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We can work it out

It’s 9 am on a humid Wednesday morning. From a basement in South Delhi’s Greater Kailash emanates a periodic hissing sound. As one climbs down the stairs, one notices a group of men and women exhale noisily as they lift what look like oversized tea kettles.

art and culture Updated: May 27, 2011 23:24 IST
Aasheesh Sharma

It’s 9 am on a humid Wednesday morning. From a basement in South Delhi’s Greater Kailash emanates a periodic hissing sound. As one climbs down the stairs, one notices a group of men and women exhale noisily as they lift what look like oversized tea kettles.

Rovika Prem, 35, a lecturer of commerce at Sri Aurobindo College, doesn’t flinch as she bends down to lift a 12-kg kettle. “This is my second class. Gradually, I want to increase the weight to 15 kg,” says Prem.

Prem is one of many fitness fanatics who have taken a fancy to kettle bell, a Russian workout now gaining converts in the national capital region. “I have earlier tried spinning, which works on isolated muscle groups. Kettle bell addresses the needs of the entire body.”

More and more people in the city are moving on from machine-led exercises like the treadmill and cross trainer and experimenting with workouts that are more “functional,” says fitness expert Anuja Singh, a sports therapist and consultant with Gold Gym.

In a conventional gym set up, you end up spending a lot of time on weight training. “Apart from being monotonous, the body adapts to the exercise quickly and after some time, you tend to plateau,” says Kiddy Kaul, instructor at Club Xcell, that teaches kettle bell and spinning.

So Fitness First in Gurgaon has introduced Jukari (Italian for play), which is based on movements pioneered by the Montreal-based acrobatic
company Cirque du Soleil. The workout uses suspension training and bodyweight exercises for toning up. “Most students return from the lessons
saying that it reminds them of their childhood when they swung from parallel bars,” explains Jukari trainer Charu Shankar.

Chanda Bharadwaj, 28, who works with a digital media company and her geologist husband Sumit, 30, attend Jukari classes together. “It targets
specific body parts like the back and abs. Suspended from a rod, you experience motor movements that you would not experience otherwise.”

IT consultant Vaishali Kumar, 30, chose to learn belly dancing at north Delhi’s Shyla’s Shapers to tone her body. “As a trained kathak dancer, I was drawn towards this graceful and sensual west Asian dance form,” says Kumar. “Exercise was never so much fun!”

Stuck in an exercise rut? It’s time you graduated from cardio and strength training — there’s a whole new world of workouts waiting to be explored.