It’s hard to put your finger on what’s going to be big in the fitness world at the beginning of the year, but we think we’ve got a pretty good idea.
While 2016 was dominated by HIIT classes, wearable tech and an increase of workouts focusing on strength training, this year offers a whole lot more to get your heart racing.
We’ve compiled a list of the trends that’ll be storming ahead in 2017. Think playground fun, a fusion of workout classes and finding out the ‘why and how’ with informed fitness.
If you needed a bit of inspiration to get you going, this is definitely it.
1. Back To Basics
The trend for workouts to be more fun and childlike is coming to a head, including imitating babies in the phenomenon that is “crawling”.
Kris Roberts, trainer at ONE LDN said crawling “helps those stiff joints by helping to improve your fitness, strength and the all-important posture.”
“Crawling engages more deep core muscles that help flatten your stomach, strengthen your lower back and improve flexibility in your hips,” he said.
If crawling isn’t your bag, workout for free with water fights and high five by heading to Project Awesome, a community fitness drive offering free classes at 6.30am that inject a bit of fun.
Old-school favourites like tag, British Bulldog and frisbee (that will have you sweating like no tomorrow) are run by Rabble, a fitness regime with a ‘play hard’ approach.
2. Combination Classes
Classes are no longer a one trick pony, with workouts being combined giving you a hybrid fitness experience.
HIIT Yoga - 10 minutes of yoga then 10 minutes of HIIT repeated for an hour - gives people the combined benefits of an intense workout for your body and your mind in one hour.
“The benefits of HIIT Yoga are huge,” trainer Sasha Green told HuffPost UK. “Both forms help increase your overall body strength, improve fitness levels and is healthy for your heart. Another advantage to this workout is that no equipment is necessary, you can do it in the comfort of your own home.”
Yoga can be fused with pretty much any workout, including spinning - where you’ll spend half an hour busting your gut on the bike before spending the last 30 minutes as a calm yogi. Heartcore’s Ride2Tone promises to “leave you feeling stronger, connected and empowered both inside and out”.
Paola’s BodyBarre runs Boxerina - a mix between ballet and boxing, that focuses on the coordination and agility of ballet and the endurance, strength and power of boxing.
3. Express Workouts
If you can’t get yourself out of bed at 6am to workout and don’t have time after work, you’re in luck. 2017 looks like it’ll be seeing a growth in express workouts - the shorter, yet just as powerful classes you can do on your lunch break and be back to work in time to finish the day refreshed.
One of Frame’s newest 30-minute lunchtime classes is Frame Lift, that uses weighted barbells to build strength and burn fat. It’s a full body workout with classes starting between 12.30-1.30pm on weekdays. There’s no excuses really.
Barrecore runs a Signature Express Class for 45 minutes that’ll give you the same workout intensity and muscle burn-out as a longer session, but with quicker transitions between sets and less time spent on stretching.
4. Smart Fitness
Fitness fanatics are now setting their workout goals by learning more about the “why and the how” behind classes. Being more informed about your workout is only going to play to your advantage in the long run.
Heart rate interval training (a.k.a ‘OrangeTheory’) is designed to help you maintain a target zone in your workouts that “stimulates your metabolism and increases energy”. It’s pretty simple: You wear a heart rate tracker and monitor your heart rate on a screen, aiming to stay in the “orange” (optimum) zone.
Fancy taking it one step further? David Lloyd runs DNA Fit tests to find out why people may be struggling to tone a certain area, or lose weight from another. It’s as strange as doing a quick saliva swab to find out if learning more about your genes could improve your training schedule.
If you’re a runner, use this smart fitness trend to inform yourself about gait analysis and find out the way your body moves as you run. The analysis will help you find shoes that support you, as well as effective ways of running and stretching that will avoid injury.
5. Rough And Ready Boxing
See ya later boxfit and boxercise classes, boxing clubs are having a revival (and not just for men). People are no longer just heading to boxing classes in gyms, but checking out specialised clubs to learn the techniques in the ring.
BXR, London’s first boutique, boxing-themed gym, launches in January 2017 and hopes to bring boxing back to its core with professional athletes teaching the classes.
We’re under no illusion that this has something to do with Nicola Adams, the 33-year-old who made history as the first woman to ever win an Olympic gold medal in boxing, then went on to win her second gold at Rio 2016. What a rockstar.
6. Extreme Fitness
Are you entering in the New Year with an urge to push yourself and reinvigorate your workouts? Take advantage of your current mindset and by going to the extreme.
With the ‘Unlimited You’ campaign in 2016, Nike got people talking about the phenomenon by championing athletes who regularly push their limits. Their campaign touched on “endless possibilities and defying expectations”.
But take it one step at a time. Gymbox’s controversial ‘Flatline’ workout has been dubbed the “hardest and most dangerous gym class in the world” by testing all elements of strength and stamina in just 45 minutes. Be warned: Doctors and paramedics on hand in case anyone can’t handle the intense pace.
You can take “extreme” in a different light by taking your workouts to a new level with altitude training. Third Space Soho launched their “altitude chamber”, in 2016, designed to reduce oxygen levels get your body to work harder.
“Training at high altitude will get your body in peak condition giving you the edge,” Bobby Rich from Third Space told HuffPost UK. “Training in the ‘Hypoxic Chamber’ increases red blood cells which means your body can carry more oxygen and nutrients in the blood to the muscles, this allows individuals to work at a higher intensity.
“Red blood cells also carry away waste such as lactate quicker therefore allowing the athlete to have a higher lactate threshold and to recover quicker.
“2017 will also see the continued rise of people taking part in endurance challenges like IronMan and Ultra Marathons.”
There’s plenty to keep you inspired for your next workout - so get cracking.