UConn Group Fitness: Which classes are the best?

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Students crowd around and in the new Recreation Center for an opening ceremony on Sunday afternoon. The ceremony featured speeches from UConn President Thomas Katsouleas and USG President Priyanka Thakkar, free food and T-shirts, and tours of the facility.8/25/19 New Rec Center Opening Reception by Maggie Chafouleas Students crowd around and in the new Recreation Center for an opening ceremony on Sunday afternoon. The ceremony featured speeches from UConn President Thomas Katsouleas and USG President Priyanka Thakkar, free food and T-shirts, and tours of the facility.

Is anyone else a fitness class junkie? I thrive off the knowledge that everyone else in the room is sweating as much as me, and it motivates me to keep an exercise schedule. I am also lazy when it comes to planning a workout for myself, and I love that the coaches have everything set when you come to class. I have definitely saved money in my exercise routine because all of the group fitness classes at UConn are free. As a senior, I can confidently give you the lowdown on the best fitness classes at the UConn Recreation Center.  

Spin 

Starting off with my favorite UConn group fitness class, spin is the perfect way to get your heart rate up while having the time of your life. I have only tried the standard 60-minute class, but there are also options to sign up for a 30- or a 45-minute class if you have a packed schedule. The incorporation of strength moves into this cardio-based class gives you a full body workout that will increase your energy levels throughout the day. The UConn spin instructors are encouraging and push you to be your best self beyond your workout, always ending class with a motivating quote and a deep stretch to thank your body. Spin classes are pricey in the real world, so enjoy this student benefit while you can!  

HIIT 

If you want to feel a burn and get your sweat on, HIIT is the perfect class for you to try. “High intensity interval training,” or HIIT, consists of short periods of intense exercises followed by brief recovery periods. These cycles are repeated to the point of exhaustion and will definitely leave your body feeling sore for the rest of the week. 

HIIT classes at UConn are very similar to the workouts offered by Orangetheory Fitness, which heavily focus on increasing your heart rate to burn fat and gain muscle. The UConn HIIT coaches always perform the exercises with the class and explain the cycles beforehand so participants feel confident. These classes also incorporate light dumbbells, BOSU balls and steppers to break up those intense cardio moves.   

Yogalates  

Having trouble choosing between yoga and Pilates? UConn offers a class that combines these two low-impact workouts into one relaxing and strengthening session. The yogalates coaches specialize in teaching both yoga and Pilates to balance between the two throughout class. The classes usually begin with some yoga, where participants concentrate on breathing and stretching and then flow into the core-focused Pilates moves for the bulk of the class. The class concludes with a yoga flow and brief meditation to reflect on your day. I recommend trying this class in the evening after a stressful day of work to relax your body and help you enjoy your night.  

Dance Fit  

If you are looking for pure fun and adrenaline in a workout, head over to an evening Dance Fit class. The sweat will be dripping after this cardio-filled party, and the hour goes by faster than you could imagine. If you have a strict workout schedule, I recommend taking a break from it and letting loose at Dance Fit. This class shows that exercising does not have to be taken seriously all the time and can actually be the highlight of your day. Dance workouts still incorporate strength moves such as squatting and lunging to feel a burn and break a sweat, so don’t go in thinking this one will be easy!   

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