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Mix it up


March 15, 2010

Trainers often suggest that one of the best methods for sticking with a regular workout is to keep things interesting. From trying a new class to incorporating fresh approaches into a personal training regime, the start of the new year is a great time to change things up. Here are a few new activities to check out for 2010.

Strap In

Hop aboard the functional training bandwagon. Instead of a workout that isolates specific muscles, consider incorporating equipment and approaches that utilize more of your body. At Form & Fitness in Grafton, trainers and instructors have introduced members to TRX straps, a portable, lightweight system of straps that can be adjusted for different uses, from rowing to squats. "They really feed into the shift toward functional training," says Ben Quist, an owner at Form & Fitness. "For example, when you do a row, youíre not just using your back and arm muscles youíre also getting in your hip, legs and even feet muscles, and youíre using your muscles in a much more natural way than if you were using a machine that isolates specific muscles."

Skating Away

Integrate approaches from other sports for deeper cross-training benefits. Though a majority of the people who use the synthetic ice and Woodway BLADE skating treadmill at be fitness in Delafield are hockey players, a growing number of nonskaters are enjoying the benefits of skating in their workout.

"With the cost of ice so expensive, we started offering the ice and treadmill as a lower cost option, particularly for parents of little kids who play hockey," says David Secor, a be fitness manager. "But what weíve also found is that people who donít skate have started using the equipment, and itís really been a great addition to their workout." For example, Secor says an avid runner who added the Woodway BLADE to his training program found that he used completely different muscles through the side-to-side skating motion than he did in running. "It also improved his balance," he notes.

Tree Yoga

Try new takes on old workout disciplines. Yoga may be thousands of years old, but that doesnít mean it canít evolve for the 21st century. Todd Dybul (above), a Yoga Alliance certified and registered yoga teacher and owner of Yogawerx, offers something called tree yoga. Dybul first came to yoga after dealing with back issues, and the idea of doing yoga poses while suspended on and in shipping straps caught his attention. "It appealed to my adventurous side, but it also offers natural traction for the back," he says. Thereís little chance of injury in the straps ó which are capable of holding 7,000 pounds ó and he says the ability to use the straps for support and stability while in a yoga pose can actually result in a deeper, more balanced asana for the yogis in his classes. If thatís not adventurous enough for you, Dybul is also offering a new class for 2010 in which participants pose while balanced on a suspended slack line.