The Top 5 Fitness Trends You Should Try Now
By Amanda Bombay, BS, ACE CPT, RYT-500
Group Exercise Coordinator, Virtua Fitness Center – Moorestown
Ready to change up your workout? Exercise fads come and go, but these 5 fitness trends are likely here to stay. Read on to decide if any of them are right for you.
Barre workouts have been on trend for a few years, and have continued to grow in popularity. Barre fuses a ballet barre with dance exercises, core strengthening, cardio, Pilates and muscle toning with light weights. The combination is designed to improve strength, flexibility, definition and endurance, while emphasizing balance and posture. The workouts are accessible to people of all ages and fitness levels, as you can scale the intensity to match your ability level. Older adults may appreciate that the barre itself offers balance and support. And the low-impact movements mean barre is a safe choice even if you have knee or back problems.
30-Minute Classes (High-Intensity Interval Training or HIIT)
A typical group exercise class can be almost an hour, but this fitness trend cuts the time in half. These shortened workout sessions can take a variety of forms, but what they share is their high intensity. Movements are usually high impact, as well. Studies have shown you can actually burn more calories in an intense 30-minute session than you can during a more moderate, hour-long effort. These workouts are a great choice if you’re trying to lose weight, or if you just don’t have as much time to spend at the gym. But, come ready to sweat.
Mindfulness in Motion
The mindfulness trend has arrived at the gym, as people have grown increasingly aware of the need to proactively care for their minds as well as their bodies. In these workouts (commonly yoga or tai chi), meditation is incorporated with physical movement. For beginners, meditation can be surprisingly hard, but you can count on your instructor to talk you through using strategies like guided visualization and breathing exercises. Many gyms, including the Virtua Fitness Center, even offer meditation-only classes, a great way to unwind and turn off your busy mind.
It’s been more than a decade since Latin dance-inspired group exercise classes exploded onto the fitness scene. And it’s a trend that’s continued to grow—in popularity and diversity. You can now find dance workouts in an increasing number of styles (at Virtua alone we have hip hop, ballroom, and belly dancing). The best part of a dance fitness class is the music; you can get lost in the rhythm and lyrics and forget you’re also getting a great workout. The intensity and impact of the dance moves can also be adjusted based on effort, so beginners are always welcome.
Team-Based or Small Group Workouts
With team-based fitness, you work out with a partner using movements designed to challenge two people at once: think partner push ups with a high-five between reps, or throwing a weighted ball back and forth. At the Virtua Fitness Center, we offer small group training, ideally with a group of 4 to 8 people. Having another person (or 7) counting on you to do your part is a great motivator to show up and work hard.
Updated December 19, 2017