News

‘Vixen’ workouts blend fitness with girls’ night out

‘Vixen’ workouts blend fitness with girls’ night out

WORKOUT:The Miami Heat dancers perform during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors, Thursday, Jan. 2, in Miami. The Warriors defeated the Heat 123-114. Photo: Associated Press/Lynne Sladky

By Dorene Internicola

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Before the music begins members of the women-only exercise class, dressed in shredded tank tops, full makeup and wedged sneakers, pose seductively before studio mirrors and chant, “Yes, I’m sexy. Yes, I’m fierce. Yes, I’ve got this.”

Empowerment is a big part of the Vixen workout, a hip-hop dance class with a night club feel that fitness experts say offers a cardio girls’ night out to women who may be keen to channel their inner Beyoncé, Ciara or Rihanna, but wouldn’t be caught dead in a gym.

“It’s all about wearing your sexiest leggings, putting on your brightest red lipstick and taking your hair down so you can bend over and shake it,” said Jolie Bedini, 40, a single mother who takes a Miami Vixen class up to five times a week.

Fueled by the songs from rap stars Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Pitbull, the workout mixes sultry dance moves such as booty battles, kitten stretches and twerks with body lunges and squats.

“A bit of sexy dancing and you’re into the zone,” said Bedini, noting that the workout helped her lose weight.

Up to 100 women attend the party-lit, hour-long, mostly evening classes, which began in Miami and have spread to New Jersey, Los Angeles and Chicago.

The workout is the brainchild of Janet Jones, a former Miami Heat basketball team dancer and hip-hop performer.

Jones said the concept emerged from the invisibility she felt after her pregnancy and taking a nine-to-five job, a time she refers to as her black hole.

“Jennifer Lopez, Beyoncé, they’re all vixens. Beyoncé is the ultimate vixen but I think every woman has a vixen inside her,” Jones said.

She said encouraging clients to dress for a girls’ night out gets them into the performance spirit.

“Most of them have never experienced themselves as performers. All of a sudden they’re focusing on getting the movement, picking up the choreography. They work harder and lose weight,” she explained. “If I have no makeup and I’m in sweats, I don’t feel like a vixen.”

Shirley Archer, a spokeswoman for the American Council on Exercise, said the Vixen workout is effective.

“Everyone is getting their heart rates up and moving continuously throughout the routine,” said Archer, author of “The Everything Wedding Workout Book.”

Learning dance moves is also great brain exercise as it challenges the mind-body connection, coordination and memorization.

“The best exercise for you is the exercise that you actually do,” she explained. “Making the workout fun, like a girls night out at a dance club, is a great way to motivate women who enjoy dancing to keep on training, which is key to getting results.”

Jones said the women in the classes average 25 to 35 years old but some are in their 70’s.

“My mother-in law takes the class,” she said. “All women need a time for themselves to be a little rebellious.”

(Editing by Patricia Reaney and Richard Chang)

Recent Headlines

5 hours ago in Local

CWLP Dominates City Budget Hearing

2-10-16 Springfield City Council

A public hearing on Springfield's Fiscal Year 2017 budget was mostly dominated by one issue: City Water Light and Power.

6 hours ago in Local

Link Jokes: I Outlasted Obama Here

Obama speaks about the sequester in Washington

Legislative classmate feels like a proud big brother today

14 hours ago in Local

On Eve of Obama Visit, Rauner Pushes Agenda

rauner

Won't give up on "structural change"

19 hours ago in Local

Davis, LaHood Talk Presidential Visit

Barack Obama makes Thanksgiving Day phone calls to U.S. troops

The two Republican Congressmen whose districts include Springfield are ready to welcome President Obama to the Capitol.

22 hours ago in Local

U of I Menorah Vandalized Again

university illinois

A 9-foot-tall menorah at a University of Illinois Jewish student center has been damaged for a third time in less than a year.