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Try Workouts from Around the World with These International Fitness Trends

Here in the States, we not only like to keep up with the Joneses, but also the Juans in Mexico, the Martins in France, and the Satous in Japan. In other words, we don’t like to be left out or behind even on a global scale.

This is the case with food – whose is better? – and fashion – who looks the best? But it’s also the case with fitness. Just as every other aspect of our lives differs culturally, you can believe that’s the case when it comes to working out, too. Grab your gym-going passport and take a look at what’s popular beyond our borders. You may be inspired to try something new!

walking in spain
SPAIN

The carefree lifestyle of the Spanish seems to translate to their approach to fitness, too. As a whole, they don’t seem to worry themselves too much with getting in to the gym. Their inherent lifestyle does a body good! “The majority of them eat a healthy enough diet (Mediterranean diet at its finest) and walk almost everywhere (if they live in a big city), so obesity isn’t that big of a concern,” said Kelsey Murray, an American teacher who travels to Seville to teach English. They certainly don’t give exercise the chore status that Americans do, as it’s naturally just a part of their lives.

cycling in france
FRANCE

These Euros are also not sweating out their evenings in the gym, rather they prefer to get out en plein air. Translation: They enjoy the outdoors. And why wouldn’t they? Beautiful scenery from nature and architecture provide an inspired background to walk, run, cycle, or even row. Because they are “discreet but effective,” Mireille Guiliano, author of the French Women Don’t Get Fat series of books, told Yahoo! that isometric exercises are very French. With a straight back, contract your abs for 12 seconds, hold, release, and repeat. You can do this on the subway, in your desk chair, in your office, or even at a fancy dinner date.
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GST Workouts Blend Yoga, Pilates, and Capoeira to Help Bodies Heal and Rehabilitate after Injuries

Let’s face it, sometimes physical activity can be painful. People can throw their back out from lifting weights or tear their ACL while playing basketball. One mishap in the gym, court, or playing field can leave your body damaged. And, getting your body back to its original state will take lots of physical therapy. Yet, after physical therapy your body might not be back at its prime as it was before you got hurt.

Grace SomatomorphicTM Technique, known simply as GST, is a workout that reshapes and heals your body for a better, stronger, and healthier you. After years of dancing took a toll on Anna Rahe and left her in pain, she was in need of therapeutic fitness but couldn’t find anything. So she created GST with her knowledge of fitness and its scientifically-supported research.

Anna wanted to teach others GST because it helps the body become pain free while toning to be more beautiful. “GST is also more than just a workout- it is a way of life. In addition, the process of GST directly engages the brain’s powerful desire and inclination for neuro-plasticity- to grow and change.”

GST’s philosophy is motivation, exploration, identification, excavation, assimilation, restoration, and transformation.

Motivation: Why do you want to better your health?

Exploration: Search for answers and try new things.

Identification: Understand what is wrong with your body and health.

Excavation: Dig and find new information that will help your restoration and transformation.

Restoration: Restore your body to its original health.

Transformation: Take your body’s health to the next level and transform it to a healthier better you.

There are four types of programs GST offers, each designed to heal and restore the body: Somatiques, Athletic, Body Shaping, and Pregnancy. The classes differ by the types of techniques that are used to heal and restore the body.
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7 Non-Traditional Workouts That Make Exercise Anything but Typical

Working out can really bite sometimes. Am I right? It’s repetitive, boring, and takes forever, or at least it feels like it does. However, tight jeans and a climbing scale bite, too. Is there a remedy? Is there a happy place where working out doesn’t irritate AND you aren’t resigned to a life in your “fat jeans?” It’s possible, if you’re willing to go off the grid a bit and find some activities that might not look like exercise at first. There are plenty of non-traditional fitness routines that might just be where your happy place resides.

View Non-Traditional Workouts Slideshow

Pole dancing, roller derby, and Capoeira are really just the tip of the alternative workout iceberg. There are lots of ways to stay fit without having to just run on a machine that goes nowhere. Active living can be rewritten; it no longer has to stay in the gym. Find your happy place, do something you love, enjoy your workout, and get in those skinny jeans!



Muay Thai vs. Capoeira: Choose the Best Martial Art for You

Muay Thai

If you watched The Biggest Loser last season, you may have noticed that the emphasis in the gym was on martial arts. With trainer Cara Castronova‘s background as a 2 time Golden Gloves boxing champion and trainer Brett Hoebel‘s emphasis on Capoeira, as well as many past BL contestants who ha vediscovered a love of Muay Thai boxing, the exercise workouts were definitely not typical. What was the reason that these two completely different forms of martial arts were chosen?

At first glance, these two forms of martial arts have almost nothing in common. Muay Thai is an ancient form of combat fighting that utilizes all of the limbs, plus elbows and knees, in striking. Commonly called The Art of Eight Limbs, this stand up form of martial arts combines elements of boxing as well as stand up clinch techniques, as opposed to boxing which uses two (hands) and other forms of martial arts which utilize four (hands and feet).

Most competitive forms of marital arts place an emphasis on conditioning, and Muay Thai is no exception. Designed to help increase endurance for ring competition, most Muay Thai classes incorporate shadowboxing, jumping rope, running and often weight training. A cornerstone of Muay Thai training is working pad rounds, in which a student works one on one with a coach in hitting specially designed pads, called focus mitts. The focus mitts are created to absorb impact and help a fighter learn to hit correctly without harming their training partner.


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Brett Hoebel is the New Biggest Loser Trainer

Brett Hoebel Fired from Biggest Loser in Week 14

The curiosity has finally been satisfied – Brett Hoebel is the new Biggest Loser trainer. For weeks Biggest Loser fans have been peering at silhouettes and the back side of his head, but now, we can introduce you to him.

Listen now to our exclusive interview to learn more about Brett and his new job as a “Loser” trainer!

Brett is a world renowned fitness expert, named one of the top trainers in New York state and the founder of Hoebel Fitness. He credits his fitness DVD program, RevAbs, a part of the Beachbody Brands which also produces P90X, with helping him finally land the gig, a job he repeatedly refers to as “an honor.” As well, “a lot of hard work and determination” and a chance to teach Jillian Michaels, who is currently in her final season with the show, Capoeira were all part of getting him on the show. His other fitness brand is called reVamp.
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