Here are 8 fitness styles that I think everyone should include in their fitness regimen, at least once in awhile. If you find one on this list that you’d like to try, go for it! Changing up your routine once in awhile is a really great way to make sure you don’t get bored, not to mention it keeps you well rounded 🙂
- Pilates –
Pilates is one of the best ways to strengthen your core, as well as improving spine mobility. People with chronic low back pain often find relief through regularly incorporating pilates into their workout routine.
Ballet dancers are well known for their long, lean, toned figures and graceful movements. You don’t have to be a professional dancer to look like one. By using ballet/barre exercises in your workout regimen, you will lengthen, tone, and strengthen muscles you didn’t even know you had.
In my opinion weightlifting is the best way to increase in functional strength (that is, strength that allows you to perform every day tasks such as moving heavy things). And don’t worry. Unless you train for hours every day, go on steroids, and eat a ton of protein, you will not end up looking like a bodybuilder. You will build some muscle, but it won’t make you have that hulkish ripped look. The best way to build strength through lifting is to use a heavy weight for a low number of repetitions. The goal here isn’t to be able to do more reps, but rather to be strong enough to move more weight.
Gymnastics isn’t just for kids and olympians. There are a few gymnastics moves that you can do every day to drastically improve your fitness. My 3 favorites are handstands, gymnastic ring pullups, and gymnastic ring dips. There are many other movements you can try (at your own risk), but I think everyone should at least be able to do these 3. Handstands can actually improve heart health, as well as strengthening all the muscles in your upper body – from your larger muscles (such as your lats and triceps) to your smaller, supporting muscles that add that extra definition and tone to your shoulders, arms, and back.
- Martial Arts
There are many benefits to doing martial arts, but the 2 main reasons I want to focus on are power and focus. There are few things as satisfying as beating the living daylights out of a punching bag, or knowing that you can defend yourself if the need should arise. Martial Arts such as MMA and Muay Thai Kickboxing aren’t just about beating people up. It’s about power, speed, accuracy, focus, and much more. Martial Arts are well known for simultaneously developing mental toughness, as well as increased body awareness and physical strength.
Calisthenics is exercising with only your bodyweight for resistance. In my opinion, this is the foundation of fitness. From the pushup to bar muscle ups, everyone should be able to move their body through space with skill and strength. Try looking up calisthenics on YouTube sometimes. There are some crazy strong athletes out there who can do insane things just with their bodyweight.
Running is just plain good for you. Kids instinctively know this – have you ever noticed how often they walk, compared to how often they prefer running? Unfortunately, as we grow up we tend to slow down. This shouldn’t be the case. Running has huge benefits for your heart health, bone density, endurance, leg power and strength, not to mention keeping you lean. As long as you don’t have any health problems that prevent you from running, try to run or walk a couple times a week. Make sure you are doing other kinds of exercise (especially strength training and stretching) to keep yourself well rounded and prevent injuries.
- Suspension Training
Suspension training is one of the most effective way to strengthen and protect your joints. It can be anything from holding yourself up on gymnastics rings, to performing various exercises on the TRX (Google it, it’s a pretty awesome tool). The idea is that you have to support yourself on something that can move freely. That way you have to engage a lot more muscles than you would if you were supporting yourself on parallel bars or even just on the floor. The TRX suspension system was developed by a Navy Seal – so you can bet suspension training is one of the toughest, most effective forms of training out there. And the best part is that it’s suited to any fitness level, from beginners to advanced athletes.