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Five Fitness Classes I Wish We Had At Penn State

Penn State’s new and improved “FitWell” fitness department surprised students with new features this semester, including the ‘Book It’ reservation system and new group classes. As FitWell expands into new territory, I started thinking about what other classes I’d love to try at Penn State.

Without further ado, I give you my fitness class wishlist:

Hip-Hop Dance Class

This is at the very top of my list for a reason. Dance classes like Power Remix and Zumba seem to be some of the most popular classes at Penn State, but they’re less about getting the moves right and more about letting go and having fun. A hip-hop dance class centered on popular music and more structured choreography would be perfect for students new to dance and allow seasoned dancers to stay loose with a low-risk workout. The best part about hip-hop is that it’s one of the least technical genres of dance to learn, which makes it a good middle-ground between Power Remix and a high-intensity ballet or ballroom class.

Aerial Yoga

If Penn State FitWell is an overachiever in anything, it’s yoga. The department changes its class schedule every semester, but in the last few alone, the department’s offered five different variations of yoga: Hatha yoga, Vinyasa yoga, fitness yoga, yogalates, and now, warm yoga. Why not one more?

Aerial yoga or “anti-gravity” yoga takes elements of traditional yoga, pilates, and dance, throws them together, and teaches you balance and strength while you’re floating in the air on a hammock.

Pole Workouts

Ditch what you know about pole dancing and hear me out: Pole fitness is proven to be a great full-body workout, good for self-confidence, and a powerful way to get reconnected to your body and soul.

Pole fitness is already offered as a fitness class or campus organization at several universities in the United Kingdom. As Edinburgh University in Scotland puts it, “It is a great way to gain strength, flexibility and confidence, and make new friends. Don’t worry about being strong or flexible! Pole dancing is for everyone, regardless of shape, size, age, or gender.”

I understand that a room full of poles isn’t practical for other fitness classes (imagine bumping into a ceiling-high pole during Warrior pose three), but a girl can dream.

Hot (or Warm) Pilates

Warm yoga is my favorite addition to the FitWell schedule this semester and I want more. I’m a big fan of the pilates classes offered at the White Building as well, so I’d love to see the two combined into a more intense workout that targets my core and glutes. The movements in pilates are just fast enough that you don’t ever have time to just sit and sweat but not so fast that a beginner couldn’t handle the heat.

Trampoline Cardio

Again, not a class that is logistically easy to organize, but at least tiny trampolines don’t have to be permanently fixed in a studio. Instead of getting your cardio in on a treadmill or elliptical, though, what if you could get it bouncing around on your favorite childhood toy? Trampolines with bars attached allow you to hop on and off for an enjoyable but fast-paced and vigorous workout session. A class like this would be a perfect stress reliever for a college crowd.

What fitness classes are on your Penn State wishlist? Let us know in the comments below!

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About the Author

Gabriela Stevenson

Gabriela is a senior majoring in print and digital journalism and Onward State's student life editor. She is from Norristown, PA, which she normally refers to as "30 minutes outside of Philadelphia" (she looked up the exact driving time). She enjoys Broadway musicals, neck pillows, and eating cereal at night. To contact Gabriela, e-mail her at [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @GabiStevenson if you want to feel young again.


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