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5 new workout ideas to try

As the year-end Christmas parties and New Year celebrations draw near, it’s time to offset some of the calories from all that feasting. Blast away that muffin top with these new and interesting workout ideas!

1. Stand Up Paddling

Started among the Hawaiian surfing community in the 1960s, this new trend will make you feel like you’re walking on water! Stand Up Paddling (SUP) is one of the fastest-growing competitive and recreational sports in the world, suitable for the young and old. Unlike other costly watersports, all you need to start with is a board and paddle. SUP works out your core muscles, balancing skills and its low impact nature makes it gentle on your joints, while you enjoy the great outdoors! The challenge is to balance on a stand up paddle board (similar to an oversized surfboard) and glide across the water using the paddle. Beginners can practise over a flat water surface, before moving on to waves as you progress. SUP has spawned hybrids such as SUP yoga and SUP surfing. Lessons in a full range of SUP activities are offered for all levels at the SUP School. Visit Stand Up Paddle Singapore to find out more or have a go at Stand Up Paddling with this great deal from Groupon- $33 for 2 sessions of 2-hour lessons!

Balance and coordination are key in stand up paddle board yoga! Image copyright: SUP Yoga Singapore

2. Bokwa

If running isn’t quite your ideal choice of cardio, you might want to try Bokwa – a blend of hip-hop moves and step aerobics that’s been fused with African dance. A relatively new craze that began in the UK in 2012, Bokwa is billed as an alternative to Zumba and the likes of it – that is, a dance workout for non-dancers. Instead of fumbling over choreographed moves, you simply draw English letters and numbers with your feet, while moving to the beat of today’s musical hits with other dancers! Each move is pretty basic, once you get the hang of it, you can go as fast as you want freestyle or keep it simple with the basic moves. Its highly fluid nature makes it suitable for all ages and levels. What’s more, an average person can burn up to 1,000 calories in an hour of Bokwa! Find Bokwa classes at ActiveSg.

Move to the beat and let your hair down to high-energy tracks! Image copyright: The Straits Times

3. KpopX Fitness

When founder Maddy Lim got exasperated from learning Kpop dance moves, she created KpopX – billed as “an easy way to dance to K-pop without having to go through difficult and complex moves”. KpopX Fitness teaches simplified K-pop signature dance moves seen in music videos, combined with cardio, aerobic and toning exercises. Sweat it out to 14 hit songs in a typical 1-hour session, including numbers by artistes like Big Bang, SNSD, 2NE1, Super Junior and of course, PSY! You can look forward to weight-loss, toning and other health benefits like increased stamina, endurance, coordination and flexibility. It’s definitely a trendy way to stay fit, especially since it looks like the Korean Wave isn’t budging anytime soon. Find out more at KpopX Fitness.

Two left feet? Even you can do KpopX! Image copyright: The Straits Times

4. Barre Fitness

Coveting Natalie Portman and Mila Kunis’ sinewy, toned muscles in the movie Black Swan? Then Barre Fitness might just be the workout to sort you out. Inspired by ballet and pilates, it’s a unique method of cross-conditioning that helps you develop lean muscle mass while improving your balance, range of motion and flexibility. Barre exercises rely mainly on your bodyweight for resistance and each move challenges your core stability and balance. A typical class is just under an hour long and incudes a combination of light weights, barre and abdominal toning exercises before the final stretch. Most barre classes are considered multi-level and are appropriate for a variety of fitness levels and body types. Just keep at it, combined with a sensible diet, and you can say hello to a strong, sleek and streamlined dancer’s physique! Check out Xtend Barre Studios to find out more.

Get the grace and flexibility of a dancer with barre fitness. Image copyright: Xtend Barre

5. Pole Dancing

No longer just restricted to shady adult entertainment clubs, pole dancing has become one of the hottest fitness trends for women – and some men as well. The high intensity pole exercises are perfect for a full-body workout, resulting in weight loss, toned muscles, increased flexibility and strength. The sense of achievement you get from being able to perform tricks like swings and spins will also improve your confidence and self image! At an advanced level, pole dancing is both a strength and cardio workout that can burn 800 calories or more in an hour! When it comes to dressing for class though, first timers ought to take note that less is more – after all, bare skin gives better traction to grip the pole with! It’s probably the only time you get to wear heels while you work out – enthusiasts swear that it helps with the strut. With its growing popularity, the Singapore scene currently offers a myriad of pole classes, including Bobbi’s Pole Studio Singapore and Acro Polates, to name but two.

Definitely tougher than it looks! Image copyright: Jakarta Post

Time to break into a sweat now!