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The Latest Boutique Fitness Trends

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From Barre to Hot Yoga or SoulCycle, boutique fitness classes are getting new names. It’s no longer about just getting into the gym and getting the nitty-gritty done though, it’s about connecting with the space, connecting with other members and especially connecting with your body. But you don’t have to accomplish this by the age-old “tough guy” workout of bench press, bench press, bench press, flex in the mirror (sorry Terminator, no offense). Boutique fitness studios now make up more than 20 percent of the market and are growing more and more popular.

Today, studios and workouts are becoming more “friendly.” Boutique fitness classes welcome anyone in any size at any age and make working out more than just working out. They’re also friendlier because they focus on the group experience. It’s about socializing, connecting to others and also to your body. Being healthy is the biggest added bonus of it all of course.

From New York to Los Angeles, here are some of the latest boutique fitness trends you’re sure to see this year.

Barre

Bar Method | Silver Lake

Barre fitness classes are a conglomeration of ballet, yoga and Pilates that helps engage all of your muscles through high intensity, low-impact workouts. By targeting the arms, thighs, butt and core through these exercises, not only will you be toning your muscles, but you can also improve your posture with it. Barre classes come in many different options such as Barre3 or Bar Method, each with their own take on the practice. Overall, each center around exercises that are designed to create long, lean muscles while also tightening and firming up those softer spots.

Barre is hugely popular because it leaves participants feels like they hit the best of all three workouts: core strength from Pilates, peace of mind and balance from yoga, and the growth of long, lean muscles from ballet. Another added bonus of Barre is that is its low-impact workouts, so people at any level (from pregnant women to older participants in their 60s) can start.

Bar Method Studios pepper the nation and can even be found in Canada. Based on the Lotte Berk Method, Burr Leonard has mixed in the knowledge of physical therapists into her exercises and techniques to help participants develop lean, toned and beautiful healthy bodies. It’s not just about changing your body with Bar Method though, it’s also about changing your life!

Kickboxing

Photography by Dana Sabre

For a long time, many envied the silhouettes of the likes of Heidi Klum and Kate Moss, but lately there has been a shift in the fit persona and more people are saying that strong is the new sexy. With her rise to fame, Ronda Rousey has also given young people a new health role model to look up to (which doesn’t include unhealthy diet habits). Thanks to her rise in the MMA world, Rousey and even those heroic Avengers have played a part in a new fitness trend: kickboxing. Not only do you learn self-defense skills but you can also receive an amazing metabolic workout that will improve balance, power, and coordination.

For those who might be a bit fearful of actually having to face someone in the ring, don’t worry, there’s an alternative. Shadowboxing (boxing without the contact) has picked up popularity due to its no-bruise worry and also because of its results. The Shadowbox gym in NYC provides 45-minute classes that incorporate shadowboxing and heavy bag work for a great full-body workout that is based on body weight exercises and interval training.

Banana Skirt

Banana Skirt | NYC

This Instagram-friendly cardio workout has gained a lot of popularity in the last year or so. This pop culture-obsessed, dance-based cardio workout is the home of Ratchet Zooba and invites attendees to channel JLo, Beyoncé and more. A great way to not only connect with your body but also your sexy side, Banana Skirt is a fun way to boost those endorphins and burn those calories. They also offer a Banana Skirt version of yoga, which combines all their head banging music and club lightning to make your workout the perfect way to lean back and release your inner funk.

At their studio in NYC you can even do a routine based on choreography from Justin Bieber’s “ Sorry” music video. So throw on some enviable 80s gear and get those hips and shoulders moving.

OrangeTheory

OrangeTheory | Brentwood

From Melrose, CA to Manhattan, NY, Orangetheory Fitness has been booming across the nation. They offer a 60-minute high intensity workout that maximizes on heart rate interval training to boost your caloric burn. The interval fitness class combines all the machines you’re already familiar with (such as treadmills and rowing machines) and throws in free weights and suspension training.

Based upon research of post-exercise oxygen consumption, these exercises are designed to keep your heart rate in a target zone that will help spike metabolism and even increase energy. This workout is great for toning and burning extra fat and calories even 36 hours after your workout!

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