What are the fitness trends for 2021?

Every year since 2007, ACSM – American College of Sports Medicine – publishes the results of the ‘Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends’, a comprehensive review that involves thousands of fitness and wellness professionals from across the globe including experts such as personal trainers, exercise physiologists, medical professionals, and gym club owners.

During 2020, we have witnessed an unprecedented acceleration in the awareness of how much physical exercise impacts one’s well-being with the reaffirmation that it’s one of the most powerful forces for good health.

The most important trends have emerged from this study in the fitness and wellness sector at a global level for the coming year. Topping the list for the projected 2021 trends by the annual ACSM’s Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends are the online exercise, wearable technologies and body weight training.

Top Fitness Trends for 2021

Here are the top fitness trends for 2021:

1) Online and Virtual Training

This may be the top fitness trend for 2020. The upward trend success with online and virtual training is certainly due to the alternating long lockdown periods and fitness center closures, but it has also opened up new perspectives for the foreseeable future, when the pandemic emergency has finally passed.

So, whether it’s at home or at the gym, they want to follow their passions – like running, cycling, rowing, strength or functional training – feel part of a community and workout with their favorite trainer or on their preferred virtual landscape.

2) Wearable Technologies

Wearable technologies, which have been on the podium every year since 2016, are also premiere standout trends for 2021. Fitness trackers, heart rate monitors and smartwatches are useful for both consumers and practitioners to monitor and store biometric data, prompting people to work on their performance and improve it over time.

Users can therefore keep track of their progress on each device for every workout on this equipment or even outdoors.

3) Body Weight Training

The global COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting restrictions have also encouraged the development of bodyweight training, virtual training and free weights (among others), all of which can be done at home with the right guidance. Body weight training uses the weight of the body as resistance, performing simple to complex movements.

There is now a full library of on-demand body weight workout and fitness clubs the possibility to produce their own workouts – both bodyweight or with equipment – and offer them to their members also at home.

4) Outdoor training

One of the most current growing trends, can be combined with indoor training. It can also simultaneously monitor and track other workouts with wearables and apps.

5) High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

It involves interval training sessions consisting of high intensity exercises followed by medium to low intensity breaks, which is also a novelty. Its key element lies in the reduction of workout time, which, due to the level of intensity, is effective even when performed for short periods. This type of training can be done in fitness clubs, but also at home or outdoors, and is therefore also one of the trends for 2021.

6) Fitness Programs for Older Adults

Exercise is perceived as an opportunity for wellbeing for everyone, including the elderly. People are living longer, working longer and staying healthy in retirement. This trend underlines the fitness needs of Baby Boomers and older generations, who generally have more money than younger generations. Fitness clubs could therefore benefit from this growing market.

7) Personal Training

Over the years, the figure of the personal trainer has evolved and become more accessible thanks to the internet in fitness clubs, as well as at home or in workplaces with gyms. People have finally realized that the role of the trainer is essential in assessing one’s condition, prescribing the correct training program, and offering achievable goals based on concrete needs.

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