5 Exercises outside your comfort zone to try
When you work out regularly, it’s hard to keep your fitness routine fresh. There are only so many combinations of curls and hours you can spend on the treadmill before you start to lose interest in the gym. That’s when it’s time to spice things up and head to a fitness class. When you don’t know what’s coming at you next, it keeps both your brain and body engaged. Here are a few classes to try that will get you out of a slump and break you free from your comfort zone.
- Bikram yoga. If you think that yoga is nothing more than glorified stretching, more of a cool-down than a workout, think again. One session of Bikram yoga will likely change your mind. Even before you start to move through the 26 signature postures of Bikram, you’ll start sweating. The room is heated to at least 100 degrees, which creates more flexible muscles and helps your body safely sink into each posture. The intense heat, and accompanying perspiration, is also believed to oust toxins from the body.
- CrossFit. While Bikram yoga helps to build endurance, CrossFit will sculpt stronger muscles. CrossFit is a great way to break out of your comfort zone and get your head back in the game because the workouts change every day. Each morning, the CrossFit coaches create a new Workout of the Day (WOD) composed of functional movements like squats and lunges, which use your own body weight or hand weights to build strength. You’ll never get bored of these ever-changing routines.
- Barre. Anyone who’s hit a fitness plateau knows that the only way to bust through it is to try something totally new. Regardless of any other trendy routines you’ve sampled before, barre will really challenge your body. It relies on small, isolated movements, most of them performed with the support of the ballet barre. Although the movements are minute, they target specific muscle groups that you usually miss at the gym, so the routines will leave your muscles sore and wanting more.
- Boot camp. Boot camp typically enlists a mix of exercises, some cardio and some strength-oriented, to keep your heart pumping and muscles guessing. So if you’re looking for a full-body workout that will torch calories and strengthen your muscles, boot camp is probably it. Find a boot camp at your gym or a local park and join in the friendly competition as you crush your own personal goals.
- Aerial yoga. If you want to stray so far from your comfort zone that you can’t even see it anymore, there’s aerial yoga. It offers the same strengthening and calming benefits of typical yoga with one major difference: you’re suspended in mid-air. Aerial yoga classes use cloth hammocks that hang from the ceiling to support practitioners as they flow through yoga poses that have been modified to make use of the extra space. If you’re already familiar with the basic moves of yoga, you’re ready to try one of these unique classes.
12 Ways to Bust Out of Your Comfort Zone [SparkPeople]
5 Ways to Exercise Out of Your Comfort Zone [FitReserve]
The Best new Workouts and Gym Classes [Shape Magazine]