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Welcome to Racked's Fitness Week: five days of workout coverage, so that you can start your New Year's resolutions off right.
Parkour image via Primal Fitness/Facebook
There's a point when facing your New Year's resolution of working out more often that the standard yoga/pilates/cycling class starts to look rather hum-drum. You want to keep with it, but the usual can feel, well, played out. When you can't stand one more tree pose or mid-winter lap alone in the not-so-Olympic-sized pool, this handful of classes should help keep your routine fresh. —Alison Baitz
Pound at Balance Gym
1111 14th Street NW, Washington, DC 20005, (202) 730-0003
Who's the most sweaty member of a rock band after any given performance? If the Pound class is any indication, we're guessing it's the drummer. Touted as a combination between all sorts of techniques—Pilates, cardio, isometric poses among others—with the addition of two lightly weighted bright-green drum sticks, this workout is said to burn a ton of calories and strengthen/sculpt lesser-used muscles. You're likely to be drenched after a workout but will you be ready to commandeer the drum kit after a session? Probably not.
Parkour at Primal Fitness
219 M St NW Washington, DC 20001, (202) 596-9348
So Parkour isn't exactly a new concept—the French practice of no-obstacle-too-challenging urban running has been around for decades—but using as a mainstream get-fit method is. D.C.'s own Primal Fitness, which focuses on just parkour and crossfit, is the host of the American Parkour Academy. Parkour is foot travel with the most effective route in mind: it sees a wall ahead and will jump it (not run around) in order to best get to the other side. Parkour's benefits are purported to be just about as mental as they are physical: you're said to gain both increased body control and improved mental strength and self-respect. Classes at Primal cover the basics and more advanced skills for both kids and adults.
Aerial Yoga at Spark Yoga
2201 N Pershing Drive, Suite G, Arlington, VA 22201, (703) 248-9642
What do you hope to do once you've already mastered the most difficult yoga poses—you know, the ones that involve headstands and willing partners? Fly through the air? Great, there's a class for that. And, unfortunately, it requires a suspended hammock, not your supernatural skills. Arlington's Spark Yoga's got all the standard classes plus one called aerial yoga—for both beginners and perhaps those with a bit more experience. Suspended practice, says Spark, will decompress your spine while lengthening and restoring your body. Until you've mastered yoga-induced hovering, this duo of classes will have to do.
Kangoo Jumps at Chakaboom Fitness
6300 Beulah St., Franconia, VA 22310, (703) 582-7754
What looks like a pair of killer rollerblades or perhaps a weird, scary shoe best left in the '90s? The Kangoo Jump boots, of course. These things look frightening but they're not a nutty childrens' novelty—these are for fitness, as they significantly reduce joint impact. Pop these on and join a class of energetic dancing, and you've got a killer class on your hands. Offered at Chakaboom Fitness—which specializes in Chakaboom, a style of choreography from Brazil—the Kangoo Jump classes combine dance moves and the aforementioned moon-bounce boots, resulting in a workout that will have your heart pumping and your body burning loads of calories.
Animal Flow at Equinox
8065 Leesburg Pike, Vienna, VA 22182 (703) 790-6193
The idea is pretty standard by now—using your body's own weight as work-out resistance—but Equinox's offering, Animal Flow, is pretty cool. Channeling animal-influenced quadrupedal positions (yep, you're going to be on all fours), this class combines elements of Parkour, breakdancing, gymnastics in a series of moves that will have you mistaken for all manner of wild beasts. Makes downward dog look rather tame, no?
· All Fitness Week 2014 posts [Racked DC]