The most effective exercises are not necessarily the most boring ones. These Tauranga fitness instructors have introduced some exciting and varied workouts to the Bay – ditch the routine and have some fun!
Joanna Burch – Pole Fitness
Pole fitness has the word ‘fitness’ in it for good reason. Basically, you’re doing the same exercises as you would in other workouts –lifting your body weight and getting each and every muscle to work – but that is where the similarities end. With pole fitness, you’re building your strength and increasing your flexibility through movements on a vertical pole.
“I love the fun and dance side of pole and the fact that exercise is so enjoyable,” says Joanna.
“There is a huge sense of achievement when you master something you never thought your body was capable of.
“There is a common misconception that you need to be really fit to do it but your age, size, fitness level and background don’t matter. We have classes for kids of 10+ years old and students in their 60s. The more you do it, the fitter you become.”
Joanna’s passion for dancing and fitness brought her to The Studio at The Mount, first as a student and then, when the studio came up for sale, she jumped at the opportunity to buy it. She now has 25 teachers working with her at studios located in The Mount, Hamilton and Whangarei.
Natalie Ryan – Glide Fit
Natalie is the only certified instructor in Tauranga to offer Glide Fit classes. “This workout seemed such a natural add-on to my female-only, fully private personal training studio,” says Natalie, who felt extremely self-conscious in a traditional gym after giving birth to her second child. She decided to do everything herself and in a different way. She tailored her workout programmes for busy mums and women who don’t like to be watched while getting leaner and stronger.
Glide Fit is aquatic-based stability training. All exercises are done on bright yellow boards while floating in water. It is a low impact, yet high intensity workout to improve co-ordination, increase core and overall strength, body awareness and lose some weight.
“The class is not exhausting, but you will work hard!”
Glide Fit is perfectly suited for women of any age and fitness level but, as the classes are held in a minimum of 1.2 metres of water, you do need to be a confident swimmer.
Freya White – Barre Attack
Mahana Yoga Loft is the newest addition to the Papamoa fitness scene. It incorporates a yoga studio, a room for massage and beauty treatments, a small yoga boutique and an espresso bar. Its founder, Freya, is a devoted yogi who, through her years of travelling, saw glimpses of a luxury lifestyle on the super yachts she was working on. She visited studios around the world and, on her return to New Zealand, was inspired to create a luxurious and authentic space for her clientele.
As well as yoga, clients can try Barre Attack – a trendy fusion of ballet, Pilates, yoga and functional training that pays special attention to the lesser used muscles, tones the body and creates better posture. Focused on micro movements and isometric contractions, barre exercises fatigue the muscles and really get the shakes and burn going.
“That’s the beauty of barre – as long as you’re doing it correctly, it will always be effective and it will always burn.”
Freya started practising barre six years ago in Australia. In only a few weeks she felt stronger and fitter. “With it being so popular throughout the world, I think it’s only a matter of time before everyone in Tauranga is giving it a go.”
Amy Finlayson – Pound Rockout
Pound Rockout is inspired by the infectious and sweat-dripping fun of playing the drums. Using Ripstix® –special lightly weighted drumsticks – while doing cardio, conditioning and strength training, a one-hour workout burns off 900 calories! The diversity of this training is perfect for those lacking fitness motivation – you’re having so much joy rocking out, you forget you’re actually working out!
Amy has been playing drums since she was eight and when she first stumbled upon Pound Rockout on YouTube, she knew straight away she would enjoy it. She was also in search of something empowering and encouraging for her fitness clients. The workout, invented by two US female recreational drummers, ticked all the boxes.
Amy became the first certified Pound Pro in New Zealand and the response from locals has been incredible.
“My clients say things like ‘Wow, that was so much fun and I’m sweaty as!’, and, ‘I feel like a world class drummer’ or ‘Woah, this is really great for stress relief’.”
Where to try: Float (249 Maunganui Road, Mount Maunganui)
Louise Kirkham – AntiGravity® Fitness
AntiGravity® was designed in New York by dance troop owner Christopher Harrison. He was playing with some apparatus and created a hammock that demonstrated amazing fitness results with fewer injuries.
It was Louise’s friend who first tried a new class in Hawaii. “She came back and told me I needed to look into it. She knew me from school, where I did gymnastics and dancing, and knew I would enjoy it. It’s because of Carly that I’m where I am today!” It was four years ago and there was no opportunity for Louise to train anywhere in the North Island, so she went to Sydney to qualify for hosting and running the fundamental training courses.
Finally launching her business, Float, in Tauranga meant anybody able to do three sit ups in a row could now increase their flexibility and tone muscles in a safe and unusual way. AntiGravity® is known as a stretching, strengthening, toning and relaxing workout.
“One of our most celebrated moves is a zero-compression inversion – hanging upside down, held and supported around the hips by the hammock. Once you create that space between the vertebrae, the spine lengthens and can be hydrated with blood and nutrients.”