HIIT is here to stay. And, while we love HIIT, there a few other trends on our radar for 2017 — from recovery classes to wearables. According to experts and data from fitness organizations like the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Council on Exercise, you should get ready for more technology, recovery, on-demand training and functional movement.
1. HIGH-TECH TRACKING
You may not see the most high-tech equipment on the gym floor, because it might be in your trainer’s office. But your trainer might have you hop on machines to measure your body-fat percentage or to see how much muscle is in each limb. TMPL, a 40,000-square-foot gym in New York City that touts itself as “aggressively intermingling science and medicine,” even has a machine that rotates 360 degrees around you to measure the circumference of your waist, hips, thighs, calves — just about everything.
The point of all of these gizmos is to track how your body is changing. “People are really getting into metrics right now and using technology to get fit and measure progress,” says Joy Keller, executive editor of IDEA Health and Fitness Association. Some trainers have their clients wear fitness trackers and upload their info to apps so they can see what they’re eating, how they’re sleeping and how all of that impacts their fitness. “That which you measure gets improved,” Keller says.
2. RESTORATIVE AND RECOVERY CLASSES
Perhaps to balance out high-intensity interval workouts, classes like restorative yoga and even foam rolling are going to rival HIIT in popularity.
“We’re realizing you shouldn’t do HIIT every day,” says Keller. “You need to let your cortisol levels come down.” Too much of a “go hard or go home” approach without time to recover can wear a person down, physically and mentally. These classes will help you perform better not only in your workouts but also in your everyday movement, experts say.
3. ON-DEMAND FITNESS
Virtual group exercise classes have grown by almost 400% in the last three years, says Stephen Tharrett, co-founder of ClubIntel, a brand insights company. Now, thanks to programs like Daily Burn, FitFusion and Qinetic, you can follow along with a live workout from anywhere you get wifi.
“Most people want to exercise but don’t know what to do, and many people feel a little self-conscious about exercising in front of others,” says Pete McCall, host of the All About Fitness podcast and spokesperson for the American Council on Exercise.
4. SMALL-GROUP TRAINING
Boutique fitness studios aren’t going anywhere, but classes are going to get smaller. “Millennials want social exercise with their own tribe, and they want personal attention and guidance — all for an affordable price,” Tharrett says. So rather than one-on-one personal training, we’ll see more group personal training and small-group fitness classes. It’s a great two-for-one: You meet your fitness needs while feeling like part of an encouraging community.
5. INCORPORATING FUNCTIONALITY
In addition to the traditional warmups with jumping jacks and cooldowns with stretches, expect a focus on mobility and functional exercises that mimic your sport before and after workouts. There are two reasons for this. The first is to train your body to move dynamically.
“If all you do is bench press, and you twist accidentally, you can injure yourself,” Keller says. “Instead, you want to train in all ranges of motion, which helps prepare people for day-to-day life.”
The second reason is to combat the unhealthy consequences of technology. “We’re seeing a lot of people with wrist, hand and neck problems because they’re staring at their phone all day,” she says.