Catch the new workout wave

Hot exercise trends taking Tel Aviv this summer.

SUP Yoga at Hilton Beach. (photo credit: Courtesy)
SUP Yoga at Hilton Beach.
(photo credit: Courtesy)
In Tel Aviv, where the omnipresent beachgoer is constantly striving to stay fit while having fun, it is no surprise that a diversity of innovative fitness trends regularly emerges to meet the ever-evolving interests of the coastal Mediterranean city.
While a regular routine on the treadmill or a couple of hours of pumping iron are year-long options, the White City houses a variety of unique exercise opportunities that provide fun alternatives to the monotony of the daily trip to the gym. Whether you want to get a few rays and pack in the vitamin D, whip your body into shape or simply switch up your regimen with something new and exciting, there is something for everyone.
Metro explores six fitness fads taking Tel Aviv by storm:
Sup/Sup Yoga
SUP (standing-up paddle) yoga, a trend emerging in beach communities around the world, has made its way to Tel Aviv. While taking advantage of the crystalline waters and expansive beaches along the city’s coastline, SUP yoga combines the practice of traditional yoga poses while balancing on a paddleboard anchored in shallow water.
This activity is suitable for people of all ages and expertise levels of yoga; the instructor can modify the lesson based on the experience and general fitness of the participants.
SUP focuses on a holistic approach to the ancient Indian practice of yoga, while simultaneously incorporating balance and core-strengthening exercise. Although the width of the paddleboard compares to the width of a yoga mat, the constant movement of the water adds an additional challenge and often makes it difficult to achieve more advanced poses. However, the ebb and flow of the ocean render a soothing and invigorating environment different from that of a traditional yoga setting on land.
SUP Yoga Tel Aviv instructor Leela Kalow says: “Yoga is about finding balance – both for the mind and body. When you’re out on the water on a stand-up paddleboard, you are challenging your balance and strengthening your core. Combining SUP with yoga takes it to a completely new level. Experiencing yoga out on the water under the sun is a wonderful way to practice – for yogis and non-yogis alike.”
Tip: Try to hit the board in the early-to-mid hours of the morning, when weather and sea conditions are best.
Where to go: SUP Yoga Tel Aviv, Hilton Beach, 054- 833-5122 (approximately NIS 100 per session, depending on group size).
N+TC Studio Tel Aviv
Sorry gents, this one is for women only. Head to the Tel Aviv Port during the month of May to take part in the free Nike+ Training Club (N+TC), which aims to motivate women to adopt and practice an active lifestyle.
The initiative is held under the banner of Nike’s International Women’s Campaign, taking place in major cities around the world. Israeli trainers lead workouts that bring some 120 to 150 participants to each of the three weekly sessions.
The N+TC Studio cycles between four types of training sessions, each lasting one hour:
• Get Lean: functional interval training, combining endurance work, muscle strengthening and explosive power and core muscle strengthening;
• Get Toned: strength and endurance training combined with exercises focused on the lower body, upper body, metabolic work and core work;
• Get Strong: moderate-to-high-intensity training combining strength exercises with challenging movement sequences;
• Get Focused: a 30-minute session of mind-body exercises inspired by yoga and Pilates that incorporates complex, dynamic sequences aimed at improving range of motion and strengthening core muscles.
The training sessions are free and open to all women aged 18 and above. Advanced registration is required and opens 48 hours before each class.
Reut Reuveni, Nike Israel communications manager, says: It’s a new concept that has just arrived in Israel, based on Nike’s live (N+TC) app. The sessions are conducted in a show-like atmosphere similar to that of a nightclub, a crazy atmosphere with a DJ that is completely special.”
Tip: If registration is filled soon after opening, try to sign up again a few hours later or the next day, as spots usually open up with cancellations.
Where to go: Nike N+TC Studio, Tel Aviv Port, Hangar 19; register online for free at:
Extreme Beach Training
There is no better place than Tel Aviv’s 14 km. of fine sand beaches to conduct a workout.
For a full-body conditioning regimen that combines TRX, sandbags, running and bodyweight-resistance exercises, the beach circuit training is designed to improve the strength, endurance and speed of the practitioner. The element of sand resistance adds intensity to the interval training, which combines strength conditioning and cardio.
The regimen regularly incorporates a different set of exercises to train various muscle sets and physical functions.
While this activity is not necessarily suitable for beginners, each participant works at an individualized pace.
Joel Yekutiel, founder of Outdoor Fitness Israel, says: “The concept of beach fitness is to combine bodyweight, sandbags and TRX. These combined on the sand create an ultimate full-body workout, which is much harder than a regular workout on the flat ground or grass – maximizing calorie burning even after the workout for up to 48 hours.”
Tip: Come prepared to push yourself to the brink of your physical capabilities. The more you put into the workout, the more you will benefit from it.
