The Worldwide Survey Of Fitness Trends For 2015, published in ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal and compiled by legit exercise professionals, have listed Body Weight Training as number one for the coming year.
Although using our own body weight as a form of resistance training isn't a brand new concept – in fact, they were all for it in the 80s – it's on the rise again and it's so much more than push-ups and planks! It essentially means doing away with machines and handheld equipment and using our own body strength as a means to get even stronger, and fitter.
We're happy to embrace body weight training as the new workout du jour, not just because it's cheap and you can do it anywhere. Here are some new upcoming fitness classes and tutorials that take inspiration from BWT...
This, weirdly, does exactly what it says on the tin. Animal Flow is a new workout created by US trainer Mike Fitch, which involves slowly moving through multiple planes of motion in animal-style poses while keeping your hands and feet in contact with the ground. Although some of the moves look pretty Zen, it claims to leave no muscle or joint unchallenged and judging by Mike's body, it's a seriously toning regime. It's based in the US but you can get the Animal Flow DVD here.
The guys at VA are in agreement with the Worldwide Survey, and their new classes stem from 'a desire to go right back to the basis of functional movement'. We're eyeing up Grid Active, which involves an obstacle course as a structure to navigate through, using each of the body's six primal movements – twist, pull, lift, bend, squat and lunge. The idea is that to get from one primal movement to the next, you need to get through an obstacle to reach it, and the focus is on increasing total body mobility and strength endurance. Signed up to Tough Mudder or the like? This is the perfect training.
If you followed our obsession with the Victoria's Secret models, you'll know ballet-inspired workouts are BWT training to a tee. From floor work including planks and arm rotations to leg lifts and squats at the barre, it's set to get even more intense as the Stateside trend of barre classes in heated rooms travels across the pond to the UK. The heat enhances the muscle stretch and releases toxins, but we can't promise it will take away the shake and burn associated with ballet workouts! We'll keep you updated when the first classes are announced...
Billed as the new Zumba, this cardio workout teams the power and vigorous reps of boxing with the specific toning moves of pilates, for a full body-transforming BWT session. If your focus for 2015 is beautiful lean arms, you'll love the fact that Piloxing instructors use weighted gloves to add to the natural resistance during the arm sections of each routine. Find your nearest class now!
Tracy Anderson – live!
The woman behind Gwyneth Paltrow's body, not to mention a favourite of Cheryl Cole, Kim Kardashian and Victoria Beckham, Tracy's 'muscular structure' work is devoted to body weight training. She actually bans any weights over 3lb in her studios, and instead focuses on using the natural resistance of our arms and legs in endless reps of small movements to tone and sculpt the body. It's a total killer, and new for 2015, Tracy is launching in-studio video streaming so anyone in the world can tap in to her classes live, and follow the moves at home.
Come 1st January, PureGyms across the UK will launch a new range of classes called LES MILLS GRIT. It's cheating a bit, as their Strength workout does include some barbell and weight plate work, but it's inspired and includes lots of body weight exercises too - and because it's just 30 minutes of team training, it's easy to fit in to your day.