Looking to change up your fitness routine? St. Croix offers a variety of different fitness classes for all ages and fitness levels. From high-intensity CrossFit classes, to flexibility increasing barre classes, there is something for everyone. Try a new type fitness class to get yourself inspired to get back into shape, or mix in a new type of class to vary your existing fitness regimen. Here at GoToStCroix.com, we have found several different classes here on the island that are taking the world by storm, so you may want to give them a try.
I’m sure by now, if you haven’t already tried it, you have at least heard of CrossFit. The general goal of CrossFit is to improve physical fitness, athletic performance, and quality of life as a whole. CrossFit uses functional exercises to optimize each individual’s physical competence in all ten of the recognized fitness categories: cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. So, what can you expect when you visit a CrossFit gym? First, you will not find machines, you will instead see varieties of free weights, pull up bars, ropes, tires, huge boxes, and more. These fitness tools are utilized by CrossFitters during the ‘workout of the day’ (or WOD). CrossFit gyms place proper technique and consistency before intensity, so that your WOD is performed safely and efficiently for maximum results. Here is a great video that explains what CrossFit is and what you can expect:
The good news about CrossFit is that the WODs can be tailored for any fitness level or to address an injury. If a particular exercise is not immediately possible, in nearly every case there is a method to reduce the load to insignificant levels while maintaining the line of action that will prepare you for the missing capacity as your strength increases. For example, weightlifting exercise can be done with a broomstick or PVC pipe if a weight is too heavy. Not being able to complete a WOD doesn’t mean that you can’t do CrossFit. Taking a WOD and reducing the load, cutting the reps, dropping a set, taking longer rests, and/or sitting down a few times during the workout is still doing CrossFit, you are just turning down the intensity.
On St. Croix, 340 CrossFit promotes mindfulness and respect in their gym (or ‘box’). Positivity, motivation, inspiration, respect, teaching, learning, completion of assignments, focus on precision, honesty and intensity make up 340 CrossFit. They offer a fitness community where members and visitors are inspired by each other, and feel welcome. 340 CrossFit offers an atmosphere that is always positive, respectful and encouraging. You will often hear other members cheering you on and you will find yourself doing the same to others. In addition to a regular schedule of CrossFit classes, 340 CrossFit offers team workouts and kids CrossFit, so the whole family can get fit together. If you want to give it a try, 340 CrossFit offers monthly and yearly unlimited membership options, and class pass options for those coming less frequently. They also encourage locals to come and try a complimentary introductory class, and welcome visitors to drop in while here on vacation!
If you are looking for a way to get a great workout while getting in some stretching (and a little Zen time), you may want to consider taking a barre class at The Courtyard. Barre classes use a combination of postures inspired by ballet, yoga and Pilates. The barre is used as a prop to balance while doing exercises that focus on isometric strength training (holding your body still while you contract a specific set of muscles) combined with high reps of small range-of-motion movements. Barre classes also often incorporate light handheld weights to increase the burn during all those reps, as well as using yoga mats for targeted core work. The beauty of barre classes are the benefits which include weight loss, improved posture, increased muscle definition, increased flexibility and reduced stress. Barre classes are great for just about any fitness level because the technique was designed so that the positions and movements are basic, it’s how deep you work in them that makes the difference in the intensity.
Looking for a fun, fast-paced workout? Zumba would be a great option for you! Zumba is essentially a Latin-inspired cardio-dance workout that uses music and choreographed steps to form a fitness party atmosphere. While many of the types of dance and music featured in the program are Latin American inspired, classes can also contain everything from jazz to African beats to country to hip-hop and pop. Zumba is known for taking the ‘work’ out of workout by mixing low-intensity and high-intensity moves in an interval-style, calorie-burning ‘dance fitness party’. Zumba classes offer a total body workout, combining all the major elements of fitness: cardio, muscle conditioning, balance and flexibility. According to their website, Zumba also offers: ‘boosted energy and a serious dose of awesome each time you leave class’. How can you go wrong with a workout that feels like a fun dance party rather than a fitness class?
Zumba is truly a workout for anyone who can stand up and dance – and I use the term ‘dance’ very loosely. No dance experience or skills are necessary. People of all ages, shapes and sizes are welcome and encouraged to attend classes. So, what can you expect from a Zumba class? Most Zumba classes are about an hour long, beginning with a dynamic warm-up and ending with a cool down and some static stretching. The workout itself is broken down by song, each with a different choreographed dance routine. Unlike other aerobics classes, where you learn a move and then add on more moves to create a routine, Zumba uses different parts of the songs as the basis of its choreography. Zumba is also unique in that its instructors don’t speak very much. Instead they cue you on what to do with hand signals of which direction to move, or a loud hand clap that signifies that it’s time to move to a new move. Overall, participants learn as they go through repetition and by example. This can be frustrating for first-timers, but don’t fret…Zumba uses a lot of the same songs over and over, you will get the hang of it after a few classes. Here on the island, you can even take Zumba in the pool, so you can keep cool while you dance your way to fitness!
If you enjoy the water, a SUP Fitness class may be just the thing for you. SUP Fitness combines movement and strengthening exercises on the beach with some stand up paddle boarding and stretching. This is a fun and unique way to enjoy a group class on the beach, and on the water.
In addition to the classes described above, you can find some of the more traditional or well known fitness classes like Pilates, spinning, body sculpting, yoga, kickboxing, and water aerobics. There is a fitness class for everyone out there, you just have to find the one that fits you. Remember to dress appropriately for the classes you choose, and drink plenty of water before and after to stay hydrated. I recommend taking a friend with you to make the experience more fun, and so that you have someone to help you keep up your fitness routine and stay motivated. Most importantly, enjoy the feeling of accomplishment that comes after completing a great workout. You’ve earned it!
– Jennie Ogden, Editor
- Rainy Day Activities on St. Croix
- Where to Workout on St. Croix
- Attend a Wellness Retreat on St. Croix
- Achieve Balance at a Yoga Class
- Take a Fitness Class on St. Croix
- Just Breathe…Meditating on the Beach
- Take an Art Class and Get Creative
- Learn Something New
- Get Fit
- Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Give it a Try!