It's a new year - which means it's time for a fresh exercise regimen. If you found yourself in a fitness rut at the end of 2013, don't fret. No longer are you confined to running on the hamster wheel for an hour if you want to work out. In fact, some of the most popular ways to shape up this year are more interesting and, more importantly, more effective, meaning you can shorten your gym time. After all, it's about working smarter - not harder.
Try one of these 2014 trends for a crazy calorie burn:
Why do one workout when you can reap the benefits of two? A combo class divides an hour-long class into 30-minute sessions of two different exercise methods. The Los Angeles Daily News reported that both Sandra Bullock and Miley Cyrus are fans of this trend, and it's not surprising. Switching it up halfway through a class not only keeps you from getting bored, but may also prevent your body from hitting a plateau. There are endless possible combinations, but many of them include spinning, yoga and Pilates.
The philosophy behind High Intensity Interval Training is that you can get more out of your workout in a shorter time span if you give it 100 percent. In today's super busy world, a workout that gives you maximum results in just 30 to 35 minutes totally makes sense. Tabata training is one form of HIIT that is becoming especially popular. This method, which requires using your own body weight, barbells and dumbbells in short bursts of cardio, can do wonders for your overall physical well-being. Not only that, but going from 10 seconds of rest to 20 seconds of intense training seriously revs up your metabolism so you can torch more calories.
If you only have an hour to squeeze in your cardio, strength training and flexibility, fusion fitness - which combines all three into one session - is another solution. Personal trainer and fitness instructor Melanie Vollmer told WCPO the key to results is to stick with lower weights and increase your reps. A strength training session can instantly become cardio if you're moving fluidly from one move to the next and incorporating plyometrics. If you're brave, try one of the new fusion spin classes, which requires that you lift free weights while on the bike.
Trampolines aren't just for kids. In fact, performing aerobics exercises on them can help you to build up strength, sculpt your core and improve your stability - not to mention it's a lot of fun. Skeptical? E! Entertainment Television reported that Julianne Hough is one star who's been known to use this method.