The Latest Fitness Trends

By Jennifer Purdie

In 2018 we saw the resurgence of boxing, an explosion of high-intensity interval training (known as HIIT) gyms popping up, as well as advanced wearable technology flooding the market. 

As we begin the new year, we are interested in learning about the latest trends to help keep us in tip-top shape. So we consulted with experts who identified their top nine predictions — giving you a heads-up on what is the next big thing in staying fit.

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For those short on time, 2019 will work in your favor. Following the path of the popular cycling and HIIT gyms offering compact 60-minute classes, you should expect abbreviated versions of these to breeze into strip malls. “I think the days of one-hour workout classes are dwindling, and short 30-minute sessions, classes and programs will definitely continue to grow as people learn you can get a lot done if you do it the right way, with a lot of intensity and short breaks,” says Ashley Pitt, NASM certified personal trainer.

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With Peloton, you can work out anywhere with an instructor and class. In 2019, expect that same functionality to move to other cardio equipment, such as “treadmills, stair steppers and much more,” says Pitt.

“With new fitness streaming options coming to market each week and each offering 30-day free trials, I predict that people will experiment with a multitude of streaming fitness services before they find the right match,” concurs Frank Benedetto, DPT and board certified in sports and orthopedics. He expects fitness enthusiasts to perform long-time testing and potentially have one cheap, local brick-and-mortar gym membership.

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With the colossal success of the television show American Ninja Warrior, look for more local gyms to open following the same format. Already available in 18 states at the time of this article, “Ninja Warrior gyms feature an array of physical challenges including the famous warped wall, a vertical ramp that you have to run up and scale to the top,” says Marcello Pedalino, certified fitness trainer and  author of Celebrate Life.

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Mixing the popularity of Zumba dance with core work, new dance workouts such as the Cha Cha Challenge should take off. For example, Pedalino explains what a class would be like: “Can you do a 3-minute plank? Can you dance to the Cha Cha Slide? Now try doing a 3-minute plank while dancing to The Cha Cha Slide at the same time.”

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As another blended workout, the success of HIIT is now beginning to mix with other flexibility-based fitness classes — and more will come. Melanie Kotcher, HIIT Pilates instructor and wellness coach, teaches HIIT Pilates sessions. “The HIIT elements burn fat and boost metabolism quickly, while the Pilates elements strengthen, increase flexibility and decrease stress,” she says. “So, you’re getting the benefits from both techniques in one routine.”

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Rather than run on a treadmill and then lift weights, look for machines to come to market “offering people the chance to do resistance and cardio work using one contraption,” says Pitt. This saves time, space and money.

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It would behoove anyone working in the fitness industry, whether you are a personal trainer or boutique studio, to have an app. “I see studios that offer an app to book spots, make payments and cancel classes do really well,” says Alysa Boan, NASM certified personal trainer at FitnessTrainer.com and RealFitnessMaven.

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“Barre will start trending for all ages, genders and fitness levels,” says Monica Lam-Feist, ACE certified personal trainer and fitness lead at AlgaeCal. Although popular for a number of years, Lam-Feist foresees barre becoming a less-exclusive workout as people discover its benefits in helping gain flexibility.

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“Although this has been up and coming for a while now, the idea of being mindful is ever-prevalent in our never-stopping lives,” says Caleb Backe, certified personal trainer and health and wellness expert for Maple Holistics. You should anticipate mindfulness and meditation to remain a hot topic and new, quality apps to download that promote this idea of slowing down and living in the present.