The Ultimate Yoga Guide: Which Type of Yoga Is Right for You?
5 Group Fitness Classes to Try Now

by Vanessa Voltolina

You may have noticed a trend when it comes to your local gym or fitness center: Many are upping the ante with their creative class offerings. These innovative, fun workouts make getting sweaty a whole lot more fun -- and social.

Whether you're a gung-ho class-goer or just dipping in a toe, here are five unique group fitness classes to put on your to-do list:

1. Aqua Zumba

If you haven't already tried Zumba -- the 45-60 minute dance-your-butt-off party-like class -- you should. Once you're sold, get wet with Aqua Zumba, a low-impact "pool party"-like aquatic exercise. This cardio-conditioning, body-toning class just begs for you to make friends with the person in the swimsuit right next to you.

2. BOSU Fitness Classes

Stepping onto the BOSU (a piece of equipment resembling a small stability ball cut in half) feels like a cross between a core board and a stability ball.

Not only does it help strengthen your entire body, but the classes also kick your ho-hum workouts to the curb, challenging you in a lively group setting.

3. Indo-Row

Have you ever used an indoor rowing machine at the gym? Now imagine a room full of them, with gym-goers rowing together.

While many machine-based classes are suited to focusing on your personal best, the objective during Indo-Row is to row in sync with the rest of the class, working together as a real team.

4. Obstacle Course Training

Tough Mudders, Spartan Races, Zombie Runs -- sound familiar?

If you haven't already participated, you likely have friends or family members who have. While the events themselves are the ultimate in down-and-dirty team fun, training together with your group (many gyms have dedicated boot camp obstacle training classes) can lengthen the camaraderie time.

5. Stand Up Paddle Boarding

You may not find this one offered through your average gym.

As the fastest-growing water sport in the world, stand up paddle boarding is a great cross-trainer to supplement any sport -- and a fun new workout to try with friends.

Sign up as a group, learn the skills together and challenge one another to see who can stay standing on the board longest (loser buys lunch)!


Vanessa Voltolina is a former online editor for NBCUniversal. Her work has appeared in several national publications, including Weight Watchers and SHAPE.

Vanessa Voltolina is a freelance writer and web producer living in Brooklyn. Her work has been featured in a variety of health and lifestyle websites including Spafinder, FitPregnancy and Everyday Health.

Fitness & Exercise - 5 Group Fitness Classes to Try Now