Fitness 2021: 4 Exercise Trends a Personal Trainer Hopes to See More of This New Year by Dawn Taylor
With a new year many people resolve to get fit. The coronavirus pandemic has many complaining about the quarantine 15. To help lose those extra pounds and get healthier in 2021, here are some fitness trends I am behind:
1. HIIT Workouts
They have been around for a while and have recently seen a surge in popularity because they work. Usually short in duration, they involve short blasts of all-out effort followed by short rest periods. I often go with 45 seconds with 15 seconds rest, but it can be split with shorter active periods, 20 to 30 seconds with 10 seconds rest for example, as long as you follow effort/recovery during the workout.
You can do them without any equipment, so you can do them anywhere. Throw in some jumping jacks, sprints, squats, whatever and you have a workout. I like to do eight to 10 exercises and do as many sets as can be done in 30 to 45 minutes. Even a 20-minute HIIT workout is effective. They are convenient and time efficient.
2. Functional Fitness
This is fitness that mimics everyday movement, with or without weights. Squats are a great exercise no matter how you do them, but they are not just effective in strengthening your glutes, legs and core. They also mimic a sit to stand range of motion. Who doesn't want to be able to get up and down easily as they age? It might seem a simple thing but it is one of the first things my older clients complain about.
Overhead shoulder press? Think about the movement you use when you push things up onto a high shelf, or the overhead baggage compartment on a plane. Functional fitness. I use this all the time with clients and in my classes. Even younger clients want a stronger core and in sports and everyday activities squats will be literally at the core of much of what they do. Side lunges, reverse lunges, jump squats, to name a few, will also transition to an athlete’s given sport.
3. Virtual Fitness
With the pandemic the move to virtual classes was inevitable and with no end in sight to COVID-19, and many areas closing down again, I don’t see this one ending anytime soon. Many of my students actually love the Zoom format because of the convenience. You don’t have to leave the house. You can shower at home, or skip it altogether (but I don’t recommend!).
I live in Northern New York, and in the past had to worry about inclement weather. Now I have only had to cancel class due to internet issues but only a couple of times since March. Even when gyms open again, I will likely still offer the virtual option.
4. Resistance Training Without the Gym
Body-weight exercise should always be at the center of any workout program in my opinion because many people don’t have access to or can’t afford a gym. Squats, lunges, planks, bridges all can be done without any equipment at all and are effective at building strength, and improving balance and flexibility. I always teach clients these basics and when the pandemic shut things down I received many emails thanking me for this.
Dumbbells and other free weights are added but again, no gym needed, so people can travel or miss gym hours and not worry about missing a workout. Gyms are great for many things but becoming reliant on them is not a good idea. Machines serve a purpose, but body weight and free-weight exercises can be done anywhere. At home I have resistance bands, a few dumbbell sets and a few kettlebells. Even before the pandemic I always had these on hand.
In 2021 we’ll eventually see the return of some normalcy, and with that gyms will open up again (in some areas they already have) however, I hope to see more people becoming more self reliant for their workouts.
Have a happy and healthy new year!
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