9 hot indoor exercise crazes and where to try them


The Center for Disease Control and Prevention says 80 percent of Americans don’t get enough exercise. The U.S. government recommends that adults get at a minimum of 2.5 hours of aerobic activity every week or a consecutive one hour and 15 minutes of high-intensity exercise each week, or a combination of both. Adults should also do strength training exercises at least twice a week.

Exercise can significantly reduce the risk for some of the nation’s deadliest diseases, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and some cancers, according to the CDC.

Americans have all sorts of excuses for not exercising, but lack of variety can’t be one of them — at least not in Utah Valley. Here are six current exercise crazes and where you can try them out:


1. Xtend Barre

Xtend Barre is a ballet-inspired variation of Pilates.
(Photo courtesy Nicole Strong)

Xtend Barre is classical Pilates amped up by the integration of ballet-inspired moves. Pilates barre incorporates the focus on core strength and breathing from Pilates with the rhythm and movement of dance (think ballet at the barre, but way more fun.) Your first class is free at Provo’s Xtend Barre in the Shops at Riverwoods. Just sign up online or call to reserve a spot. Bonus: In-studio childcare is available.

2. CrossFit

Kathryn Oakes lifts the bar in a workout at Generator Crossfit in Provo. (Photo courtesy Generator Crossfit)

Kathryn Oakes lifts the bar in a workout at Generator Crossfit in Provo. (Photo courtesy Generator Crossfit)

Some call it addictive torture. Something about CrossFit must be addictive, because it’s all the rage right now. Each CrossFit session work out of the day (WOD) consists of a variety of high intensity movements performed at a fast pace. Burpees, squats, kettle bell swings, box jumps and pull-ups are often part of CrossFit WODs, which generally last anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour. Participants execute WODs as a group, which creates a motivating element of competition and team camaraderie. Utah Valley has its fair share of CrossFit gyms including these ones Spanish Fork, ProvoOrem and Lehi, just to name a few.

3. PiYo Strength

Piyo Strength is a fusion of Pilates and Yoga into a series of dynamic strength and balance movements. You can expect some Pilates and Yoga-inspired moves, but be prepared to kiss your mat and tribal music goodbye and instead be up on your feet, moving to the beat of pop music like Rhianna and Maroon 5. Try it out at Gold’s Gym in Orem or the Provo Rec Center.

4. Bikram Yoga

(Photo courtesy Thanksgiving Point)

Thanksgiving Point’s Bikram Yoga studio is the only location Utah that was specifically engineered to be a Bikram Yoga studio.
(Photo courtesy Thanksgiving Point)

Bikram Yoga is a full body workout performed in an extra hot (105 degree) room with 40 percent humidity. Each 90-minute class consists of 26 yoga postures, repeated twice. Bikram Yoga is said to relieve stress, improve circulation, tone muscles, balance metabolism and help you sleep better.  Thanksgiving Point offers weekly Bikram Yoga classes. Don’t forget your water bottle!

5. Insanity

This mix of plyometrics and cardio is brought to you by the creators of P90X, Turbo Jam and PiYo Strength and is now available as a group class at select gyms throughout the country. Insanity is broken down into 30-second intervals, so it’s a variety-craver’s dream. The Provo Rec Center is one of the first and only places where you can try the live version of this insane workout right now.

6. Zumba Toning

Kathy Van Orman teaches Zumba Toning at Sweaty Chix Fitness in

Kathy Van Orman teaches Zumba Toning at Sweaty Chix Fitness.
(Photo courtesy Sweaty Chix Fitness)

Unless you’ve been living under an anti-exercise rock, you’ve heard of Zumba. But have you heard of it’s new sister, Zumba Toning? This class combines Zumba moves and music with strength training, using maraca-like toning sticks. Get your olé on with the girls at Sweaty Chix Fitness, which has locations in Orem, Springville and Salem.

7. Bokwa

One of the newest (and possibly strangest) exercise crazes to hit the valley, Bokwa participants draw letters with their feet while performing a cardio workout routine. Unlike many choreographed group fitness classes, Bokwa does not require participants to count steps, and is designed to be doable for all ages and levels. But don’t take our word for it. See for yourself at Sweaty Chix Fitness.


Utah Valley 360’s fit picks:

8. SworkIt



Choose among strength training, yoga or stretching, determine the length of your workout and go for it. SworkIt will give you a new exercise every 30 minutes, and a “ding” lets you know when it’s time to move on to the next one. You can pause the workout or skip the movements at any time, and you can even watch demo clips of each movement. The best part? You can do SworkIt while watching your favorite show. Oh, and it’s free.

9. Jillian Michael’s 30-day Shred

This workout DVD will give you just as good of a workout at home as you’d get at the gym.  It is divided into three levels of difficulty, and each workout only lasts 20 minutes. No more excuses! Right, Jillian?



Kim calls Utah Valley home, but she spent her high school years in Australia, where she learned to drive on the other side of the road and tolerate Vegemite. Since earning an English degree at BYU, Kimberly has worked for Covenant Communications, Utah Valley Magazine, Daily Herald and Eat My Words. When she isn't writing, Kim loves traveling, teaching Pilates, and spending time with her husband and three children. Read more from Kim at talkingwordy.com.

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