Fit­ness regimes you won’t want to skip

The Jewish Chronicle - - Life/health - BY ALEX KAS­RIEL

YOU ARE de­ter-mined to get fit, but you are tired of the tread­mill and aching f or some­thing more ex­cit­ing than the mu­nic­i­pal pool. Well, there has been an ex­plo­sion of new fit­ness regimes at gyms around the coun­try. We asked ex­er­cise coach Vic­to­ria Her­man to rate the hottest new trends.

PILOX­ING

What’s the buzz? A cross be­tween Pi­lates and box­ing, the lat­est im­port from LA has ac­tresses Hi­lary Duff and Kirsten Dunst hooked. Moves in­clude leg swings merged with arm move­ments or deep leg squats held while the arms ro­tate in a cir­cu­lar mo­tion. Weighted gloves make punch­ing tougher.

Good for: Yummy mum­mies looking to get tough — and toned.

Vic­to­ria’s view: 3/5. Rather than in­cor­po­rat­ing spar­ring, pad and bag work, this fo­cuses mainly on the move­ment pat­terns of box­ing — it is ba­si­cally an aer­o­bics class. With weighted gloves this gets taken up a level, giv­ing mus­cle groups in the arms, chest and back a work­out and a good en­durance test. And Pi­lates is great for pos­ture.

www.vpi­lates.com

BODY WEB

What’s the buzz? In­spired by Cirque du Soleil, grav­ity-de­fy­ing fit­ness classes are all the rage right now. The lat­est — Body Web — is huge in the trendy Crunch gym chain in New York and Los An­ge­les. Work­outs see users harness their hands or feet in elas­tic ropes at­tached to a wall from which to hang while do­ing lunges, press-ups, sit ups and hand­stands. You en­gage the core mus­cles in your midriff which is great for pos­ture, strength and all­round ton­ing. Good for: Spi­der­man wannabes.

Vic­to­ria’s view: 4/5. This is a good piece of kit. It chal­lenges co­or­di­na­tion, en­hanc­ing core sta­bil­ity and strength while also be­ing low-im­pact. It re­cruits dif­fer­ent mus­cles groups and works the body syn­er­gis­ti­cally, rather than iso­lat­ing mus­cles. Great for build­ing lean body mass, but it is let down by its in­abil­ity to al­ter in­ten­sity.

www.trx­fit­ness.co.uk

KAATSU TRAIN­ING

What’s the buzz? Set to be the weightlift­ing trend of the year, this bizarre sport in­volves wear­ing a spe­cial belt near the joints of the up­per arms or legs which re­stricts blood flow and in­creases the pres­sure on mus­cles. It has been found that weightlifters who use it grow stronger and more toned even if they are us­ing lighter weights than usual. It is sup­posed to be less stress­ful on the joints, mus­cles and lig­a­ments.

Good for: Weightlifters looking for fast re­sults.

Vic­to­ria’s view: 1/5. Kaatsu causes mus­cle growth and strength gains but this kind of train­ing pro­motes a pool­ing in the cap­il­lar­ies and should only be con­ducted on healthy in­di­vid­u­als. I would def­i­nitely rec­om­mend see­ing a doc­tor first. You can prob­a­bly get bet­ter re­sults by us­ing more tra­di­tional meth­ods.

http://kaatsu.jp/english

INDOBOARDING

What’s the buzz? Zac Efron and Cameron Diaz are both fans of this bal­ance-train­ing de­vice — a wooden deck bal­anced on a cylin­dri­cal roller that sim­u­lates the in­sta­bil­ity of a snow­board or skate­board. It makes push-ups, weights and squats done on the board much harder than usual. In fact just keep­ing your bal­ance is a chal­lenge.

Good for: Surf dudes and snow­board­ers who want to work their lower bodies be­fore they hit their boards.

Vic­to­ria’s view: 1/5. This looks like a bit of a gim­mick. To be able to do this you have got to have a good amount of core sta­bil­ity al­ready and pos­si­bly the aid of a fit­ness trainer, so it is not ideal. It is bet­ter to use the Bosu bal­ance-train­ing half-ball for core train­ing where there is more scope for pro­gres­sion.

www.in­doeu­rope.com

JUMPS­NAP

What’s the buzz? The Wii Fit of skip­ping, this is jump rope without the rope. The han­dles are fit­ted with com­puter chips which can tell you how many calo­ries you have burned or how many reps you have done. Add weights to the han­dles and it feels like you are car­ry­ing a rope. A snap­ping sound is emit­ted to help you jump to the beat. Hi­lary Swank’s fit­ness trainer puts her through her paces with this de­vice.

Good for: Peo­ple who can’t skip with

a rope.

Vic­to­ria’s view: 1/5. It takes the fun out of skip­ping com­pletely. If you can’t skip with a rope, go for a jog. It doesn’t have the same neuro-mus­cu­lar gains in terms of co-or­di­na­tion and agility. But there is an aer­o­bic gain which will lead to fat loss.

www.jumps­nap.com

POWER POGO

What’s the buzz? Re­mem­ber the fun of pogo­ing in the play­ground? Now there are a more pow­er­ful set of bounc­ing sticks on the mar­ket in­clud­ing the Flybar, which sees users boing­ing 6ft in the air. Th­ese “po­gos on steroids” have spurred an ex­treme-pogo craze in the United States. They burn only 125 calo­ries in half an hour so they are not a great heart rate in­creaser but you are pow­ered by your own body strength and you en­gage your core mus­cles to keep you sta­bilised.

Good for: Adrenalin junkies and peo­ple who like fun with their fit­ness.

Vic­to­ria’s view: 2.5/5. You can ei­ther use it to in­crease en­durance by bounc­ing down the road or for power and strength by bounc­ing as high as you can. It works your chest, leg and core mus­cles. There’s prob­a­bly a more ef­fi­cient way to do this, but it’s fun.

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