Pound it to stay fit!

Pound it to stay fit!

Are you tired of hitting the gym and doing the same set of exercises? What if you could lose oodles of weight, get a toned physique while listening to some foot-thumping music and using a pair of drum sticks? Pound, also known as pound fitness, is a new form of workout, which became hugely popular in the US last year. It has, since then, gained many followers across the world, including India.

What is pound workout?

Described as a cardio jam session, inspired by the infectious, energising and sweat-dripping fun of playing the drums (as mentioned in its official website), it combines cardio, conditioning, and strength training with yoga and pilates-inspired movements. The drum sticks, known as lightly weighed ripstix (each of them weighs almost a pound), are used to drum on the floor with high-tempo music playing in the background.

Priti Panchmatia, a pound fit instructor, says, "It's a superb form of cardio exercise that tones the entire body. Each session lasts for 45 minutes including warm up and cool down, and can be done by people above 16 years of age. When you are sitting on the floor and drumming, it works out your upper body; while squatting and lunging, you are working out your lower body. It is ideal for your upper body, quadriceps, shoulder, back, triceps, biceps, abs, calves and hamstrings. There are different variations of different intensities."

A fun exercise regime

Priti describes it as a fun routine where the atmosphere is electric, as the lights are turned off and disco lights are on. The songs, each of them spanning two to four minutes, are a combination of rock, rap, dubstep, pop and old-school hits and have been selected by Pound founders Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom. Their passion for music and drumming, coupled with a lack of inspiration for gym workouts,
prompted the duo to discover pound fit.

Benefits galore

The benefits of pound are manifold. One can burn over 900 calories per hour. As it engages the entire body, it strengthens and sculpts infrequently used muscles. It also helps improve hand-eye coordination and concentration, as one has to match steps with the beats of the music. As it's a fast-paced workout where the drums have to be played to high-tempo songs, it enhances your speed, agility and endurance. As mentioned in its website, numerous studies have proven the powerful brain boosting, stress-relieving effects of drumming. The rhythm of drumming permeates the entire brain to improve focus, decrease chronic pain, anxiety, and fatigue.

Shraddha Khade, who has been attending pound fit classes regularly, says it's rejuvenating. "Earlier, I would workout at the gym regularly. But after a point, I was bored with the same old routine exercises. When I tried pound fit, I fell in love with it. It's such a fast-paced workout that you are constantly on your toes. The upbeat music and the fast pace rev up your spirits instantly. It's a perfect way for me to
start off my day on an energetic note."

Good for posture

Pound fit instructor Jignya Johri believes that it is an apt exercise for us Indians, as most of us suffer from bad posture. "Apart from improving your fitness levels and helping you to build muscles, it also improves your posture. Most Indian women have a lot of postural issues. This workout helps you maintain a right posture, as you are sitting on the floor and drumming for long intervals. When your posture improves, you start feeling fitter. Your blood circulation improves, cardiovascular diseases are at bay and your mood is enhanced."

However, Priti has a word of caution. "People who suffer from back pain should be careful while doing this workout. They should follow it under proper guidance, otherwise they may injure their back. When you are drumming on the floor, you are bending and coming up, so you need to follow a proper form. If you don't do that, then you can hurt your back."

Anytime, anywhere

Since the ripstix aren't too heavy and are handy, you can carry them even when you are on a holiday with your friends or family. All you need is a yoga mat to sit on, ripstix, comfortable, light-weight clothing (t-shirt and yoga pants), sneakers so that you don't hurt your feet and some pound fit tracks, and you are ready for your own personal pound fit session.

So, if you are on the lookout for an exercise regime that helps you beat the blues and achieve a svelte figure, then pound fitness is just the workout for you.

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