To learn more, we asked Adam Bornstein, editorial director for LIVESTRONG.COM, about some of the hottest ways to get fit this spring. He shares his picks for six fitness trends to try as the weather warms up.
If you’re still training solo, it might be time to rethink your strategy. Working out as a group is poised for popularity this spring. "Simply put, group classes are affordable and effective," Bornstein says. "By working out with others you can reduce the cost per session, which allows you to train more frequently and see faster results," he explains. The group setting also creates a welcoming yet competitive environment that pushes you to work harder and creates accountability – all important ingredients if you want to see the pounds come off.
When it comes to reaching fitness goals, everyone is different. They key to optimum results? Personalized assessments, says Bornstein. "The best trainers know that a good workout begins with a thorough evaluation of their clients’ strengths and weaknesses," he explains. "The Functional Movement System (FMS) is one of the most popular ways to help clients improve how they move and feel because it provides specific assessments that not only make it easy to measure improvement, but also identify that best ways to structure the ideal workout for the client."
Tough Mudder. Spartan Runs. Warrior Dash. If you haven’t yet heard of strange-sounding events like these, you might this spring. "New events that combine strength, endurance and mental toughness have become the new ‘reason’ for people to train," Bornstein says. These events inspire you to push toward something that isn’t simply based on looking good or losing weight. "Challenge events have become extremely popular because they cater to everyone -- and create an event that is fun and dependent on physical activity," he explains.
Is there anything more fun that dancing up a storm? If you ask us, moving to the beat barely feels like exercise – and apparently we’re onto something. "Whether it’s Zumba or Barre, women have always been looking for a way to exercise that doesn’t include treadmills or dumbbells," says Bornstein. "These dance-inspired classes seem to do the trick, with their intimate setting and calorie-burning workouts that have participants exercising without feeling like they have to attend the gym." Add a dance-inspired class to your workout schedule to really spice things up this spring.
Barefoot training isn’t new, but Bornstein says it’s now finally making its way into the mainstream. While shoes like Vibrams led the way years ago, mainstream shoe manufacturers are now making their own versions of what he refers to as "minimalist" shoes, making that type of training more accessible. "People are discovering new ways to help improve the biomechanics of our most basic movement: walking," he says. It might feel strange at first, but start slow. Your muscles need to get used to the new form of movement, using muscles that might not get used in traditional athletic shoes.
Deadlifts for women? You better believe it, says Bornstein. While you might be skeptical, this trend is gaining speed for spring. "As more and more research points to the effectiveness of strength training for fat loss, trainers have come to accept that the best way to get women to lose weight fast is to pump some iron," he explains. "And that means a healthy dose of squats, deadlifts, presses and lunges to work and tone your muscles, fight aging and stay fit for life."
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