Here are our favorite workouts of the year—nearly all of which you can download and do no matter where you’re sweating it out.
1. High-Intensity Interval Train
HIIT took the top spot in this year’s survey (it was also number one in 2014). A HIIT training session involves bursts of maximum effort, and very hard work (typically about 20 to 90 seconds), followed by a period of low-intensity recovery. The goal is to recover enough that you can go
hard again during your next work interval. If you are a beginner, you might have longer rest intervals or work intervals that are challenging but not at maximum effort. That said, because they are so intense, you should not be doing HIIT workouts every day. This can lead to overtraining and an increased risk of injury.
2. Group Training
Group training (or group fitness classes) did not make the top 20 trends until 2017, but their popularity is rapidly rising.No matter there are plenty of benefits of group fitness classes. They can be a great way to try a new workout or mix up your routine (many boutique fitness studios offer free or discounted first classes, as a bonus). There is also a social aspect—classes can be a fun way to sweat it out with friends or meet new people. Plus, when you sign up for a class, you are committing to your workout, which can help you stay on track with your routine.
3. Wearable Techno
Smartwatches and heart rate monitors are as popular as ever—if you are into seeing your workouts by the numbers, wearable technology can give you interesting feedback about how you move. Many estimate your steps, sleep,
standing time, calories burned, and time spent working out. Wearable tech is going beyond the Fitbits and Apple Watches people wear on their wrists, too! The sleek Motiv Ring was recently released, which tracks activity via
your finger. Smart fabric and textiles are also on the rise. Wearable X just introduced Nadi X Yoga Pants which deliver vibrational feedback to the wearer to encourage good form and alignment. And the vision is that Smart Glasses are gaining in popularity!
4. Bodyweight Training
Bodyweight training is popular thanks in part to its convenience. There is no equipment and minimal space required, so bodyweight exercises are great for any-time, anywhere workouts. Most bodyweight exercises are accessible for any
fitness level, and they are often easy to modify, too. Plus, your own body really is an incredible resistance training tool in its own right. Using your body weight during exercises including push-ups, squats, planks, lunges, and more can be an incredibly challenging and effective way to work your muscles.
5. Strength Training
Strength training has been a strong trend since the first year of the survey, according to the ACSM. And with good reason: Strength training is an extremely important element of any fitness routine cause it helps prevent the age-related decline of muscle mass, keeps your bones and heart healthy, and helps prevent pain and injury in everyday life.
6. Educated, Certified, and Experienced Fitness Professionals
Certification standards differ by organization, but in general, certification means that a trainer has taken a standardized test to demonstrate knowledge of gym safety, exercise form, and training principles.
There is also an increased interest in more regulation of the industry. Overall, it is important that fitness professionals know their stuff to lead clients and classes in a way that is safe and effective.
While yoga has landed on the trends list for many years, it moved up one spot in 2018. There is no shortage of styles to choose from, including Iyengar yoga, power yoga, Bikram yoga, and more, and each come in and out of popularity.
Devoted practices credit yoga with mental clarity and stress management, and it is also a great workout for improving flexibility and balance (which are important to an overall fitness routine). Depending on the style, it can also help build muscle strength and endurance.
8. Personal Training
Getting one-on-one time with a trainer can help many people reach their goals in a safe and effective way that works for them. Of course, personal training is not the only way to have an efficient and individualized workout routine—it can be pretty expensive, so while personal training can be helpful, it is also not realistic for everyone.
9. Fitness Programs for Older Adults
There’s a growing market for fitness programs that are tailored to older adults. After all, staying active is a great way for people to maintain bone and muscle mass with age, in addition to overall health benefits. In 2018, there may be more specific classes and fitness programs designed for retired people looking to make fitness a priority.
10. Functional Fitness
Functional fitness is defined as using strength training to improve balance, coordination, force, power, and endurance to enhance someone’s ability to perform activities of daily living." For example, a squat is a functional exercise because it also works the muscles you use to squat down to grab the phone you dropped.
Think of functional training as training for life, whether you are hauling boxes into a new home or reaching up to grab a suitcase from the overhead bin on a plane. It is about feeling strong and capable in all areas of your life—not just at the gym.