Bored of the gym? Tired of the treadmill? These alternative ways to get fit are set to get you renewing your 2018 resolutions. From a fictional ball game, to ohmming upside-down, these quirky workouts are anything but dull.
Free-jumping (or trampolining for the uninitiated) is shaping up as possibly the most fun way to train in 2018. As well as being excellent cardio, it’s also a great way to strengthen your lower body and joints, as much of the impact is absorbed by the bouncy trampoline pad beneath you. Forget the traditional gym setting too, purpose-built trampoline parks − with wall-to-wall trampolines, foam pits and more − are springing up all over the UK. And it’s not just for kids either – with multi-discipline classes like ‘flip fit’ and after-dark DJ events designed to cater to the more mature bouncer, your exercise regime is set to reach new heights. Literally.
The Frampton Method
Hate the gym, but want the kind of toned physique that only weights can deliver? The Frampton Method could be just the ticket. No-longer the preserve of models and fashion industry types, model-turned-PT Roger Frampton’s anti-gym workout is about to go mainstream with the launch of his first book, The Flexible Body. After years on the road as a catwalk model, Frampton has developed a method of equipment-free training that uses only your bodyweight to stretch, sculpt and hone your muscles, while simultaneously unlocking bad postural habits to free up your flexibility. It’s part yoga, part gymnastics and the best part is, you can do it literally anywhere.
If you know what a golden snitch is, chances are you’ve already heard that Quidditch – the fantastical broomstick sport played out in the Harry Potter books – is now actually a real-life sport. There’s even a Quidditch Premier League! Of course, broomsticks can be a bit unreliable, so in the Muggle version, players grasp a hockey-stick-type pole between their legs as they run up and down the pitch in their positions as Beaters, Seekers, Chasers and Keepers, chasing down the Snitch (brought to life by a runner attached to a tennis ball) and dodging Bludgers. Yes, you do need a fertile imagination for this one, but boy is it exhausting. If you fancy giving it a go, the London Monarchs Quidditch team are holding two try-out sessions in February.
Boxing, particularly female boxing, is predicted to enter a new sphere of popularity this year as woman from all walks of life discover the visceral thrill of going 12 rounds with a 60 pound punch-bag (see BXR’s pop-up studio at Selfridges Oxford Street, opening this Feb). Of course, it’s not just the stress-busting appeal of throwing a punch, the training involved combines intensive cardio work like skipping, with disciplined strength and core exercise to engage the entire body and brain. Incidentally, there’s never any pressure to compete, boxing is just a really great, inexpensive way to keep fit. For more details on your nearest female-friendly boxing gym, check out England Boxing.
On first glance, you may think acro yoga is purely for show offs, but you’d be wrong. This relatively new form of yoga, which blends aerial acrobatics with traditional yoga asana and breathwork, is actually designed to cultivate trust and letting go, while also building strength and improving balance. Once a niche practice with a small but dedicated following, studios across the UK are now adding acro classes to their timetables. With a strong emphasis on the playful and communicative aspects of yoga, try this if you find your mind wandering in a standard hatha class.