It’s easier to stick to a workout routine if you love it, and few guys love hitting the treadmill day after day. Whether you’ve resolved to make 2012 the year you finally get fit or are just looking for a new way to tone up, these innovative exercises will help you blast fat and get cut in a whole new way.
Not for the faint of heart, or those with a fear of heights, this suspension training exercise was designed by the Navy SEALs to help guys build strength using their own body weight. Basically, you’ll hang onto ropes. Or as Kelsey Kyro of Crunch gym explains, “Hang from the durable TRX ropes to push, pull, lift and lower your body through Spiderman moves for a total body suspension workout that also super-strengthens your core.” The object is to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability, all while burning calories like mad. Since it involves state of the art equipment, this is one workout you’ll need to do at the gym.
Consider them the strangest running shoes you’ve ever seen. These bouncy boots were originally designed to give runners a break from joint pain. Kangoo Jumps are equipped with springs on the bottom, so you can jump and jog through a cardio workout. They are designed for low-impact exercise, but still burn a whopping 18% more calories per hour than jogging. It’s no wonder gyms across the country are incorporating kangroo jumping into their cardio workouts. No gym? No problem! You can order your own pair of boots at most sporting goods stores and take the workout outside. Hop to it.
The lovechild of boxing and Pilates, this workout combines the two classic exercises and throws in a dance beat. Created by Swedish dancer and celebrity trainer Viveca Jensen in California, piloxing is designed to “blend the power, speed and agility of boxing with the beautiful sculpting and flexibility of Pilates.” Each class offers a core-centric interval workout with a heavy focus on developing upper body strength. Expect to sweat buckets as you move from side to side, throwing punches with half-pound gloves. Like a lot of brand new fitness classes, the ladies currently dominate this one. Considering how ripped you’ll be after a few sessions, that’s a good thing.
If gym dance classes make you think of Richard Simmons and embarrassingly short shorts, you obviously haven’t been to a Zumba class. This calorie-blasting workout was born by accident when Columbian fitness instructor Beto Perez forgot his traditional workout music for his aerobics class and improvised by using his own salsa and merengue music. The rest is history. Instead of following an instructor, Zumba is about moving to the beat and burning up to 1,000 calories per hour. You’re more likely to feel like your at a club than a gym, and since the Zumba craze has exploded into the exercise DVD market, you can dance to your own beat in your own living room.
Having a six pack is nice, but what good is it of you aren’t strong enough to carry a couple 40-pound bags of dog food? Unlike dumbbells, kettlebells were developed to help you get built and build real-world strength. First used in Russian weight-lifting competitions in the 1940s, they are basically cast-iron cannonballs with handles and come in 5-pound increments. Kettlebell workouts focus on full-body motions that incorporate stretching, strengthening, balance, and cardio— all in one. You’ll work your arms and feel the burn in your butt, hips, and thighs too.