Trend Alert: Jumping Warrior? Three New Workouts Combine Yoga and Plyometrics

Slimnastics

Ever stretched into down dog, then practiced your jump tucks? A new trend for fall and 2013 is yoga workouts with plyometric intervals.

Plyometrics, if you are new to the term, are explosive jumping and level-​​changing moves that use your body weight as resistance, and require your muscles to fire away in short, intense bursts of power.

As a former college cheerleader, and current personal trainer and yoga instructor, I didn’t want to have to chose between my “ohm” days or my jumping workouts from the squad, so I created a new book and DVD workout called Slimnastics®!  It combines gymnastics-​​inspired plyometric cardio intervals —  like jump tucks, split jumps, and squat thrusts — with advanced balancing yoga moves — like firefly (titibasana), wheel push ups, warrior III booty boost, rockstar, handstands, side crow and 8 angle pose (astavakrasana) —  that build upper body strength, boost your booty and require a lot of breath control and mental focus. The 30 minute, no-​​equipment workout is advanced, but the book has modified moves, tips on how to “get in shape for Slimnastics®” and mantras to get you moving. These core and toning moves coupled with the major calorie burn from plyometrics helped me get my body back after having a baby.

Soon after Slimnastics, I am happy to report that two similar results-​​based classes are taking New York City and the country by storm: BUTI® and Deep EXtreme. BUTI is a high-​​intensity Crunch workout  that fuses yoga and dance with circuits of plyometrics and conditioning. BUTI® dance moves taken from various styles that focus on an intense shaking of the hips including Miami Booty Dance, Brazilian Baile Funk, Hip Hop, Crunk and African Tribal. Between the heart-​​pounding cardio deep stretching and dance moves, you¹ll be in BUTI®-ful shape in no time and feel sexy doing it.

The Equinox workout Deep EXtreme mixes up cardio like tribal swinging arm moves, flexibility yoga poses and strength training like squats in intervals of rest and intensity. It is based on Robert Steinbacher’s European bodyArt technique that was all the rage last year in the United States. Like Slimnastics®, and BUTI®, Deep EXtreme is a strengthening, energizing and calming series of moves for the entire body. The rhythmic beat music playlist keeps you flowing seamlessly from one move to the next. You’ll have a cardio high and a yoga calm after this trance dance.

If you don’t live near a Crunch or Equinox, try flipping your workout on it’s head with these Slimnastics sample moves to see if the workout is for you:

L Stand:

Sit on a mat facing the wall, with your legs extended in front of you. Your feet should touch the wall with them flexed, and place your hands next to your hips. This is how you measure your distance for the L Stand. Keep one hand on that mark where your hips were, and flip yourself over to face the mat. Place both hands where you measured, shoulders width apart and get into a tight down dog with your heels against the wall. Walk one foot then the other up the wall until your legs are parallel to the floor. (It helps to have a partner spot you so that they can tell you if your feet are too high or low. Look at the wall and push your hands strongly into the floor. Your body should look like an “L” in a 90% angle. You can also play with lifting one leg away from the wall at a time.

L Stand

Cardio Interval –  X jump to Split jumps:

Stepping off the mat sets the scene for cheerleading inspired moves like  X and split jumps. Perform 3 squats in fast succession counting 1,2,3. On the “and,”  jump into the air using your leg muscles and punching the hands to the sky. Land on “four. Repeat.” I– squat/​ stand, 2– squat/​ stand, 3– squat/​ stand, and– jump,  4– land.” Make it advanced: turn the X into a toe touch (pictured).

X Jump

Split Jump

See a sample video of Slimnastics here.

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NikkiFitness

Crunch Manhattan Group Fitness Instructor/Personal Trainer

NikkiFitness is a personal trainer, group exercise instructor, writer and publicist living in New York City. She started as a cheerleader at Syracuse University, but became certified in fitness before her beach wedding so that she could get back in shape. Laura, a graduate student, working mom, and military wife, inspired Nikki's Military Wife Workout (MWW) for all military wives. Find more articles by Nikki at her Military Fitness Center archive. Learn more at www.nikkifitness.com.

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