WORK IT!

If you’re guilty of putting off ex­er­cis­ing be­cause you think go­ing to the gym is bor­ing, here are six new sports that let you keep fit and have fun at the same time. CH­ERYL LEONG tests them out.

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• Stand Up Pad­dling by Stand Up Pad­dling School

$80 an hour for a pri­vate class; equip­ment pro­vided. Tan­jong Beach, Sen­tosa, tel: 9638-5565. Open daily, sun­rise to sun­set. Meet­ing point: the Sin­ga­pore Pad­dle Club (SPC) sheds; www.sup­school.com.sg Fast gain­ing ground as a wa­ter sport, stand up pad­dling (SUP) gives a to­tal body work­out – you use your shoul­ders and torso to steer, arms to pad­dle and core mus­cles to bal­ance on the board.

A typ­i­cal class starts with a 15-minute on-land the­ory les­son – how to get on your board in the wa­ter, pad­dle out to sea on your knees, and stand up on the board.

Once you’re stand­ing, you’ll spend half an hour prac­tis­ing pad­dling and ma­noeu­vring, be­fore do­ing bal­anc­ing ex­er­cises – walk­ing and jump­ing back­wards and for­wards. I could stand on my first at­tempt; the chal­lenge is main­tain­ing bal­ance while pad­dling. Chang­ing di­rec­tions is trick­ier be­cause your weight shifts. SUP is great for de­stress­ing – the feel­ing of walk­ing on wa­ter is amaz­ing. Group classes for up to eight are avail­able; bad weather may re­sult in a class be­ing can­celled.

• Adult Gym­nas­tics by Gymkraft

$255 (mem­bers) and $300 (non-mem­bers) for eight lessons; mem­ber­ship is op­tional at $80; a trial class costs $40. 100 Guille­mard Road, tel: 9128-4644. Open Mon-Fri, 2-10pm; Sat, 10am-10pm; Sun, 10am-5pm. www.gymkraft.com Live your childhood dreams of be­ing a gym­nast while keep­ing fit. This 90-minute class fo­cuses on floor ex­er­cises and tram­po­line work.

Af­ter a 15-minute warmup, you do sets of as­sisted hand­stands – hold­ing them for up to 30 sec­onds – to tone and strengthen your arms. The floor ex­er­cises – for­ward and back­ward rolls, cart­wheels, jumps and front tucks – last about half an hour and are a good car­dio work­out. On the tram­po­line, you’ll learn to do jumps and con­trol their height and in­ten­sity, in or­der to land per­fectly on your feet on the gym­nas­tics blocks. The last 20 min­utes are de­voted to fit­ness drills – sit-ups, squats and more handstand prac­tice. The pace is brisk and some moves may seem daunt­ing, but you’re guar­an­teed a fun and chal­leng­ing work­out that boosts your strength, stamina and flex­i­bil­ity.

• Pilox­ing by Fit­ness Fun

$120 for eight classes; $20 for a trial class. For up­dates on class venues, visit www.face­book.com/ Fit­nessFunSG or call 6875-6115. Classes are held ev­ery Fri, 7-8pm. This new work­out is high­oc­tane in­ter­val train­ing that com­bines box­ing, pi­lates and dance.

Af­ter putting on weighted gloves to work the arm mus­cles more, you’ll do warm-ups. The first part fo­cuses on punch­ing and foot­work. With­out warn­ing, the in­struc­tor throws in dance moves – chest iso­la­tion and booty-pop­ping – to break the monotony of the work­out. The tough­est part is the stand­ing pi­lates poses, one of which in­volves leg lifts that will test your core, bal­ance and leg mus­cles.

It’s pi­lates mat­work next to tone prob­lem ar­eas like glutes (butt mu­cles) and obliques (sides of your stom­ach). By the end of the work­out, I was aching in all th­ese hid­den places.

• Aqua Spin­ning by Aqua Spin

$440 for a three-month term (weekly classes); $20 for a trial class. Pri­vate and group ses­sions avail­able for book­ing. Classes are held at var­i­ous venues; visit www. aquaspin.sg for their sched­ule. Orig­i­nally cre­ated for phys­io­ther­apy, aqua spin­ning de­liv­ers a to­tal-body work­out, but is low-im­pact and won’t leave you aching the next day.

The class kicks off with a five-minute warm-up be­fore spin­ning. Most of the one-hour ses­sion is in­ter­val train­ing – work­ing up from 50 per cent, to 70 per cent and fi­nally 100 per cent of your cy­cling pace. You do it sit­ting, half-sit­ting (with your butt just above the seat) and stand­ing.

Ex­pect a de­mand­ing work­out for your ham­strings, quadri­ceps and knees – the wa­ter re­sis­tance forces your mus­cles to work harder. The ses­sion also in­cludes ex­er­cises to tone your arm mus­cles – bi­cep and tri­cep dips – and you’ll do sit-ups on the bike. Kids can join the class too, if they are above 1.45m tall.

• Xtend Barre by Up­side Mo­tion

$345 for 10 classes; $40 for a sin­gle class. #02-03, 36 Ar­me­nian Street, tel: 6636-6859. Open MonFri, 8am-9pm; Sat 8am-4pm. Visit www.up­side­mo­tion.com for the full class sched­ule. This bal­let-in­spired work­out sculpts and tones your mus­cles; it’s a vig­or­ous con­di­tion­ing ses­sion – es­pe­cially tough on ar­eas like the glutes, abs and thighs. And it uses ex­er­cise equip­ment – a re­sis­tance band, mini fit­ness ball and the barre – dur­ing the one-hour class.

Af­ter five min­utes of warmup, you work on a se­ries of bi­ceps and tri­ceps lifts with a pair of dumb­bells ( 1kg each). Next up are in­ter­vals of body­weight re­sis­tance ex­er­cises – push-ups, planks and sit­ting squats – while squeez­ing a mini fit­ness ball with your knees to train the in­ner thighs. Then, with your hands on the barre, you get into a plie po­si­tion – feet turned out and placed hip-width apart – to per­form squats, heel lifts and bal­ance ex­er­cises.

The class ends with some abs con­di­tion­ing and stretches.

• Zuu by Vir­gin Ac­tive Fit­ness Club

For mem­bers only; visit www.vir­gin­ac­tive.com.sg for the rates. Level 6, One Rafes Place (Tower 2), tel: 6908-7878. Open Mon-Fri, 6.30am-10.30pm; Sat, 8am-5pm; Sun and pub­lic hol­i­days, 10am-5pm. Zuu (pro­nounced “zoo”) is a unique work­out that mim­ics an­i­mal move­ments.

The class starts with five min­utes of warm-up, fol­lowed by body-weight re­sis­tance con­di­tion­ing like push-ups and squats to pump up the heart rate. In­struc­tors then demon­strate the moves.

You will feel a bit un­nat­u­ral do­ing them at first. But some, like gorilla jumps (get on all fours and pro­pel your­self for­ward with your arms), are eas­ier to mas­ter. Oth­ers, like snake planks (do a nor­mal plank but shift your body up, down and side­ways like a snake), are quite hard-core.

All fit­ness lev­els are wel­come, but you should ide­ally be mod­er­ately fit to at­tempt Zuu. I’d been warned to ex­pect in­tense strength and en­durance train­ing, and I was ut­terly spent by the end of my 45-minute ses­sion.

Xtend Barre

Zuu

Adult Gym­nas­tics

Stand Up Pad­dling

Pilox­ing

Aqua Spin­ning

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