, information gleaned from wearable tech – including your sleep patterns, diet, mood, blood-sugar levels and heart rate – will play a role in the healthcare premiums you pay, and the treatment plan your doctor devises for you when you’re ill or injured.
What to expect Experts predict that, as a backlash to this constant connectivity, some of us will choose to exercise naked. Relax: this doesn’t mean stripping off and baring all to the elements – it means working out “off-the-grid”, without a fitness tracker or app recording information about your every move.
Who should try it If you’re more interested in what your body – rather than an app – tells you during and after exercise, naked workouts are for you.
Bonus A digital detox will calm your mind while your body does the hard work.
Where Absolutely anywhere.
There’s been a glut of faddish yoga trends recently – from gin yoga (yes, it involves savouring a G&T while sitting in the Lotus Position) to saluting the sun with your cat, dog, goat, snake or alpaca. The latest craze to infiltrate yoga studios worldwide is Yoga HIIT, and it’s set to become even more popular in the near future. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) involves short, intense, unsustainable bursts of physical activity paired with short intervals of rest. Strong scientific evidence shows it can burn fat, build muscle, improve your metabolism and boost your heart health. Add that to gentle yoga poses, and you’ll get the best of both worlds.
What to expect Yoga HIIT is all about hard cardio and strength-training bursts, which are broken up by lengthening, relaxing, cool down-style positions such as Downward Dog.
Who should try it If you thrive on the calming benefits of yoga but want max results from your workout, this hybrid exercise revs up the caloric-burn factor.
Bonus This powerful practice adds more stability, sustainability and dynamism to your asana.
Where Yoga studios nationwide.