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Wednesday, 2 October 2013 | MYT 9:03 AM

Eight hottest fitness trends

Check out our list of the hottest fitness trends that is taking Malaysia by storm!


1) CrossFit


CrossFit is an intense training program that coaches people to improve their overall fitness through a variety of high-intensity workouts.

CrossFit is a mixture of cardio and weights, and includes exercises such as running, rope climbing, skipping, rowing and weight lifting.

“I love CrossFit because I’m constantly challenged by myself. Every session, I push to beat my own personal records (lift heavier, beat my own time to complete a workout),” said Janell Tan, who is also an avid rock climber and Muay Thai enthusiast.

2) Road cycling


Frasers Hill ride: Johan Mokhtar (centre) with his friends cycling up Fraser’s Hill.

Whether they’re cycling to work or cycling up Fraser’s Hill, more and more Malaysians are hitting our roads with their bikes. Not only is it a great way to get fit, it is also a great way to socialize with other cyclists.

Johan Mokhtar, an avid road cyclist, enjoys the social aspect of road cycling.

“It’s fun to ride in a group especially when you stop for a roti canai and chat with other cyclists you meet along the way,” said Johan.

Johan says there are a lot of trekking clubs who organize cycling excursions to popular cycling routes such as from Bandar Sunway to Bukit Jalil on the Kesas Highway and the Jalan Gombak Lama route to Genting Sempah.

“It’s also one of things where you can explore. I’ve cycled to Penang, Johor Bahru, Fraser’s Hill, Cameron Highlands, Kuantan and Kuala Terengganu,” said Johan, who is part of a team of around 15 cyclists.

3) Fly Yoga


Master trainer of Fly Yoga, Reiko Soo, demonstrating a pose at her Dreams Dance Studio.

Fly Yoga is a form of yoga practiced on a fabric hammock. It helps to build core strength, improve flexibility and overall body stability and alignment.

4) Hot Yoga

Hot Yoga has come to heat things up in Malaysia! Hot Yoga is basically yoga exercises performed in a hot and humid room of around 40.6°C with a humidity of 40%. It is a yoga style devised by Bikram Choudhury and is also known as Bikram Yoga.

5) Muay Thai

Muay Thai is also known as Thai boxing or Thai kickboxing. It is a combat sport that uses stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques.

Muay Thai includes combat on foot and is known as “the art of eight limbs” as it is characterised by the combined use of fists, elbows, knees, shins and feet.

“It gives me a great sense of discipline and respect for others. You spar with people, get hit and knocked around, without getting emotionally affected. It is a great way to really practice sportsmanship,” said Janell Tan.

6) Rock Climbing


Janell Tan rock climbing.

Whether you are climbing natural rock formations or artificial rock walls, rock climbing is a great way to get fit.

“I love it because it's unique (in a sense that you don't come across rock climbers everyday), and there's no competition involved. It just you against gravity,” said Janell Tan.

“All three sports (CrossFit, Muay Thai and rock climbing) give me a sense of escapism. I let go of everything else that bothers me and focus on the moment. At the end of it, I come out feeling like whatever that burdened me before suddenly seems so minute,” she said.

7) Pole Dancing

Pole dancing is a form of dance and acrobatics which helps to improve strength, flexibility and endurance. It is a great way to keep fit and toned and is now practised by many gyms and dance studios across Malaysia.

“I really love pole dancing because it’s an amazing way to shape and tone your entire body. The amount of strength needed to look like you’re floating effortlessly on the pole is staggering,” said Isabelle Lai.

“It is also so much fun because the routines are so diverse, and it’s a great confidence booster because you keep learning moves you never thought you could do,” she said.

Isabelle thinks that pole dancing should be an Olympic sport because the level of fitness required for professional pole dancing competitor is as demanding as that of other athletes.

She also adds that she has put pole dancing on hold due to her demanding work schedule.

8) Zumba

Zumba is a dance fitness program that involves a mix of dance and aerobic elements which is set to Latin and international tunes.

Although Zumba’s dance and music is mainly Latin American inspired, it also incorporates other dance forms like hip-hop, martial arts, squats and lunges. Zumba goers describe this program as a fitness dance party.

Tags / Keywords: Health , Fitness , Exercise


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