The verdict on some of the fitness crazes that have arrived on our shores after causing a stir across the globe
It's time to Xtend! Xtend Barre is a fusion of ballet and Pilates which uses the ballet barre as the focal point.
It was created in the US by a former dancer and a Dublin studio is the first in Ireland to offer this workout and the reaction so far from clients has been phenomenal.
It not only tones muscles but lengthens them. Classes at Studio 99 on the South Circular Road, Dublin 8, can be adapted, depending on one's fitness level. I am by no means an agile danseuse and failed to make my stance look graceful or effortless throughout the class, but I did find the class very helpful for stretching and limbering up aching muscles from other sports with its versatile movements and complex bends. It's a real workout which uses muscles you forget you have, but it can be challenging with regards to coordination, rhythm, and cardiovascular fitness.
This total body workout serves to strengthen, lengthen and stretch the body from top to bottom and from inside out. The end result is a long and lean physique. It combines the amazing results of dance with the principles of strength and safety in Pilates. Dance-inspired people will love it.
An eight-week course costs €130 and teacher Laurie Schneider looks forward to seeing you at the barre!
Laurie Schneider – 086 3339103 www.studio99dublin.com
This is an intense, fun and alternative new form of exercise in Ireland. Hammocks are suspended from the ceiling to support your bodyweight and you feel like Superman flying through the air from the minute the class begins.
Using the hammock as your prop, a number of poses are attempted to super-tone your core and upper body as well as loosening tight joints. Blood will rush to the head when doing the monkey pose, but this adds to the fun of it.
The monkey pose is an inversion in the hammock which decompresses the spine, and it is important to note that no other fitness class can do this. It increases overall agility and will benefit all types of athletes as secondary muscles take over to lengthen and strengthen.
Designed by Christopher Harrison in New York, the technique was originally created for athletes and gymnasts and has since been modified and perfected for the everyday athlete.
Incorporating components from dance, Pilates and calisthenics, this form of exercise will certainly get you in shape while realigning you in response to the compression of gravity.
To find classes nationwide: www.antigravityyoga.ie www.energiefitness.ie/ rathfarnham
TRX Suspension Training
I did this class outdoors, which made a nice change to being cooped up in a room. My hands or feet were suspended from an anchor point while the opposite end of my body was in contact with the ground.