Okay, all you couch potatoes, this news bulletin is for you: It’s — horror of horrors — swimsuit season. But rather than break out in a cold sweat at the thought of baring your bod, whip yourself into shape with one of these new workouts. And no backing out with some lame excuse about exercise being boring: These fun trends won’t take no for an answer.
Be the Ball
Massage marries yoga in a Yamuna Body Rolling class. Participants use a variety of balls in gentle exercises that work specific muscles to attain suppleness and to optimize range of motion. Afterward, most people feel as if they’ve had a massage. Visit www.yamunabodyrolling.com for classes in your area.
Join the Dance Revolution
The brainchild of workout goddess Sarina Jain, Masala Bhangra (masala means spicy in Hindi, and bhangra is the name of a dance) borrows heavily from the folk culture and dance of Punjab, India. It’s taught as an exotic-movement class, and it will make you perspire more than eating a hot curry. Lucky New Yorkers can dance with Jain at different studios around town; others can shake to the video at home. www.masaladance.com
Do the Hula
Remember that pink hula hoop from your childhood? Athletes cherishing the retro — or, more importantly, those looking to whittle the middle — should sway their body like Beyoncé and bounce a cardio hoop around what will soon become a newly hardened six-pack of a belly. Californians can try classes at HoopGirl locations throughout the state; everyone else can purchase a beginner’s DVD. www.hoopgirl.com
Pool Your Resources
From Florida comes Poolates, a powerful workout pairing the resistance of water with the principles of Pilates. Conceived and marketed by Rebecca “Boo” Pfeiffer, a certified Pilates instructor, Poolates strengthens the core and is great for injured workout addicts. Plus, athletes of every level report results. Try Poolates at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne, where Pfeiffer teaches; at other locations upon request; or visit www.poolates.com for classes in your area.
Superwalk It Off
All the rage in Europe, Nordic walking evolved from off-season ski training. Better for you than simply walking or running, it requires the use of hiking-stick-like poles that engage all the muscles of the upper body. Great for endurance building, this sport can burn a whopping 500 calories an hour. For more information, visit the American Nordic Walking Association at www.anwa.us.