World Workouts – Globally Inspired Fitness Trends

Anyone ready for a holiday yet? Pretty much as soon as Christmas is done the holiday adverts seem to start up on the telly and the dark cold nights soon get us longing for a bit of sun. So with holiday destinations in mind this week I’ve been looking at global fitness. From American Football Style Cheerleading to Turkish Belly dancing, the world of fitness has been taking inspiration from other countries and cultures for a long time.
In terms of having a “stay-cation” – High Intensity Interval Training classes started in the UK. Although HIIT itself isn’t something new, Metafit started the trend of putting it into a group exercise class. 30 minutes of body-weighted exercises with short work & rest periods you push yourself to the max. Cross-Fit came soon after mixing in weighted exercises like squat presses and medicine ball wall throws to push your limits even further.
Moving toward Europe, Parkour or Freerunning has it’s origins in France. And while it may have started with individuals jumping, somersaulting and running across rooftops, walls and railings you can now find indoor parkour courses and classes at various indoor sites around the UK and for those less brave but like the idea of bouncing around you could try one of the new trampoline parks springing up or  Boogie Bounce which is a choreographed aerobic class performed on trampettes.
Actually talking of obstacle courses…..  while the US and Asia may have globally popularised extreme obstacle courses on TV shows like Ninja Warrior and Takeshi’s castle. It was Europe that brought it to the general public with the Tough Guy Challenge (which has been going for 30 years!!!), Tough Mudder and The Spartan Races. Working as a team against obstacles like ice water baths, commando crawls in the dark and tear gas as well as flaming hoops spread over a 10 mile course tests your mental and physical endurance to the extreme.
Travelling further afield and bringing a lot of summer vibes Zumba classes take their inspiration from latin dance moves from countries like Spain and Brazil. Zumba now comes in a variety of formats from aqua classes in the pool, to using a step or even maraca style weights.
India has inspired a number of fitness classes – the most obvious being Yoga in it’s many variations – improving our balance, core strength and flexibility as well as being a great stress reliever. One of the latest Yoga trends is aerial Yoga, where the positions are performed on a material loop suspended from the ceiling.
While we’re in India – remember those extravagant dance routines from Bollywood films? Both BollyX and Bombay Jam are dance fitness classes that take their moves straight from the movies.
Asia is of course the home of martial arts – karate, taekwondo, muay thai, kung fu and tai chi are just 6. Each have their own styles and you can find beginner classes all over.  One class that aims to combine martial arts in a non-impact and fun environment is BodyCombat where you can kick, punch and kata your way to better fitness.
So where are you heading for a holiday? Maybe you could be inspired by your next class or have a look at the link below to see what other countries do to work out 🙂