Top 8 Fitness Trends for 2021

three panels: person weightlifting, person outside, group fitness class

What’s hot, and what’s not, in global fitness this year!

The huge Covid-19 fitness repercussions we all experienced in 2020 have changed how we approach exercise in 2021. 

Clubs, trainers, and exercisers worldwide have had to pivot from their traditional fitness experiences and offerings to embracing distanced and virtual fitness and wellness experiences.

With that in mind, check out the Top-8 Fitness Trends for 2021, courtesy of the American College of Sports Medicine’s (ACSM) annual global survey.

Perhaps the biggest beneficiary of the Covid-19 pandemic, online training has grown exponentially over the past year, with no sign of slowing down. Online training can be done at any time, in nearly any location, and through livestreaming or recordings. Many facilities and trainers have grown to provide online training within their offerings, since it provides a way to keep exercisers and clients connected and engaged.

A hot trend since 2016, wearable technology includes smart watches, fitness trackers, heart rate moni-tors, and GPS tracking devices. Used to record workouts, track heart rate, measure oxygen levels, and monitor sleep, among a myriad of other options, wearable technology is estimated to be around a 100 billion dollar industry.

Body weight training appeared for the first time on the trends survey in 2013 (at no. 3) and was in the no. 2 position in 2017, no. 4 in 2018, and no. 5 in 2019 before dropping to no. 7 in 2020. The study not-ed body weight training uses minimal equipment, which makes it an inexpensive way to exercise effectively.

Perhaps because of the Covid pandemic, this trend has skyrocketed up the index – from no.17 in 2019, no.13 in 2020 – all the way up to a top-4 spot for 2021.  Outdoor activities such as small group walks, group rides, or organized hiking groups have become all the rage with many exercise enthusiasts.

5. HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training). 
This form of exercise continues to popular in gyms all over the world and has been in the ACSM’s top five fitness trends since 2014.
HIIT exercise programs include bursts of high-intensity exercise, followed by short periods of rest and recovery, making them ideal for completing efficient workouts in 30 minutes or less. HIIT incorporates cardio, strength training, or a combination of the two.  

Separate from the no.1 trend online training, virtual training usually consists of group training workouts that are displayed on large screens in gyms. 
This style of training tends to attract fewer exercisers than live workout classes, but it provides exer-cisers from a variety of fitness backgrounds the ability to participate in the workout at their own pace.

Our seventh trend is a global initiative to encourage physicians and healthcare workers to assess pa-tients’ physical activity and give recommendations as part of routine visits.
Exercise Is Medicine (EIM) has been growing in popularity over the past few years and aims to promote the notion that physical activity is linked to optimal health and can play a key role in the prevention and treatment of many medical conditions.

After making its debut at No.4 in 2020, this super-popular training activity may be one of the victims of a post-Covid world, just making the Top-8 list for 2021.
Strength training with free weights includes free weights, kettlebells, barbells, dumbbells, and medicine balls. (NOTE: This activity does not include all exercises undertaken in a gym, such as using plate-loaded machines, for example).

NOTE: All claims and calculations in this article provided by the American College of Sports Medicine.    
DISCLAIMER: Please consult your doctor if you have any medical conditions which may impact your ability to exercise OR begin a gym program.

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