WHAT IS IT? Move over Zumba, Sh’Bam is on the way to shake up dance fitness in the UAE. The fun classes involve modern dance choreographed to chart-toppers and club hits, and are redeveloped every three months with the latest music and moves.
BENEFITS Provides excellent cardio work, fat and calorie burning (an average of 510 calories in a 50-minute class), without the boredom of, say, plodding along solo on a treadmill. It’s said to have tighter choreography than Zumba and more athletic moves.
GET INVOLVED Dubai Ladies Club was one of the first places to offer Sh’Bam classes in Dubai last year (www.dubailadiesclub.com). DVDs are also available online if you want to get started in your own home.
The lithe method
WHAT IS IT? Combine disciplines and your body will work in ways it’s never done before. Pilates and boxing (Piloxing) has already made its debut (ladies can take a class at Exhale Fitness in JBR www.exhaledubai.com), but the new craze from the US is the Lithe Method – a blend of aerobics and strength training exercises created by an ex-cheerleader.
BENEFITS Mixing up workouts pushes your body to work all key components. The Lithe Method burns fat and sculpts muscle all over by focusing on a different body part in each session.
GET INVOLVED The Lithe Method has yet to hit our shores, but if the popularity of the classes in New York has anything to do with it, classes should start popping up later in 2013.
WHAT IS IT? Replace dumbbells with your body’s own weight. Bodyweight exercises are easier on your joints and allow for a wider range of movement than traditional weights do.
BENEFITS You’ll get everything you would from using weighted equipment, but with less risk of injury, leaving you with a strong and toned body. Doubtful? Just look at the lean and muscular upper bodies of gymnasts – bodyweight training is their secret weapon.
GET INVOLVED No paraphernalia is involved, so bodyweight training can be done any time and anywhere you have enough room to lie down. To get started, ask a trainer at your local gym to show you a few techniques.
WHAT IS IT? Don’t let the name put you off – HIIT, or high intensity interval training, involves short bursts of intense exercise with breaks in between. Think circuit training, but with fewer traumatic memories of school PE classes and more chances to catch your breath.
BENEFITS HIIT burns calories and kicks your body’s repair cycle into action, meaning you keep burning fat and calories for 24 hours after the session.
GET INVOLVED Any gym or personal trainer should be able to create a routine for you, but while biking, rope jumping and rowing are all great for HIIT, you don’t actually need any equipment – anything that gets your heart rate going works.
WHAT IS IT? TRX is (rather tenuously) an acronym for Total body Resistance eXercise and involves a simple light-weight harness made up of nylon straps and a metal frame which is used to move your body into different positions for working various muscle groups.
BENEFITS With more than 300 different exercises possible with the TRX – think pull-ups, bicep curls and deltoid raises – you’re getting a low-impact workout with plenty of toning. Designed as a go-anywhere workout tool, the harness can be attached to any elevated structure –
a tree branch outside, or a door frame inside. You’ll burn 400 to 600 calories an hour.
GET INVOLVED Several gyms across Dubai offer TRX systems including Ignite Fitness Gym at Park Place off Shaikh Zayed Road (www.ignite-wellness.com) and Fitness Zone in JLT (www.fitnesszonedubai.com ) or you can buy your own TRX system for at-home use (from around Dh600 from Amazon.com).
WHAT IS IT? Flywheel has hit Dubai with a bang, flown direct from the Big Apple having already stormed the US. Think spinning, crank it up a notch and add a crazy competitive edge. Its big boon is the technology that allows riders to track their progress from one class to the next and the live leader board in the classes.
BENEFITS You can gauge your calorie burn from one class to the next – expect to melt away at least 600 calories per 45-minute class – and the competitive edge of the live leader board is super motivating.
GET INVOLVED There’s just one Flywheel centre in the UAE at the moment and its in Burj Heights Apartments in Downtown Dubai. The first class is free, see http://dubai.flywheelsports.com.
The Jacob’s Ladder
WHAT IS IT? Invented for those recovering from injury (back, knee, hip), this is a revolving ladder set at a 40-degree incline, similar to a StairMaster.
BENEFITS Each climbing stroke forces you into a long, dynamic move, ensuring a full range of motion, working multiple muscle groups at one time.
GET INVOLVED Jacob’s Ladders are available at gyms across Dubai including Fitness Zone at JLT (www.fitnesszonedubai.com).
WHAT IS IT? Pronounced ‘viper’ and standing for Vitality, Performance and Reconditioning, it crept in last year, but is now ready for a Dubai takeover. A cylindrical rubber tube which comes in seven weights ranging from 4-20kg, the ViPR has the same functionality as a combination of barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, a stability ball and a medicine ball.
BENEFITS The ViPR focuses on conditioning the whole body, eradicating the uneven muscle tone that can come from sticking to one exercise. The results include increased flexibility, balance and strength while burning fat and calories.
GET INVOLVED Training in ViPR is available from Go Exercise Solutions (050 2724377 or firstname.lastname@example.org). You can use the equipment at Fitness First gyms (www.fitnessfirstme.com) and Golds gyms (www.goldsgym.ae) or VIPR individual units can be bought from the UAE-based Original Fitness online store (www.originalfitnessco.com) from Dh870 for 4kg to Dh1,850 for 20kg.
WHAT IS IT? The yoga-loving Americans have gone bonkers for combining their favourite relaxing pastime with strength and aerobic exercise. One American hit is Cy-Yo, a one-hour workout combining ten minutes of yoga, 40 minutes of speed cycling on a stationary bike, then ten more minutes of yoga.
BENEFITS You get the benefits of both exercises – cardio workout from the cycling and a lean, toning element from yoga, as well as calming and refocusing your mind.
GET INVOLVED Still new in the UAE, it’s worth asking fitness instructors to look into starting a programme. Otherwise, you could learn a few basic yoga moves and practise them around your more strenuous workouts.