Demystifying recent workout fads

Zumba is one of the latest fitness trends.

Have you seen your social media contacts post about how that extreme Piloxing workout just kicked their butts or that they're heading off to their Zumbarobics class in 10 and wondered "What am I missing?" There are some interesting new fitness fads that have everyone on their toes – literally. The question is, will they last? Here's the scoop on the latest workout trends:

Pure barre
Ballerinas are graceful, slim and strong, but it takes a lot of work to get that way. Pure Barre is fitness routine that was developed by a choreographer and dancer Carrie Rezabek Dorr in 2001. It's based on small isometric movements, done at a ballet barre, that tone and burn fat from the entire body. Each one-hour routine is set to motivating music. Pure Barre does not involve jumping or bouncing, so it's easy on the joints while still being an intense workout that requires meditative focus. The benefit of Pure Barre over other routines is that it creates long, lean muscle by alternating strength-training with stretching.

The intense lifestyle known as crossfit seems to have exploded on the workout scene lately, but it was actually developed in 2000 as a training for general fitness and preparedness. Workouts are typically less than 30 minutes but are high intensity and extremely varied. Some examples include climbing rope, flipping tires, jumping rope, weightlifting, pull-ups, bodyweight exercises like gymnastics and sprinting – exercises that build a lot of muscle. People who do Crossfit often also eat a Paleo diet and consider it a lifestyle.

This dance-based workout has its roots in Latin American dance. The developers of this routine call it a "calorie-burning, dance-fitness party" because it's so fun that you won't even realize you're getting a workout. Its basis is aerobic activities, which are important for heart health, including interval training, resistance training, and fast and slow rhythms to the beat of lively music.

High intensity interval training (HIIT)
This workout style has been around since the 1970s, but it's coming back with a vengeance as people seek to find ways to pack more and more into their busy days. High intensity interval training relies on alternating between periods of intense activity, followed by periods of rest or lower-intensity movements. HIIT exercises are highly efficient and can be done anywhere, and they provide heart healthy and fat-burning exercises. For example, one basic workout is to run as fast as you can for one minute and then walk for two minutes, repeating this four more times for a 15-minute workout.

Boot camp
Drawing some inspiration from the military, boot camp workouts have become increasingly popular lately. They're fun because exercises have a lot of variability – based on the principles of strength, agility and cardio, and they're convenient –  you need little more than your own body weight and an instructor. These bare essential exercises include things like jumping jacks, squats, sprints and pushups with little rest in between.

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