Face it: you’re over your workout. You’ve run every kind of race, from a 5K to a marathon. You’ve done countless CrossFit workouts of the day (WODs). You’ve stepped and spun yourself into oblivion at your gym’s group exercise classes. Or maybe you just can’t get moving without some tunes.
It’s time to switch up your fitness routine. And there’s no better way to rejuvenate your workout than to make music the central element.
Below are three different classes that are built around music and movement. Find them in a gym near you.
Pound It Out
Have you ever watched a drummer at a live show, whaling away on his kit, and thought wistfully that in another life you could have been the next Charlie Watts, John Bonham, or Keith Moon? Pound is a new fitness class that uses lightly weighted drumsticks called Ripstix for a one-hour drumming jam session that the creators say can burn up to 900 calories. Unlike professional drummers, you aren’t sitting on a stool while drumming, so the workout challenges your core and legs as well as your shoulders and arms.
Pound was born when cofounder Cristina Peerenboom, a drummer and former college athlete, broke her drumming stool but decided to continue her drumming session for another hour from a squatting position. She was super-sore the following morning and realized that drumming like that could be turned into a workout that would challenge your glutes, thighs, and core.
The best part about the class is how it strategically distracts you from how hard you’re working. Instead of having class participants count reps or keep track of the clock, Pound shifts the focus to rhythm and volume. And of course, the playlists are always a highlight—the tunes in one recent class ranged from Rage Against the Machine to Calvin Harris.
This workout is gaining in popularity and is offered in facilities across the country. But if you can’t find one near you, the Pound website offers DVDs and Ripstix for home use.
(Body) Groove Is in the House
Dance is an age-old way to express emotions and stay fit. But all too often, our fitness dance classes are rigid, demanding that we learn the same sets of steps and perform them in unison—and generally making anyone who might be rhythmically challenged feel awkward and self-conscious.
Body Groove is different. You’re encouraged to be creative and to move to the music in your own way. For each song, the instructor demos a move or two (or three!) and you practice them, exploring how your body can maximize and modify these basic moves. Pretty soon you’re linking them together and performing some pretty credible dance moves.
Another benefit of Body Groove’s do-your-own-thing ethos is that it can encompass people of almost all abilities—movements can be done standing, of course, but also seated for those with mobility issues.
Body Groove is a DVD or Internet-based workout that offers a range of music and intensities, so you can mix and match to tailor a workout that works for you.
Buti for Your Booty
Have you ever been in a dance club, but wished you were in yoga class? Or maybe you’ve been in yoga class, but wished you were dancing to some hot club beats? Buti Yoga takes the stretching, lengthening, and strengthening movements of traditional yoga and marries them with tribal dance moves and plyometrics.
A true cultural fusion workout, Buti Yoga weaves together tribal dance moves, yoga, and music adapted from African and Caribbean cultures. And Buti takes the tribal aspect of the workout seriously. This woman-specific practice emphasizes support and empowerment. Buti is meant to work the body and the mind and to energize the spirit.
With lots of movement and near-constant hip swiveling, Buti is not a workout for the fainthearted. It has a reputation for helping people sculpt abs, but even if it doesn’t do that for you, it will keep you toned and flexible—and dance-floor ready.
Buti is offered at yoga studios around the country and is available on DVDs and streaming.
Sue Weinberger is a certified personal trainer, an avid lover of dance fitness genres, and is game to get down whenever she can!
Miriam Wolf is a wellness professional and the editor of The FruitGuys Magazine Newsletter.