Do you know where some of your favorite Group Exercise Classes originated?
As part of Welcoming Week we are celebrating the fitness classes we know and love from around the world! Did you know that Zumba originated in Colombia, Yoga dates back 5,000 years in India, and Tabata hails from Japan?  Read on to learn more about the history of some of the many classes held across our branches at the YMCA of Metro North!
Zumba– Founded in 1998 by Alberto “Beto” Pérez in Cali, Colombia. Pérez, an aerobics instructor, forgot to bring his regular music to his aerobics class. He happened to have cassette tapes of Latin dance music—salsa and merengue—and danced to them instead. The rest is fitness history!
Boxing– Humans have fought in hand-to-hand combat since living in caves but the earliest recorded evidence of fist-fighting competitions, according to Encyclopedia Britannica, was found on “Ancient Sumerian reliefs discovered in modern-day Iraq.”  That artwork dates back to 300 BC! The combatants wore no gloves, but did wear some type of strap around their wrists.
Cycling– In 1791, the Comte de Sivrac was spotted riding a rigid two-wheeled contraption called a celerifere. The first documented cycling race was a 1,200 meter race held on May 31, 1868 at the Park of  Saint-Cloud, Paris. Training for events led distance cyclist Johnny Goldberg to develop a “spinning” bike, and later a complete fitness program using the bikes.
Tabata– Training (also called Tabata protocol) is a type of HIIT (high-intensity interval training). It originated in the research of Japanese scientist Dr. Izumi Tabata and his team on high-intensity exercise during the early 1990s. Their objective was to find out if short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by shorter rests might condition the body better than a continuous moderate-intensity exercise.
TRX– Rope training has been around as early as the 1800s. But in the 1990’s, Randy Hetrick, a former Navy Seal and Stanford MBA graduate, developed the Total Resistance eXercise (TRX) equipment and the associated Suspension Training bodyweight exercises, and started marketing it in 2005.  It is currently used by personal trainers and Physical Therapists, as well as in classes exclusively using the TRX straps.
Yoga– Developed in Northern India over 5,000 years ago. The word yoga was first mentioned in the ancient sacred texts used by Brahmans, the highest Hindu caste of India. It is a group of physical, mental, and spiritual practices or disciplines. There are also variations put in use by westerners to suit western tastes, including yoga sculpt and hot yoga.