Cardio training classes are a great way to cross train if you are preparing for a race, or just need to mix up your workout routine.
Even though I love running and strength building with free weights, there is a special place in my heart for any high-intensity cardio class.
Some of my favorites are cardio kickboxing, body sculpt, and any "glutes-and-legs" class. There are endless versions and names used, depending on where you work out, but they all have the same goal: get your heart rate up, your muscles burning, and the sweat pouring.
A great aspect to cardio fitness classes is the “Power of Many”, and by this, I mean peer pressure!
For example, when I start to feel like I’m hitting a wall, I glance over at Stranger #1, who happens to be 20 years older than me, and is still kicking this workout’s butt! My ego immediately takes over, and refuses to allow my tired body to quit!
Besides the ego part, I always find that group fitness classes keep me highly motivation. It is much easier to stay "in the zone" when you are watching other people sweat, and struggle, and push their limits.
That attitude is contagious, and has carried me through more than a few classes.
Do not forget, cardio training classes are a great way to work the most important muscle in your body – your heart. These high-intensity classes will get your blood flowing, and will help improve your overall endurance, circulation, and heart health.
Whether you are looking for a new way to spice up your cross training regimen, or just need to mix up your routine, check out a few cardio classes, and see what you like.
Kickboxing and taebo are both great cardio training classes, and are both very similar. They both use a series of kicking and punching movements to tone and strengthen your body.
Punches include jabs, hooks, upper cut, whereas kick variations include side kick, back kick, and front kick. All of these are common movements in this class.
Also expect to engage and strengthen your core throughout the entire class. Balance plays a crucial role in successfully executing most of the movements.
Step class utilizes a 5-10 inch step to intensify your aerobic exercise. For more advanced class members, risers are provided to raise your step.
Though step classes are considered high-intensity workouts, they are also considered to be low-impact, which is a great benefit.
Research shows that step cardio classes are no harder on your joints and knees than walking, so if you suffer from joint problems or arthritis this class may be perfect for you.
Muscles that step class will target are calves, thighs, hamstrings, and abs.
Body sculp classes oftentimes focus on certain regions of the body, like “Arms & Abs”, or “Butt & Legs” classes.
These classes are low impact, will put less focus on getting your heart rate up, and more focus on building strength and overall toning.
You can expect to utilize bodybars, barbells elastic bands, pilates balls, and countless other items to help whip those muscles into shape.
You have likely heard of yoga classes and it is for good reason. They are a great way of building strength, getting the blood flowing, and increasing flexibility at the same time.
You will be taken back by the intensity of the workout, but will definitely feel alive once the class is complete. Just remember to breath deeply and through your nose. The poses will do the rest!
Classes differ in intensity and ability, so test out a couple and see what works best for you. Incorporating yoga into your cardio training is a great option for long term health and running success!
TIP: Try more than one type of cardio training class, or even different instructors. They are all very different, and are geared toward different fitness levels. Find what is best for you.