Well it seems the fascination with twerking is going beyond Nicki Minaj, Miley Cyrus and music videos. It is now a fully fledged fitness craze which, sure enough, has arrived in Dubai.
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Twerking, for those blissfully unaware, is the “rhythmic gyrating of the lower fleshy extremities”, according to Urban Dictionary. Or, that move that Miley Cyrus brought into the limelight during the 2013 MTV VMAs.
We were surprised to learn that twerking classes were a ‘thing’, but a quick online search told us that not only were they a thing, they were in full swing in many parts of the world and rising in popularity.
So, naturally, when we discovered that local studio Pole Fit Dubai had Twerk It classes on their schedule, off to “twerk it” we went!
The one-hour class begins with a warm up including twerking basics.
It starts with a push-pull motion of the hips and booty while tucking the buttocks under the hips, followed by rotating the hips around in circles slowly.
Tone your butt, abs and thighs in the most fun way possible with our twerking classes every Monday and Wednesday… http://t.co/r1vNxZDQH2
— Pole Fit Dubai (@PoleFitDubai) February 28, 2015
Inevitably, there are giggles throughout, on our part mostly in nervous anticipation of what’s to come.
Once the basics are covered, the instructor takes us through a few moves of a twerk routine which we will eventually do to music.
We’re practicing the moves, attempting to squat and, well, pop that.
It’s not as easy as the instructor makes it look in her booty shorts, and it becomes evident that twerking, which is at least 20 years old, requires a decent amount of muscle and core control.
You’d be surprised how many different types of moves you can get out of it!
The instructor takes us through the routine until we have the hang of it and then the music comes on and it’s all on. In this class, there’s no caring what you look like – beginners and twerk-pros alike work on their skills during the class while having a fun time. It’s contagious, but it’s not easy.
In saying that, the class itself is not an intense workout, partly because half is spent getting the hang of the move, and partly because you may spend half the class laughing at yourself.
But either way, twerking class is a must-try for a different kind of workout to shake things up (no pun intended) and inject some fun into your regular routine!
Where: Pole Fit Dubai
When: Every Monday 1.30 pm, Wednesday 7 pm and Saturday 3.30 pm
Tip: Bring knee pads!
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Clocking up some kilometers on the bike, rower, treadmill or pavement this week? Make them count for something more than just your calorie burn and contribute to local cause making the Distance to Make a Difference, an initiative by Dubai based fitness manager Phill Robson.
He’s already kayaked around the world islands, ran the Grand Canyon Marathon and last year created a team that then trekked to the Everest Region, and now his Making the Distance to Make a Difference initiative is aiming to cover the distance of 7,035kms doing a run, cycle and row utilizing cardio machines in the gym.
‘Making the Distance to Make a Difference’ – raise funds and awareness for DMD children around the world https://t.co/XTLLFszpRX
— phill robson (@phill_robson) January 7, 2015
All of this in the hope of raising funds for Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a disease which results in the inability to produce dystrophin, a protein you need to build up your muscles. As a result, muscles start to deteriorate. DMD is the most common fatal genetic disorder to affect children around the world and at the moment there is no cure.
Phill hopes to raise funds via the Harrisons Fund charity, saying: “This charity is important to me as I met the family that set it up almost three years ago when they visited Dubai to help support Harrison’s aunty, Kate Willoughby, with her successful attempt of swimming nonstop around the World Islands off the coast of Dubai. I was part of the safety kayak crew on that event and promised the family I would do at least one event per year to try and raise funds and awareness for Harrisons Fund and the children and families of DMD affected children.”
The event to ‘make the distance’ is taking place at Towers ROTANA at Bodylines Fitness Club from 9am on 5th March until just over 7,000kms are reached, and anyone can come to the club and help “donate” some kms by either running, rowing or cycling until 9am on 7th March. Grab a team and make a training session out of it – the facility will have six bikes, three treadmills and two rowers so booking ahead if you’re going with a group is a must.
If you can’t make it though, there’s a way to make your training efforts count for a bigger purpose this week! Any distance you clock up by running, cycling or rowing either on equipment or outdoors can count towards the initiative’s overall total. Just record the distance achieved by taking photos of the start and finish distance recorded and sending it in to the Making the Distance to Make a Difference Facebook page.
You can also donate on the cause’s ‘Just Giving’ page to help them raise funds for the charity.
A unique opportunity has come to combine your loves for Pilates, Tai Chi and Yoga in one whole-body-and-mind conditioning class called PITAIYO, now running for the first time at Cobra Fitness.
