Working out should be at least a little fun. If you’re languishing in your current routine, maybe it’s time to explore some other options. Here are five workout trends that are hot right now. Maybe one of them will infuse new life into your fitness regimen.
1. Aerial yoga
With its suspended silk slings and mid-air motions, aerial yoga garners lots of comparisons to Cirque du Soleil. Also known as anti-gravity yoga, this workout is said to help build flexibility and agility as well as core and upper-body strength.1 Plus, people who try it say it’s a lot of fun—so fun, they forget they’re working out. See what your local yoga studio has to offer. You may need to go to a special aerial yoga or aerial fitness training center.
2. Body weight training
Use your own body to get strong. That’s body weight training in a nutshell. This workout topped the American College of Sports Medicine’s Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2015.2 It first appeared as a trend in 2013 and has quickly risen to the top. The ACSM acknowledges that body weight training is nothing new, but “new packaging particularly by commercial clubs has now made it popular in all kinds of gyms.”
Examples of body weight training exercises include pushups, crunches, pull-ups, lunges and squats. Pretty basic, right? The simplicity and relative lack of equipment is part of what makes body weight training so attractive. You can do it most anywhere—at home, in the gym, from your hotel room, at the park, and so on. Fly solo or participate in small group training classes—see what your gym has to offer. Not sure where to start? Consider working with a personal trainer for a few sessions. CrossFit and bootcamps also incorporate body weight moves, though they are not strictly body weight workouts.3
3. High-intensity interval training
If you really want to sweat, turn up the intensity. High-intensity interval training, commonly called HIIT, is more or less what it sounds like: bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short recovery period.4 These workouts typically last around 30 minutes. They’re said to be an effective way to burn fat and build lean muscle mass.5 As with body weight training, you can come up with your own routines and workout on your own or join a group fitness class. More cardio-focused HIIT exercises don’t necessarily need equipment, but strength-building HIIT exercises may utilize jump ropes, boxes, kettle bells and other equipment.
Though barre may be inspired by ballet and created by a ballerina Lotte Berk, you need not be a dancer to try it.6 Though Berk started teaching barre in 1959, it’s really within the past 10 years it started catching on en masse throughout the United States.7 Utilizing a barre, barre classes typically blend dance, Pilates, yoga and functional training.8,9 The workouts are intense and will help elongate, strengthen and tone muscles. By now, barre studios and classes are cropping nationwide and you should be able to find one near you.
5. Streaming workouts
If you’re on a tight budget, travel a lot for work, or struggle to find classes or gym hours that work for you, you might consider streaming your workouts. Streaming workouts fit can be done anytime, anywhere (as long as you have wifi); plus, they tend to be inexpensive and even free.
Yoga, cardio blast, kettlebells, Zumba, indoor cycling—the options are abundant and ever-expanding as streaming workouts catch on in popularity. Some videos feature celebrity trainers. Others are produced by national fitness chains. You can find streaming workouts on YouTube channels such as BeFit, Popsugar, and JessicaSmithTV, and websites such as Fitness Blender, StreamFIT, Crunch Live, DailyBurn, Booya Fitness and Cycling Fusion.10,11 Paid classes may charge a few dollars per session or be part of a subscription. Some websites offer mix of paid and free workouts so you can sample before you subscribe.
1Gregoire, Carolyn. “We Tried It: AntiGravity Aerial Yoga.” The Huffington Post. April 21, 2013. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/carolyn-gregoire/aerial-yoga_b_3093050.html
2Thomson, Walter R., PhD, FACSM. “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2015: What’s Driving the Market.” ACSM Health & Fitness Journal 18, no. 6 (2014): 8-17. http://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/fulltext/2014/11000/worldwide_survey_of_fitness_trends_for_2015_.5.aspx
5Duvall, Jeremy. “8 Amazing Fat-Burning Intervals.” Men’s Fitness. N.D. http://www.mensfitness.com/training/cardio/8-amazing-fat-burning-intervals
6Hughes, Locke. “WTF Are Barre Workouts and are They Actually Worth Doing?” Greatist. Feb. 26, 2015. http://greatist.com/move/benefits-of-barre-workout
8Well+Good. “Well+Good’s Wellness Trends of 2015.” Dec. 2, 2014. http://wellandgood.com/2014/12/03/2015-fitness-wellness-trends-wellandgood
9Gallagher, Molly. “5 Reasons Why 2015 is the Year of the Barre.” Well+Good. Jan. 11, 2015. http://wellandgood.com/2015/01/11/whats-really-behind-the-booming-barre-trend/
10Douglas-Gabriel, Danielle. “The Fitness Trends That Will Rule in 2015.” The Washington Post. Jan. 27, 2015. http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/wellness/the-fitness-trends-that-will-rule-in-2015/2015/01/27/2f5c9d02-a0f3-11e4-b146-577832eafcb4_story.html
11Internicola, Dorene. “Streaming Fitness Videos Leave No Excuses for Procrastinators.” Reuters. Marc 2, 2015. http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/02/us-fitness-streaming-idUSKBN0LY1B320150302