Where to go: Outdoor Fitness Israel, 054-686-5682 (free trial, subsequent pricing varies).
Due to its portable, easy-to-set-up nature, TRX (total resistance eXercise) offers an anytime/anywhere approach to fitness; group and private classes are available throughout the city’s outdoors sites.
Developed by US Navy SEALs, TRX utilizes one’s own bodyweight to develop strength, balance, flexibility and core stability. Through the use of a portable suspension band with two rubber handles that leverages gravity and the weight of the user, hundreds of variations of exercises for the whole body are possible.
Whether targeting upper body, lower body or core, the possibilities are endless. The repetition of movements along with the suspension supported by the straps makes for a total-body workout that effectively helps tone and increase muscular endurance. TRX can be modified to suit people of all fitness levels, from professional athletes to seniors.
TRX in the Park trainer Benny Schwartz says: “TRX is about control work in relation to the resistance of the band, from where solely bodyweight is utilized. It is a great option to improve the relative strength of the trainee.”
Tip: Try to keep yourself elevated in the TRX positions even if it is too hard to complete the movements. This static position will still help increase your strength.
Where to go: TRX in the Park, Hayarkon and Meir parks, 052-341-5266 (NIS 50 per session).
The global fitness trend founded in 2000 in Santa Cruz, California, which incorporates Olympic weightlifting techniques with intensive circuit training, has taken Tel Aviv by storm. The conditioning program usually incorporates a warm-up followed by a specific skill development session, culminating with a “workout of the day” before finishing with stretching.
CrossFit takes an all-around approach to fitness that works to improve 10 general physical components: cardiovascular/ respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.
Each individual’s fitness goals can dictate the direction of the CrossFit experience. While the program does not seek to achieve a specific body type, and is customizable, there is a certain set of people who seek to complete and become extremely sculpted. However, the average member’s targets can vary across the spectrum.
Jake Miller of CrossFit Tel Aviv says: “The beauty of CrossFit is that is can work for everyone. If you’re training for a sport it will help you improve strength, agility, speed and power to be successful in the sport. But if you just want to become more in-shape or have better fitness and health, it’s completely customizable and scalable.
Someone with a lot of experience can do it at a certain weight, while others can harness it in a different way based on their skill technique.”
Tip: If you are new to CrossFit, try the initial Elements Course, comprising four sessions that go over the elementary skills and exercises needed to create a foundation of understanding of basic technical principles.
Where to go: CrossFit Tel Aviv, Atarim and Dizengoff squares, 077-433-1853 (pricing varies).
Hot Pilates
Ready to get sweaty? Hot Pilates offers an intense yet relaxing aerobic approach to fitness and well-being.
Hot Pilates is performed in a “warm room” heated to 38-40º, with 50-percent humidity levels. The heat allows muscles to stretch optimally as connective tissue becomes more elastic, enabling flexibility and range of motion to increase while decreasing risk of injury. The extreme sweating process induced by the heat along with the necessary hydration help to increase metabolism, while the increased heart rate from aerobic activity improves heart and lung functioning and the effective burning of fats.
The aim of the heat is to increase cardiovascular endurance, muscular endurance, breath awareness, stress relief, muscle extension and improved posture. Upon exiting the heated room, the dripping sweat and sweltering heat are replaced by a refreshing sense of serenity.
Eitan, owner of Bikram Yoga Israel in Tel Aviv, says: “These activities are good in every season; the movement of the body creates a dynamic meditation that quiets the mind and consciousness. In summertime it is hot outside, but that makes emerging from the hot room easier to be outside.”
Tip: Make sure to hydrate before, during and after lessons.
To get the full effect, try to stay inside the hot room even if the temperatures seem intense. If you feel dizzy or unwell, sit down and notify the instructor.
Where to go: Bikram Yoga Israel, 14 Carlebach Street, (03) 624-1807 (NIS 100 for an initial week-long membership).
As the dog days of summer are approaching fast, the intermittent May conditions are ideal for working up a sweat. As with any effective fitness plan, regular practice and participation in any of the mentioned activities will spur regular improvement and bear the most results.
The social aspect of joining group fitness activities is also a benefit, as small communities emerge from continuous exercise with familiar faces.
Ori Bar-Zeev, a physiotherapist at the Sport & Spine clinic in Tel Aviv says the types of aerobic and muscle- conditioning exercises done with activities such as TRX, yoga and Pilates are highly beneficial as they condition the body and are used to help prevent injuries commonly seen in high impact activities such as running.
“As long as the participant knows their body and is aware of any injuries, aerobic exercises are not likely to cause injury,” he says. However, he says that overexertion can lead to injury, and recommends limiting physical activity to two hours at most.
“If the joints are too loose from overuse and pushing yourself to the limit of physical motion, you can get injured,” explains Bar-Zeev.
As summer approaches, he notes that hydration is key to preventing dehydration, overheating and injury.