Zumba Fitness Core (360, Wii)
Zumba is a Colombian dance fitness program created by dancer and choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez during the 1990s but its recently taken the world by storm with its Latin infused dance and aerobic. Majesco’s Zumba Fitness Core is the third entry into the series and it is the first fitness game designed to strengthen your core and sculpt your abs. With a broader selection of dance types and music genres, and an extremely focused approach in its routines, it’ll help you tone your body without having to do a single drill or lifting any kind of weight. But if you’re looking at this game as your introduction to fitness through Zumba, you may want to start with the less-grueling Zumba Fitness Rush. As a result, what this game does well is make you appreciate how much stability a strong core can offer — and how having one maximizes what you’ll get out of the high-intensity routines. Core’s fixation on fast footwork and quick-changing choreography (which mixes up recognizable dance patterns, moves inspired by the dance styles, and some gym drills) may not be for the faint of heart.
Headlock Tip: Zumba is a form of rhythmic movement. Rhythmic movements don’t just burn calories, they strengthen bones and builds essential core muscle mass, burning those love handles!
Sports Champions 2 (PS3)
With such positive critical acclaim, it was inevitable that San Diego Studio and Zindagi Games would team up again to deliver a fresh set of wand-waggling sports. Sports Champions 2 proves once again to be a good reason to get friends together for some competitive multiplayer action. Featuring six mini-games: skiing, golf, boxing, archery, bowling and tennis, you’ll soon find your favorite sports and probably stick with them. Four players can gather around the screen and partake in a wide range of challenges and the online leaderboards and Facebook connectivity means that you can boast about your achievements to others by taking an augmented reality photo and play the game solo in a bid to rise up the online ranks. Sports Champions 2 may not be the most “physically demanding” on the list but invest enough time playing tennis or boxing and you will feel the burn in your arms and waist.
Headlock Tip: Tennis is proven to build arm and shoulder strength and burn fat when performed at high-intensity. Go the extra mile with wrist weights and feel that burn.
Nike+ Kinect Training (360)
With the launch of the Nike+ Fuelband earlier this year, then swiftly followed by the Nike+ Training and Basketball apps, which were designed to work with special Nike+ connected shoes, Nike is ready to take tech to millions of homes around the world, with Nike+ Kinect Training. Upon selecting either a male or female instructor, you are first put through a basic fitness test to evaluate what needs to be improved. There are lots of modes, ranging from Challenge Drills, to five-minute sessions. Surprisingly, the game can identify specific weaknesses – for example, if one side is stronger than the other – and then tailor workouts to suit your needs. Working very much like an exercise class, the instructor first shows you a move, and then you repeat it a specific number of reps. At the end, workout data is saved and can be tracked on graph, or sent to central Nike+ servers for a breakdown of Fuel across platforms. If motivation is lacking, there is a Group Training section. This allows you to work out with a friend, or challenge other Nike+ users from around the world.
Headlock Tip: With cardio exercise, it’s easy to increase your calorie burn with small changes: Going faster, jumping higher, holding positions longer or trying new activities that your body isn’t used to, will give you the edge you’ve been looking for.
Perform high-intensity movements and repeat. This metabolic conditioning called basketball trains your fast-twitch muscle fibers. Incorporate 1 game per day and enjoy those chisel legs, arms, and core.