Get fit and learn to dance like Catherine Zeta Jones!
by ROSALIND RYAN, femail.co.uk
What will be the hot new fitness fads for 2003? We've been out and about to find them.
Fancy dancing like Catherine Zeta Jones in the hit movie Chicago or fitting an hour's workout into a quarter of the time? Then 2003 is the fitness year for you.
Follow our at-a-glance guide to the new exercise regimes coming your way this year, how they benefit your body and where you can go to do them.
What is it?
The Chicago Masterclass is an hour's workout based on dance moves taken from the hit stage musical and the movie starring Catherine Zeta Jones and Renée Zellwegger.
You will be dancing to the big show tunes using a series of shimmies, jazz moves, the Charleston and a variety of kicks and poses. The warm up and cool down will also be done to the slower songs from the show.
The class is similar to an aerobics class, so you will learn a few basic moves and practise them before learning a few more moves and building them up into a full sequence. The lesson also incorporates some mat work using the floor routines also performed in the show, and some Pilates-based mat exercises.
How does it benefit your body?
The class will give you a full body workout, with the emphasis on improving your cardio-vascular fitness, so boosting your heart and lung performance. Because there is a lot of dancing involved, it is particularly good for the legs.
But be warned, you will not achieve the same transformation as Denise van Outen achieved last year in her starring role in the stage show after just one lesson.
Instructor and inventor of the programme Kelly Fisher says, 'The emphasis is on fun. Denise was performing two shows a day in the West End with rehearsals in between so it was very intense. The lessons are not as hard, making them much more enjoyable.'
Can anybody do it?
Yes - and you don't have to wear fishnets or high heels to take part! The class is designed for any level of fitness and you can work to your own pace. Students also wear trainers because of the studio floor so you need not worry about pulling off pirouettes in three inch heels.
The Chicago Masterclass is suitable for men and women. Kelly stresses that the lessons are fun, enjoyable and for everyone.
If you are pregnant, talk to the instructor before signing up for class as some of the moves may not be suitable for you.
Where can I do it?
Kelly plans to extend the Chicago Masterclass to Holmes Place Academies nationwide later in the year, but it is currently available at six Holmes Place Academies in London.
The single masterclass lesson will cost £10 for all Holmes Place members. The classes start on February 6th 2003 and will be at each club for one week only until March 13th.
The classes are available at Kensington High Street, Barbican, The Strand, Notting Hill, Oxford Street and Regent's Place clubs.
For details of which day the lesson is available, visit the Holmes Place website on www.holmesplace.co.uk and click the Club Locator button.
Squats on the
What is it?
The Power Plate is a small machine - similar in size to the step-block used in Step classes - that vibrates at different frequencies. Attached to the plate is a stand with handlebars and straps to use during your workout.
The machine was invented by the Russian space programme to maintain cosmonauts' muscle tone in space where they cannot carry out traditional exercises. Many professional athletes also train on a Power Plate to boost their performance.
You stand on the plate to perform a series of exercises including squats, leg lifts and stretches. The Power Plate can also be used for push ups on the edge of the machine, abdominal exercises - where you rest your arms on the plate but keep your back and legs straight - and arm exercises where you stand on the machine and use the straps.
The effect achieved by using the Power Plate is so intense that converts claim it can reduce an hour's workout to just 15 minutes! But classes usually last for 30 minutes as students will be taken through warm up and cool down sequences in addition to the structured exercises.
How does it benefit my body?
The machine works by producing a vibration that encourages the muscles to expand and contract more rapidly than usual, intensifying your workout. This builds deeper strength and flexibility into the muscles.
Because your muscles are working harder, you can shorten the length of your workout and see results quicker than you would ordinarily.
Ivana Trump is reported to be so impressed with the effect on her body that she has ordered three of the machines for her homes across the world, including one on her yacht!
They are proving so popular that - like stability balls - expect to see one in your local gym within the year.
Can anybody do it?
You do not have to meet a certain level of fitness before you start exercising with a Power Plate. Instructors say the machine is suitable for everyone from 18 to 73 years old.
However, if you are pregnant, returning to exercise or recovering from an injury, tell your instructor before using a Power Plate so they can modify the exercises for you.
Because the machine shortens a normal workout, it also limits the impact that your joints would usually incur on a treadmill or during an aerobics lesson. This makes is suitable for people with conditions such as osteoarthritis.
Where can I do it?
David Lloyd Leisure has a number of individual machines in certain clubs for for one-to-one lessons with an instructor.
However, Power Plate classes are also available at their gym in South Kensington, London, and the chain plans to expand the number of machines available in the next few months.
To find out if your local club has Power Plate facilities, visit the David Lloyd website on www.davidlloydleisure.co.uk and click on the club finder button for contact details.
You can also buy your own machine, but it will cost you around £5,000! Visit www.power-plate.com for more information. For stockists, call 020 8450 8777.
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