Fitness mogul Natalie Uhling combines cardio dance movements with toning exercises for one energetic workout.
—Photo courtesy of Under Armour
The Mile High City is bursting with ways to tone your tummy (and your thighs, and your biceps). Every month, new fitness studios open—all with methods sworn to revolutionize the way you work out. While they can’t all be the right fit for everyone, it's worth giving them a try. (Plus, we can never have too many exercises in our repertoire, right?) We’ve decided to explore as many as we can, one by one, to help break down your options—and hopefully help our readers find the workouts that work for them. No more excuses: Your perfect fitness regimen is waiting for you.
Sweat Meter (1–10): 10
Instructor: Natalie Uhling, dancer, former competitive cheerleader, Under Armour athlete, and celebrity trainer (her clients have included Olympic soccer gold medalist Kelley O’Hara, rising tennis star Sloane Stephens, and just this week, the Denver Broncos cheerleaders)
Format: 45 minutes of high-intensity cardio dance moves followed by 15 minutes of toning exercises using a ball, light free weights, gliding discs, and a mat (think: lunges with one foot on the disc and different kinds of crunches holding the weights while clutching the ball between your knees) all set to a thumping bass. The choreography changes every week and spans the workout spectrum, from more traditional fitness moves like burpees to dancier elements like a step-ball-change. All are tied together in a routine that you learn in two parts, with frequent breaks for water and sweat-mopping—since you’re both exhilarated and out of breath within a minute of starting the class.
Watch for Uhling to bring NUFit Box, in which the dancing portion is replaced by high-energy punches, to the Denver area; she says she's taught it in New York but hasn't launched it locally yet.
What it’ll (allegedly) do: Transform your whole body if you attend regularly, but specifically sculpt your abs and glutes
Why it works: Mixing different types of workouts allows your body to never get too comfortable, and Uhling’s combo exercises work muscle groups in your abs, arms, legs, and glutes, so no area is left stagnate.
Where it’s offered: Pura Vida Club mostly, but you can find Uhling many Saturdays at 9:30 a.m. on the roof of Jackson’s downtown, teaching NUFit x Outdoors to a playlist spun by Denver DJ Skeena. Pura Vida members can catch NUFit Mondays at 8:15 a.m. and 6:30 p.m., Tuesdays at 8:30 a.m., and Wednesdays at 1:15 p.m.
What you’ll need: A large water bottle and towel (maybe two of each) as the sweating doesn’t stop in this zero-to-60 class. Pura Vida supplies all other materials, but you’ll want to bring a yoga mat if you're attending the class at Jackson’s.
Price: $20 for a Jackson’s class; try three days of Pura Vida for free before committing to a membership by contacting [email protected].
Favorite moves: For cardio: Jump straight up, land in a squat and then do a 180-degree jump so you’re facing the opposite direction. To tone: Start in a plank position, then slide your right foot across the floor until it’s sticking out on the other side of your body below your stomach. Return to your starting position, then bend your right leg and slide it forward next the right side of your body until your knee is parallel with your shoulder. (This will work your abs and your obliques.)
Instructor insight: “You have to be present in class. I don’t want a class where you get on the bike and just tune out, wheels going, going, going,” Uhling says. “You have to be present; you have to know where your body placement is…You’re getting different choreography, different lessons every time you come into my class, which makes you want to learn more, know more about your body, and you’re just excited to come.”
Doesn't sound like the right fit? Check back next week as we explore other fitness classes in the Denver area.
Follow Mary Clare Fischer on Twitter at @mc_fischer.