Finding fun new ways to get fit can be a challenge but, as soon as a trend appears on the international stage, you can be sure Bahrain won’t be far behind. Liz O’Reilly looks at a few options we hope to see hitting the island in 2016 and a couple that are already here.
On the Rebound
For those of us old enough to remember fitness TV shows featuring ladies in leg warmers and offensively bright Lycra, this ‘new’ workout will look familiar. The mini trampoline, or trampete, is making a comeback but it’s undergone a cool-over and is now called a Rebounder.
And gone are the days of simply bouncing up and down; workouts now include squats, hops and knee raises with the Rebounder’s action significantly reducing the impact of the movements, making the activity possible even for those who suffer joint pain.
According to one expert, the jumping motion creates a force which opens and closes the lymphatic valves, encouraging lymphatic drainage, which removes toxins from the body. So, having fun, toning up and cleaning out, all at the same time. Can’t wait for this one to get here.
Kids’ tag games are the inspiration for a fitness craze hopefully making its way here from the UK. The idea behind Rabble, which gained 900 members in its first year alone, is to disguise interval training as games like Tag or British Bulldog. Organisers claim participants are so focused on fun and the competition to win that they don’t actually realise they are doing ‘proper’ exercise. A workout that doesn’t feel like a workout? We can certainly see this one catching on.
Bit of an Animal
Designed by Mike Fitch in partnership with Equinox gym, Animal Flow taps into your primal instincts to get you moving your body in ways you’ve never imagined before. In what seems like a natural progression from calisthenics, which had its first world championships in Bahrain in 2015, the discipline features a series of functional bodyweight movements fusing gymnastics, acrobatics, Parkour, capoeira and breakdancing. Participants stay close to the ground and use many different muscles at once. Sounds rather tough and you’re guaranteed to break a sweat.
Up the Pole
Contrary to its sometimes sleazy reputation, pole dancing for health and fitness has become a huge success in Europe and the US. Classes are high intensity, sweat-inducing, full-body workouts which enhance flexibility, strength and confidence. Check out pole fitness at Ballare in Saar.
It seems ropes are not just for jumping or double Dutch, (Showing my age there)! Rope workouts use heavy duty weighted ropes and rely on the “art of undulation” To form a wave-like pattern in the rope using your whole body. The movement is great for arms and building core strength and, as it’s low impact, it’s suitable for all fitness levels. Find rope workouts at most Cross Fit boxes.
Anti-gravity Yoga involves performing yoga moves while suspended above the ground in a silk sling. Born in the USA and invented by choreographer Christopher Harrison, the suspension allows decompression exercises which are said to be beneficial to those suffering back and other pains. It sounds odd but has a dedicated following. You can find Anti-gravity Yoga in Bahrain exclusively at the Four Seasons Bahrain Bay.