Spice up your exercise routine with unique workouts

Maddie Cohen, Features Editor

Wake up, shower, eat breakfast, make your way to Dunkin Donuts, and order the same coffee every morning.  After school, go to the gym for the typical hour and a half workout running on the treadmill or using the elliptical. It’s hard to change up your daily schedule, especially your workout. But if your routine is not giving you the results you want, it’s time to shake things up.

Recently, a new workout craze has swept New York City off its feet.  SoulCycle, also referred to as “Soul” by regulars, is a 45-minute spin class where riders are guided through high resistance climbs and lower resistance sprints, along with arm workouts and choreographed exercises on the bikes.  All this in a dark room lit up with candles and covered with words like “LEGEND,” “ATHLETE,” and “WARRIOR.”

With the instructor screaming things like “be honest about who you are trying to be” and “find your soul,” SoulCycle is truly an experience. Part dance party workout and part therapy, SoulCycle helps riders pedal to the beat and follow along to choreography that emphasizes fitness.

With each changing song, the workout changes, as does workout intensity. SoulCycle classes, which are $34 paid at the door, often sell out in seconds, and if you get lucky enough to secure a spot, you are not only bound to be dripping sweat, but you are also likely to be riding next to a celebrity, like David Beckham. SoulCycle, which began in a small studio in New York City, now has fourteen locations in the Los Angeles and New York areas.  After partnering with Equinox, the company has plans to create at least seventeen more studios next year.

“During the class, I am able to challenge myself while still going at my own pace,” said junior Bailey Galassi.  “The environment is full of energy, which really motivates me to keep pushing through. And after just one class, I feel great.”

If this workout does not float your boat, try Bikram, or “hot” Yoga.  The studio, which is heated to 105 degrees, houses a ninety-minute class that helps with weight loss, strength, posture, mental clarity, and skin tone.  Bikram Yoga is a series of twenty-six Hatha Yoga postures and two Pranayama breathing technique, that give one an incredible sense of well being.  The primary purpose of this yoga is therapy, as the postures can help to heal old injuries and reduce symptoms of illness.  The closest Bikram studio is conveniently located in Roslyn.

If you still have not found your ideal form of exercise, try the Bar Method: a one-hour Pilates and dance class that tones nearly every major muscle group with the help of a ballet barre, mats, and floor work.

The ballet barre helps participants maintain strenuous standing poses for minutes at a time. By increasing muscle strength and density, the Bar Method burns fat while creating a leaner and stronger physique and offering an intense workout.  Some may think that the Bar Method is very similar to yoga. However, unlike yoga, the Bar Method focuses on enhanced fitness, rather than a mind-soul connection. The nearest Bar Method is located in Manhasset.

Although all these workouts seem completely different from one another, we partake in each of them for a common purpose: to create healthy lifestyles, free our minds, challenge ourselves, and to build better physiques.  Whichever workout craze you decide to try, make sure to enjoy the struggle.