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Fitness enthusiast and mum, Alex Kelly-Maartens, founded PITAIYO – PI (pilates), TAI (Tai Chi), YO (yoga) = PITAIYO (pro- nounced p’tai-yo) – back in 2006, combining her passion for effective exercise and sport psychology.
It is now a major hit in the US with everyone from the elderly and unable to runners and CrossFitters in search of new and restorative cross training methods, joining the programme.
Here in Abu Dhabi, PITAIYO is being introduced to men and women of all ages and fitness levels by Melanie O’Leary, the capital’s only certified instructor for this fun, structured, deep and dynamic class concept.
Pitaiyo is now in Abudabi! If you are in or near the UAE go check out PITAIYO with Melanie. http://t.co/h9DzCX2S8a
— PITAIYO (@PITAIYO) February 22, 2015
The free taster session saw us harness energies and slowly glide through a few Tai Chi steps to quiet the mind and introduce self-aware- ness, before heading straight into Sun Salutations and some thigh- burning standing and balance- challenging yoga postures.
The routine then seamlessly ended with a few Pilates moves down on the floor that quaked the core; three different disciplines all harmonised effortlessly into a perfectly packed hour and a half that left us feeling super calm yet energised.
PITAIYO classes are accompanied by a mix of gentle music styles and choreographed with room here and there to throw in combo moves – for example, we did Warrior 1 and 2 sequences in the yoga segment that included repetitions of reaching down to touch the floor or lunging while pretending to pull back on an imaginary archer’s bow. Even for a regular yoga practitioner, the burn was significant.
And even when a complete beginner is stumped by it all, there are always variations and modifications to be found in each exercise, which O’Leary was all too happy to show.
“There are four different levels to PITAIYO – what we did today was Level 1 and 2, while level 4 is called Power PITAIYO and even involves the use of free weights and other props… but generally all are accessible. The point of PITAIYO is for these three disciplines to be accessible to everyone,” O’Leary says.
— PITAIYO (@PITAIYO) February 11, 2015
“And even if you’re super strong or a hardcore athlete, have done everything – the Marines in the US are training with it by the way – there’s something in PITAIYO for everyone that can improve strength, flexibility, coordination, balance… and most of all, it’s really good fun.”
What is also cool about PITAIYO is that it doesn’t just end when you leave the studio; it seeks to introduce a 24×7 lifestyle of personal balance and the name is also an acronym for a great slogan worth remembering always in everything you do all day – ‘Put It Together All In Your Orbit’.
O’Leary explains the meaning: “I think the idea behind PITAIYO initially was to cater to people that were rushed, who wanted, but didn’t have enough time, to go to individual Yoga, Pilates and Tai Chi classes.
“But they’ve made it more of a lifestyle as well with this orbit acronym. Your orbit is basically your environment and your lifestyle so it is all about what you’re putting into your orbit and what you’re taking out of it.
“PITAIYO people follow the idea that ‘you are what you think’, positive thoughts. So, for example, everyone who came to this class today put something very positive into their orbit because they took time out for themselves to be here and work out and they had great fun and left smiling.
PITAIYO welcomes its newest instructor Melanie O’Leary to the fold. If you are in the Abu Dhabi area look her up!… http://t.co/DlE06OhTLj
— PITAIYO (@PITAIYO) October 22, 2014
“It’s even about what you’re do- ing to your body, what foods you’re putting into it; as well as it’s about trying different things – there’s three different disciplines in this one class, for one,” adds O’Leary.
And you’re in no safer hands than hers if you’re feeling a bit fragile or less flexible before trying PITAIYO as O’Leary’s objective in any fitness class is to make participants feel challenged but comfortable.
“When I do go to fitness classes I like to feel comfortable, and sometimes, not singling out any specific classes, you don’t get that. I just like to make people feel as if they can do it, and not feel intimidated by other people or find themselves looking around at what others are doing because it doesn’t matter, not at all.
“It doesn’t matter how far you can get your head down to your knee or how high you can get your leg because everybody’s different. Each week that everyone comes through they’re progressing that little bit more. Just come and try it because it’s fun.”
Where: Cobra Fitness, Al Bandar When: Sundays and Tuesdays at 09:30am
Cost: Dh70 per session
Contact & Info: 02 449 6524 or check for updates on the Cobra Fitness Facebook page
Verdict: It’s a unique combination of some invigorating exercises and receives our thumbs up.