We’d all love a truly accurate crystal ball. Life would be so much easier! But it would take the analysis and speculation out of things and that would be a shame. The fitness world is always subject to such speculation and, with that in mind, I thought I would look at some fitness trends that have some strong momentum right now…

Top trends to follow

According to ACSM, the top fitness trends to follow are:

– Body Weight Training: Body weight training uses minimal equipment, making it more affordable. Not limited to just push-ups and pull-ups, this trend allows people to get “back to the basics” with fitness.

– High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT): HIIT involves short bursts of activity followed by a short period of rest or recovery. These exercise programs are usually performed in less than 30 minutes.

– Strength Training. Strength training remains a central emphasis for many health clubs. Incorporating strength training is an essential part of a complete exercise program for all physical activity levels and genders. (The other essential components are aerobic exercise and flexibility).

– Personal Training. Utilizing someone who has the proper education, training and credentialing have become increasingly important not only for safety, but for motivation as well.

– Exercise and Weight Loss. In addition to nutrition, exercise is a key component of a proper weight loss program. Health and fitness professionals who provide weight loss programs are increasingly incorporating regular exercise and caloric restriction for better weight control in their clients.

– Yoga. Based on ancient tradition, yoga utilizes a series of specific bodily postures practiced for health and relaxation. This includes Power Yoga, Yogalates, Bikram, Ashtanga, Vinyasa, Kripalu, Anurara, Kundalini, Sivananda and others.

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– Fitness Programs for Older Adults. As the baby boom generation ages into retirement, some of these people have more discretionary money than their younger counterparts. Therefore, many health and fitness professionals are taking the time to create age-appropriate fitness programs to keep older adults healthy and active.

– Functional Fitness. This is a trend toward using strength training to improve balance and ease of daily living. Functional fitness and special fitness programs for older adults are closely related.

– Group Personal Training. Training two or three people at a time makes economic sense for the trainer and the clients.

…And that’s not it!

In addition to the ones listed above, here are some other trends to look for:

– Parkour. No longer limited to teenagers hanging out in the urban jungle, Parkour is becoming increasingly popular with the fitness elite.

Developed in the 80s in the suburbs of Paris, this highly-skilled art of navigating across obstacles in the natural environment has started to move out of the streets and into the gyms.

Parkour, along with the rising popularity of Crossfit, is likely to breed a hybrid crossover between the pair in which strength, agility and gymnastic skills combine to create the ultimate workout. There will be greater focus on increased mobility, core strength and poise, as opposed to big, bulging muscles.

One hybrid that is gaining popularity is Street Workout. While parkour focuses on moving from one place to another in the most efficient way possible, street workout is all about using existing constructs to perform athletic feats and crazy calisthenics. It takes headstands, push-ups and pull-ups to an entirely new level.

– Surfing. You’ve all seen those mechanical surfboards they have at fairground and amusement arcades, right? Well, get set as they are set to appear in a fitness studio near you. If you are someone who prefers exercising in the great outdoors, then fear not. Surfing is also expected to reach new levels when Britain’s first inland surfing destination opens up in Snowdonia.

Wavegarden, the industry leader in the design and manufacture of wave generation systems, is creating the world’s longest man-made wave that will enable ideal conditions for surfing with 1.9m high tubing waves that peel for 200m.

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– Rebounding. Mini trampolines have been featured in workouts before, but the trampete is set to make a come-back in an arguably more fashionable way. For starters it’s had a name change; now it should be called a ‘Rebounder‘.

It is not just a simple case of bouncing up and down, training schedules include movements such as squats, hops and knee raises that help strengthen bones, improve muscle tone and best of all it is incredibly low impact, making it great for all ages and abilities.

– Cardio Tennis. Surely tennis involves a lot of cardio, doesn’t it? Well yes, you’re right, but this is designed to be a workout in which tennis based exercises are performed to up-tempo music and best of all you can expect to burn more calories than if you were playing a regular game of tennis.

Cardio tennis offers a sociable and fun, full-body workout on the tennis court. Classes currently run weekly in 850 venues around the country, but we predict, as popularity increases throughout next year, more and more will crop up.

– Childs Play. Imagine being able to play the type of games we enjoyed as children, as well as getting an all-around good workout. Ok, so childhood obesity may be a problem now, but back in the days when children didn’t have mobile phones, switching the channel on the TV involved getting up off your backside and actually pushing a dial on the set and social media was hanging out with your mates reading.

The idea is to disguise interval training as games like Tag, British Bulldog and Capture the Flag. In doing this, participants are so focused on fun and the competition to win that they don’t actually realize they are doing ‘proper’ exercise.

– Technology. Aside from products like FitBit and other fitness trackers, streaming technology is gaining in popularity. The streaming class is a welcome alternative to your traditional options: working out alone, working out with a personal trainer or taking a group fitness class.

Yoga and barre have been at it for a while, but will bigger players step in to make the streaming space more interesting and mainstream for other workouts?

– Healthy Living Continues To Go Mainstream. Perhaps this is as much a hope as a trend but unfortunately healthy living remains a counterculture today. The public is growing more concerned with nutrition and exercise, but two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.

This is partly because being healthy is hard, and often inconvenient and expensive, however things are changing as awareness is increasing and major food producers are switching to natural ingredients.

Focus on fun!

In summary the focus, it seems, is on fun. Although 2016 will no doubt see improved digital fitness trackers and advancements in scientific theories about what is best for us in terms of nutrition, health and fitness, what we actually want and what looks set to happen is somewhat more simple.

In a fit of nostalgia, we will see a return to social, fun-filled activities, which not only get our bodies working, but also provide us with a means of stepping away from the stresses of work and day to day life and allowing us to become big, carefree, kids – if only for a couple of hours a week.

To read more about Terry Linde, visit his Expert Profile.

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