Exercise trends typically come and go but some fitness fads have real staying power. Here are some of the most popular fitness trends from 2013 and a look at what trends we expect to see more of in 2014:
The Best of 2013
1. CrossFit: There’s little doubt that CrossFit dominated the fitness scene in 2013. The number of CrossFit gyms continued to grow exponentially and the numbers of participants registering for that CrossFit Games more than doubled. I predict that CrossFit’s popularity will continue to rise in 2014, despite its (many) critics.
2. Time-saving workouts: Short, highly explosive workouts gained popularity this year, particularly those that fell under the umbrella of High Intensity Interval Training, or HIIT. Exercisers discovered that they can get the same fitness and weight loss benefits by working out super hard for short bursts of time.
3. Barre classes: Inspired by ballet, yoga, Pilates, and traditional fitness, barre workouts provide a low-impact total body workout. Last year saw an increase in barre home workout DVDs, barre studios (like Pure Barre), and fitness centers offering barre classes.
4. Themed Races: From mud runs to color runs to obstacle courses, themed races were a big hit in 2013. With national races like Tough Mudder, The Color Run and The Hot Chocolate 15/5k, there was something different for everyone!
5. Body Weight Exercises Using your own body weight for a workout is nothing new, but it seemed to be “rediscovered” in 2013. Body Weight exercises like planks and squats will probably always be popular due to the fact that they are free and extremely accessible.
On Tap for 2014:
1. The Home Workout More and more people are discovering that you don’t have to pay a hefty gym membership each month to get a good workout. Working out in the comforts of your own home—whether by utilizing exercise DVDs, creating your own HIIT and body weight exercises, or online personal training—will continue to become a preferred method of training for many people.
2. Small Group Personal Training Working out with a trainer in small groups still provides individual attention, but it’s usually at a lower cost. Exercising in a session with a few other people also tends to bring out your competitive edge and provide a bit more motivation than one on one training would.
3. Dance Walking: This trend is a relatively new phenomenon that’s based on the simplest of exercises: dancing and walking. It’s easy to do (and there really is no wrong way of doing it), plus it’s free, accessible, and fun! Dance Walking proves that you can get a good cardiovascular workout while keeping a smile on your face.
4. Combination/Fusion Classes Group exercise classes that combine two different workouts (i.e. indoor cycling + yoga or Balletone) gained attention over the last few years but there are still many possibilities to explore! How about Bosu training meets Tae Bo…
5. Sport-Specific Skills Workouts Exercises that are designed to be utilized for specific sports are on the rise. Skills developed for training for football, basketball and soccer are are far from boring and provide a great workout. Adults love these workouts but they’re also an appealing method of exercise to young people.