What’s new in overseas fitness?

hula hoop

hula hoopFor those of you who like variety in your workout regime, there’s always something new happening in the world of fitness. Here’s what’s going on overseas in exercise (and where you can find them in New Zealand if they’re here!):

Aerial yoga

Defy the laws of physics with airborne yoga! Founded by Christopher Harrison, a Broadway aerial acrobatics choreographer with a love of all things yoga, aerial yoga has you performing variations on traditional yoga moves all while being suspended in a ‘hammock’ hanging from the ceiling. Great low intensity exercise to help increase flexibility and strength.

Get your taste of this at JoYogAerial in Wellington.

Hula hooping classes

Revisit your childhood and pick up a hula hoop from your local sports store! Not just for kids, hula hooping helps prevent coordination, balance and flexibility; not to mention it’s a great workout for your abs, glutes and back. Don’t nick off with your child’s hoop though, you do need an adult-sized one. Just ten minutes of hula hoooping can burn as much as 95 calories – that is, if you can keep the hoop up.

Check out Hip Hoop Fitness in Auckland.

Bodyweight training

Getting back to the basics; bodyweight training just uses only your body and basic functional movements to improve strength and fitness. Think push ups, plyometrics (jumping), squats, lunges and pull ups. Then you get all the variations such as ‘spiderman’ walking push ups with one hand forward/one hand tucked close to your shoulder… ‘monster tyre’ jumps hopping alternately on each foot as far forward and out diagonally to the sides as you can go… Ask a personal trainer to take you through a gear-free workout!

HIIT (high intensity interval training)

Not for the faint-hearted, HIIT training makes you work hard in short bursts of intense exercise with small recovery breaks in between. Many fitness professionals, gyms and a growing number of fitness classes are starting to utilise this technique commonly used by professional athletes as it’s known for providing a great workout with good results. Look for the words: interval training, HIIT, Tabata, Fartlek.


Imagine resistance-laden bike pedals that you turn with your hands; that’s ‘kranking’. From a standing position, you can strengthen and tone your arms, core, shoulders and back. Fantastic if you want to burn a lot of calories or have a lower body injury. Some gyms have grinding machinese (to simulate the arm cranking in yacht sailing) which do the same thing.

Try it at Lloyd Elsmore Park Leisure Centre in Auckland.

Know any other facilities that offer the more obscure exercises above? Comment below and let us know!

Image /Flickr – sushi_zume

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