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As we age, our bodies become more prone to sustaining injuries during everyday tasks. Thankfully, the right kinds of exercises can build up core strength and keep our bodies resilient to injury. These eight exercise classes are some of the best options to build up your strength. You’ll likely find all of these at your local gym.
1 . Boxfit
Boxfit is a non-contact boxing workout, using exercises to develop your agility, speed and strength. With Boxfit you’ll get yourself a full-body workout and all the cardio you need to start losing weight. Classes are based around the training concepts which boxing professionals use to stay in shape. A typical class would usually involve drills like kicking punch bags, press-ups, skipping and shadow boxing. For many of us, the idea of a traditional boxing class is too intimidating. With Boxfit, you can gain all the core-strength benefits with non of the physical contact.
2 . Ballet Barre
Ballet Barre classes combine elements of strength training, yoga, dance and Pilates to offer the best work-out for your core. Classes use both static stretches and flowing dance postures. You’ll contract specific muscles, holding your body still at the same time. Classes are usually performed with the support of a bar along a mirrored wall, just like ballet. During a warm up, it’s common to perform a series of planks, tricep dips and push-ups. You might also find that you use light weights or resistance bands to support you throughout some of the movements.
Pilates classes help you to improve flexibility, postural alignment and increase strength. You’ll work your way through precise and slow movements, combined with breathing exercises. Those who regularly run or play team sports may feel the strain on their muscles and joints. If you combine such exercises with Pilates, you’ll be less likely to sustain an injury. Of course high-impact exercises are also beneficial for the body, yet it’s important to team them with more soothing practices too. When you are trying out a new exercise class ensure that you adequately prepare your body before you begin. Take the time to stretch, get hydrated and be sure to inform your instructor of any injuries that you have.
Yoga is one of the best exercises that you can do to develop your core strength over time. You’ll also increase your flexibility, improve your posture and tone up. As well as this, yoga allows us to achieve a calm state of mind, de-stress and sleep better. There are many different types of yoga classes available, so it’s essential to start with the right one. For beginners, Hatha yoga is the slowest and most gentle form where you’ll learn the basic postures. From here, Vinyasa is the next level up, while Ashtanga classes are the most advanced for those who’ve been practising for a while. In Ashtanga classes, expect to sweat and to move from one posture to the next at a fast pace. Most yoga classes incorporate meditation and breathing exercises, which help you move deeper into each posture, while connecting with your spiritual side.
CrossFit classes take many different styles and aspects of sports and fitness and combine them. In a CrossFit class you’ll perform a series of functional movements that fuse cardio, weights and gymnastics, to provide the best power-workout you’ve ever had! Throughout these classes you’ll learn about control, flexibility and get yourself in the best shape. Be warned, CrossFit classes are high impact and challenging.Those with injuries or ongoing health conditions should consult an fitness instructor or a doctor for advice before attending.
6. Spin & Core
Spin classes are a great way to build strength, particularly in your leg muscles. These are cycling workouts, using stationary bikes. Spin classes are usually high intensity, combined with music and an enthusiastic instructor to help you push for the burn. To take things up a notch, some gyms now offer ‘spin & core’ classes. These combine a regular spin class with separate abdominal workouts which target your core muscles. Though spin classes are generally quite intense, you are free to go at your own pace for a gentler workout. If you don’t fancy the idea of a stationary bike, traditional cycling offers the same benefits, plus it’s a greener way to get around.
7. HIIT Classes
HIIT refers to ‘ High Intensity Interval Training’. Essentially these classes involve a period of high intensity cardio before a lower intensity workout. The process is then repeated for several rounds. Usually you’ll be doing bodyweight exercises including squat jumps, press-ups and burpees. Weighted exercises including kettlebell swings and dumbbell presses also feature in your average HIIT class. As with CrossFit classes, these are suitable for those in good health who prefer an intense workout. These classes may not be suitable for those with certain muscular injuries or knee problems. One things for sure, you’ll be feeling stronger, faster and fitter in no time.
Swimming is the ideal core-workout for those who prefer a lower intensity option. When you swim you provide yourself with a workout for the upper and lower body both. What’s more, swimming is a therapeutic activity which can help to ease tension in the body and bring a sense of calm to the mind. Whether it’s a leisurely swim with friends, or a fast-paced after work session, swimming is a fantastic exercise for all age groups. As the springtime draws closer and the weather warms up, you might even fancy braving some freshwater swimming?
We can’t always make time to get to the gym, but there are plenty of exercises you can do at home too. Purchase yourself a mat, and try a few yoga or pilates videos via YouTube. You’d be surprised how different your body feels in just a week or so of practice. When you exercise at home, it doesn’t matter if you only have fifteen mins or so to spare. Every little helps to work towards a great exercise regime