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We Tried The Latest Fitness Trends (So You Don’t Have To)

by Fabian Jackson

5min read

We tried out some of the hot fitness trends tipped to be big in 2021 to see what we thought, what they’re all about and if they’re worth a go!

Fitness trends seem to come and go on our Instagram feeds as quickly as topical memes and Normal People shots (actually, Normal People is here forever). But though the latest workout craze might seem ever-changing, they’re often rooted in more constant forms of exercise with shifts in attitudes or metrics – here are our thoughts.

Woodland trail

1. Being outside

So according to Marie Claire, the top fitness fad of 2021 is being outdoors – from hiking and trail cycling to non-treadmill running and wild swimming: the possibilities are endless here and the idea is simple enough. 

There’s an aspect of being present to this one that goes perfectly with spring and spotting nature blooming back into life that’s an added boost to any workout. 

Thoughts: This fitness ‘trend’ might not be anything new, but highlighting the importance of being outdoors can only be a good thing after a year of zoom meetings and quizzes. It’s endlessly adaptable to whatever form of exercise you love! 

woman doing sit ups

2. Virtual classes 

It’s undeniable that virtual everything has continued to dominate our lives in the start of 2021, so why would our fitness routines be any different?

From online gym memberships and one-off paid classes to free resources like the depths of Joe Wicks’ Youtube page, it isn’t hard to find an online class, but finding an instructor or technique you connect to is just as tricky as it was in person. 

Thoughts: We started Barrecore classes recently on Zoom. Getting the same experience at home as in a gym class seems like a tall order – no access to equipment and individual feedback felt like it could be a setback, but these exercises and the instructor’s knowledge translate really well to a living room! 

meditating

3. Bringing awareness to breath 

Held breath when working out can be a recipe for injury and Men’s Health listed breathing exercises as one of their fitness trends to watch this year. 

Practices from yoga to weight lifting have breathing deeply rooted in their workouts and for good reason – it can help you achieve a better flow, stamina, strength and delays fatigue. Men’s Health cite Wim Hof’s book as their reference.

Thoughts: We applied some of these principles to a routine work out and did notice better levels of endurance. Definitely try to focus on breath no matter the workout.

woman skipping

Photo credits: iNews

4. Virtual challenges and fit-spiration 

Another online medium here, but this time one that’s in the hands of fitness influences. Even more than just Tik Tok dances, we’ve seen this space become a fluid and forceful movement. 

We turned to Lauren Jumps who picked up a skipping rope for the first time at the start of lockdown and now has over 267K people watching (and learning) her intricate choreography on Instagram.

Thoughts: We tried a few of her basic combinations, but serious commitment is needed to reach her level – hats off to Lauren’s dedication!

mindful person sitting

5. Increased wellbeing and mindfulness 

This one might not be linked to a specific ‘exercise fad’ but has references in ancient spirituality and the modern wellness movement. It’s also something Glamour have their eyes on too.

Connecting your health and fitness routine to wellness might not immediately seem as easy as dipping into an abs class when you have a spare 20 minutes, but it can start with taking time to check in with yourself more regularly during the week. Regardless of your chosen method of physical exercise, this aims to bring different aspects of your life back together, resulting in healthy minds, hearts and bodies.

Thoughts: Check out our favourite apps for mindfulness here and see what we thought of them. 

woman doing yoga

6. Exercise as preventative medicine 

This last ‘trend’ is two-fold, aiming to prevent sickness and injury.

Getting a regular sweat on can not only improve your fitness but also your health. It seems like the term ‘health and fitness’ will continue to be of equal importance throughout this year.

Secondly, gym-goes are focusing more on form and good practice at a base level rather than reaching for heavier weights and pushing for a final painful rep. Admittedly this can prove harder to do without a friend or instructor in the room, but listening to your body, training functionally and building up slowly is key. 

Thoughts: Relaxation, stretching and active rest are big players here and are some of our favourite parts of a workout.

Let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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Fabian Jackson
by Fabian Jackson

Fabian is one of our lovely Content Marketing Assistants who loves writing almost as much as he loves coffee, old episodes of Escape to the Country (no judgement here), and cooking up a storm in his kitchen.

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