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Group Gym Classes: Which Should You Try?

By Sarah Baker

Are you tired of the same old song and dance at the gym? Are you only using weights or running? Do you need a change of pace? Then you need to consider trying some group classes. They are a great way to mix up your routine and have fun while working out. As a dancer, I have come across a lot of group classes over the years. These are some of the favorites that I, as well as fellow dancers, have come across:

1. Coyote Ugly Dance Class. This class is great for ab and leg exercises. It teaches you some dance moves that you could perform on top of a bar that require a lot of ab shaking and leg moving. Some friends and I just did this class this weekend for a bachelorette party and had a blast! 

2. Zumba. You’ve probably heard of Zumba by now, but if not, it’s an aerobics class that uses Latin American dance moves to really work your core. I absolutely love Zumba! It’s something that I can do with friends in a class or by myself at home.

3. Bootcamp. I haven’t personally tried these classes, but many of my friends swear by them. The classes usually run about an hour long and build strength and fitness by using intense group intervals. 

4. Hot Yoga. This is simply yoga performed under hot and humid conditions. Hot yoga varies in the benefits of regular yoga in ways such as increased flexibility, cardio, and detox.

5. Hip Hop/Dance classes. Just taking a hip hop or dance class can really burn some major calories and give you an intense workout. Dancing is what kept me in great shape throughout my high school and college years. 

Fitness motivation
6. Pure Barre. This is one of the hottest new trends in fitness. Essentially, this is extreme ballet. Using a ballet barre, you work out your butt, thighs, abs, and arms. I like it because it combines ballet and the barre, which I am extremely familiar with, with some aerobics and cardio to get a full body workout. 

7. Pop Physique. This one hour work out ballet barre-based class combines Pilates, dance, and barre. Your abs, posture, and flexibility are the focus of this class. It’s similar to Pure Barre.

8. Buti. This 75 minute workout that combines yoga, strength training, and tribal dance. It’ll really get your blood flowing and body moving.

9. Kickboxing. A constant staple that really helps if you need to get some aggression out. Besides being a great stress reliever, it’s great for your arms, shoulders, abs, thighs and butt.

Some people, me included, don’t like to go to the gym alone and definitely don’t like to take group classes solo. Partially because if I’m going to make a fool of myself, which tends to happen in workout classes, I want there to be someone there to laugh with and at me. The other reason is because I need someone to motivate me and make me go, even when I’m exhausted or have had a bad day. If there is someone else counting on me to go to the class, I’m more likely to go, even when I don’t feel like it. These classes are great to do with friends to keep you motivated and have fun at the same time. Try any of these classes with some friends or brave them solo, either way, you’re sure to have a blast and get a great workout in the process. 

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