Capes & cowabunga: Fun, quirky and rad new fitness routines
Switch your dumbbells for dumroos. Or add your stilettos to your yoga bag. As it turns out, fitness trends just got a whole lot more attractive. Hoping to break away from the monotony of repetitive circuits, innovators in the industry have found inspiration as far-flung as the Dark Knight and the Dandanakka song. Cue music please.
When Psy’s Gangnam Style hit the Internet, most dancers and fitness-freaks copied the iconic ‘horsey’ dance for their daily workout routine. Closer home, would you ever imagine our desi version, karakattam, to feature in a fitness circuit? Pune-based Ashwin Pandey, Arti Pandey and Manoj Upreti use dance forms from different states to choreograph what they like to call Folk Fitness. A 60-minute workout regimen that infuses steps from various folk dances like Koli (Maharashtra), Tera Tali (Rajasthan), Garba (Gujarat), Bihu (Assam) and others. “Many of these steps help work on specific muscles in the body. In Koli dance, there is a step where fishermen pull the boat to anchor it. This step works on the shoulder, triceps and back muscles. Garba works on the lower body, while Bihu uses the core muscles,” explains Arti. The one-hour workout begins with five minutes of meditation and eight minutes of warm-up, followed by different folk dance steps. Music and songs have been recreated and re-recorded by the Folk Fitness team. Only, this music is played for the workout. Over 100 certified trainers across India conduct classes at various gyms.
Rs 2,000 upwards | Details: www.myfolkfitness.com
Press play: Dholi tharo dhol baje, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Boom boom pow
Now you don’t need to dream of slipping into a telephone booth to change into your Superman suit. Just stuff it into your gym bag. Hoping to equip its members with a bit of ‘Kpow’, Beeryani Fitness, which operates out of Hyderabad recently began encouraging folks to show up in superhero costumes. Founder of the space Nishant Appari says, “Regular fitness training gets boring after a point of time, and I wanted to make this place different from what a gym looks like. That is how we came up with the concept.” It seems to have worked out pretty well so far, with Batman proving to be the crowd favourite. And don’t worry, if your closet is low on spandex, there are capes and masks for all on entry. Rs 3,500 upwards | Details: 8977900300
Press play: Iron Man, Black Sabbath
This trend has been around for a fewyears in the West, thanks to New York-based yoga instructor Yamuna Zake. So when women across Chennai, Bengaluru, Hyderabad and Mumbai tried it on Women’s Day — of course we thought the idea had been suggested by a woman. Ironically, the routine was choreographed by Sarvesh Shashi, founder of Zorba — Renaissance Studio, who tells us he went through the motions of everything from the ‘downward dog’ to a full on ‘stiletto plank’ to get the routine just right. While the stilettos, granted, add a touch of sexy to your workout look, here’s what you probably don’t know — this form of yoga was started initially with the idea to get more women comfortable in their heels. Rs 4,000 upwards | Details: 9841132345
Press play: Run the World, Beyoncé
Skip the elevator. This workout is a Stairway to Heaven for that perfect bod. Introduced by Bengaluru-based fitness expert Wanitha Ashok, it’s an interesting combination of aerobics, dance and step workouts. Mini stepping is done with a step board that’s half the size of a regular board and Maxi stepping includes the regular step board. “It challenges the body as well as the mind. While your body muscles are engaged, your mind is kept active while thinking of the next move,” explains Wanitha. A step board and power music is what is required for the workout. “The reason why this workout trains your body overall is because of the 3D-movements. You not only step up and down, sometimes you jump over and pick up the stepper to put it down again. It is a workout for your whole body. It’s particularly helpful for homemakers who have a lot of lift-and-bend chores to finish at home,” adds Wanitha. Rs 1,750 upwards | Details: firstname.lastname@example.org
Press play: Pump it, Black Eyed Peas
Swap that tracksuit for a lungi, to get fit kuthu-style. And you can count everything from Naaka Mukka to Maari Thara Local on this playlist. Jeffery Vardon of O2 Health Studio, which recently introduced the concept in Chennai says, “It has been about three months since we started this and people love it.” With high-intensity cardio, squats, lunges and jumping jacks woven into the workout — it’s got your entire gym workout sorted, with twice the fun. Ironically, this class is more popular with middle-aged women than teen boys. Perhaps dancing to a Dhanush song does that to you? Rs 2,200 upwards | Details: 09094791920
Press play: 1234 Get on The Dance Floor, Chennai Express