The Source: A dozen workouts to try in 2012

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January 16, 2012
By: Sarah McKenzie
Sarah McKenzie
Get moving!

The endless grazing season has ended. It’s time to shun the sweets that dominate the holiday season and get back on the wellness wagon. Instead of doing the same old routine, why not test out some new workout options. There are tons of fun ways to break a sweat and get fit in the city. You’ll be in your skinny jeans again in no time. Do you have a fun workout routine to share with Journal readers? Let us know. Post on our Facebook page at or tweet us @thejournalmpls.

Try a spin class — it’s like a dance party on a bike. And for the cycling loveras who don’t want to brave the elements outdoors, it’s a great way to stay in biking shape. There are a lot of venues for spinning. The Firm, which has new digs at 1010 2nd Ave. N., is a hot spot for spinning. 501 Fit, Life Time Fitness at the Target Center, the downtown YMCA and YWCA are also good spots to try a class. So grab those neon yellow spandex shorts and give it a whirl. CorePower Yoga has also started offering an indoor bike class called RealRyder at its Uptown studio. It’s a 45-minute spin class done in a 85-degree room with 40 percent humidity.

Taking a Zumba class is another fun way to shake up your fitness program. Several area fitness centers offer Zumba lessons. It’s a high-energy cardio workout that features Latin-inspired dance moves.

Settle into a downward dog at a yoga class. The Twin Cities has a vibrant yoga scene with new studios popping up all the time, including a couple in Northeast — the Yoga Garden, 1229 Tyler St. NE, and Yoga on Central in the Thorpe Building, 1620 Central Ave. NE. There are tons of different types of classes. Classes taught in 105 degree studios at places like CorePower Yoga have become very popular. CorePower and some other studios also offer yoga classes with weights for people looking for more intensity. For yogis with a sweet tooth, BonaVita Chocolate offers yoga classes followed by chocolate tastings at the Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Ave. S. The Gorilla Yogis are another great group to check out. Led by local yoga teachers Jes Rosenberg and Nan Gane Arundel, the Gorilla Yogis hold yoga gatherings once a month at venues throughout town to raise money for charities.

Get ready to enter the ring and sign up for a boxing class. The Uppercut Gym, 1324 Quincy St. NE, in Northeast has boxing classes for people of all skill levels. The gym was founded by Lisa Bauch in 1996. It’s the largest boxing gym in the Midwest and the only one in the country solely operated and owned by a woman. Bauch has worked with noted trainers around the world and trained many professional and amateur fighters. There’s an intro class available for beginners with training on boxing basics, including learning fighting stance, how to jab, cross, hook and defense moves.

Pilates is another great method for strengthening your core. Many workout centers in Journal land offer classes. There are group classes or private training sessions on reformer machines at many fitness centers in town. The routine helps people build flexibility and strength in the abdominals, hips, back, legs and arms. Besides strengthening the core, Pilates helps improve balance and coordination.

Kettlebells are an efficient way to get an intense workout in a short amount of time. Personal trainers at many gyms offer tutorials on kettlebells — a cast iron weight with a handle. During a kettlebell workout, people use one or two weights and go through a series of movements — often swinging the kettlebells. The workout tones muscles throughout the body and is more challenging for stabilizer muscles than traditional weight lifting.

So far, winter conditions have not been good for outdoor sports enthusiasts, but if weather patterns change and we get more snow, consider heading to Theodore Wirth Park to try cross-country skiing. The trails are part of the upcoming City of Lakes Loppet — a cross-country ski festival planned for Feb. 4–5. The festival includes more than a dozen events. The main race is 33 kilometers with the finish line in the heart of Uptown on Hennepin on Feb. 5. Another highlight is the Park Nicollet Luminary Loppet the evening of Feb. 4. The course winds around Lake of the Isles with a track lined with frozen ice luminaries. The Wirth Winter Recreation has 15 miles of groomed trails that accommodate both classical and skate skiers. The trails also connect to the Chain of Lakes trails. You can also cross-country ski at Columbia Golf Course in Northeast and the Hiawatha Golf Course in south Minneapolis. Ski passes are required for Minneapolis trials. They can be purchased at the Wirth Chalet, Wirth Par 3 Clubhouse or the Columbia Clubhouse. A daily pass is $8 and a season pass is $45. You can also take lessons at the Wirth Recreation Area. They are offered Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. If you need equipment, you can rent skis, poles and boots for $11. For more information, visit

Another fun winter pastime and workout option is skating at the Depot, 225 S. 3rd Ave. USA Today and MSNBC have named it one of the top 10 best places to ice skate in the country. The indoor rink has large windows with great views of the downtown skyline. Admission is $8 for adults (18-61) and $6 for seniors (62 and older) and juniors (17 and younger). You can rent skates for $7. For hours and more information, visit

For another indoor workout, try rollerblading at the Metrodome. The Rollerblade Rollerdome draws thousands of inline skaters during the winter months. The loop around the Metrodome’s concourse is about half a mile. The fee is $6.50 for adults, $5.50 for students and $4.50 for pre-teens and seniors. It’s $5 to rent skates. For dates and times, go to

For a free, no-fuss workout hit the skyways for some power walking. The skyways connect nearly 70 city blocks and span more than seven miles. For skyway maps, check out or

Taking an aquatics fitness class is a great way to escape the winter blahs. The downtown YMCA and YWCA have a wide range of group classes in the pool in addition to open swim time. The YWCA’s Midtown location has a new log rolling workout class. Olivia Judd, one of the top female log rollers in the country, teaches the class. For more information, go to

The Cowles Center for Dance and Performing Arts on Hennepin Avenue has just unveiled a new program called Open Door Dance. It’s a chance to learn new dancing styles. The January classes focus on ballroom dance, including the Foxtrot, Waltz, Rumba and Cha Cha. Classes are held on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month — 6–7:30 p.m. There will be a new style taught each month. Classes are $12 and will be held in the Cowles Center’s Target Education Studio on the second floor, 528 Hennepin Ave. S. For more information, go to