As your health and fitness dreamer, I have conversations about fitness trends everyday.
Every year there are new workout trends, and have been since the beginning of time. I am thankful that several of these workout styles haven’t had the staying power to last very long.
I did some research on the the types of fitness workouts that are searched the most. I found a great trend that is all the rage. and offers a lot of flexibility in the style of workout with one theme in common: Body weight exercises.
Top 8 Workout Trends in 2014
1. Body Weight Exercises
I am so thrilled that this “trend” of exercise is sticking around. Body weight exercises are very effective for all levels of fitness. It doesn’t matter how fit you are, working with your body weight gets you on the road to fitness. Another benefit to body weight exercise is that they can be done anytime, anywhere. No special equipment needed.
A classic body weight exercise: The push up
HIIT stands for High Intensity Interval Training. The recent trend toward sweating like a mad person for short time periods and resting to catch your breath works. The “interval” in HIIT is what really burns the calories. The trick is the intensity of the work you put into that interval. Whether its 10 seconds or a minute, you go all out. Apply all your energy to the work interval, recover during the rest period, and repeat.
3. Ab Workouts
Don’t be shocked, but crunches are not at the top of the list to effectively tighten your abs. Never mind that most of us don’t properly perform a crunch or sit up. Take the plank noted later in this list as a cue and look for moves that hold you in a position that protects your back, and tightens that core as you strengthen.
Tip: Tighten your abs all day. Trust me, you will feel this quick.
4. Bicep Workout
I love feeling strong, and part of that strength comes from my arms. Rarely to curls with weight, or machines come into the mix. Once again your body weight can do wonders, but in my house the key piece of equipment for an awesome bicep workout – a chin up bar – is missing. Not to worry! You know those push ups I am constantly talking about? They work the bicep indirectly.
5. Shoulder Workouts
These are typically thought of only when weights are around. Getting a good shoulder workout without weights typically happens in the pool. Swimming is an awesome way to define and build shoulder muscles. If you want to avoid getting wet, working on your form with certain push ups are a great way to target the shoulder, like the pike push-up.
How to do a pike push up:
- Start from a classic push up position.
- Keeping your legs, walk your hands back toward your feet until you are in a pike position.
- Aim to have your upper body and lower body at about a 90 degree angle.
- Reaching straight out from your shoulders, extend your arms overhead so they are in line with your spine. This is the important part – this position is what works the shoulders.
- Tighten your abs.
- Bend your elbows and lower down until your head almost contacts the ground.
- Press back up and repeat.
6. Back Workouts
Any pulling exercise that impact your core and balance will impact the back muscles. Unfortunately these are tough without equipment, but not impossible. One of the strongest, most defined back I ever witnessed was on a dancer in one of my advanced ballet classes. Have you ever tried to keep your back upright while lifting you leg past 90 degrees behind you? Don’t try this at home or you risk major butt cramps!
What you can do is back extensions, and amazing inverted rows with hanging straps or ropes. Learn how to do those back extensions anytime, anywhere, and correctly with this video.
7. Plank Exercises
Yeah for planks! I remember my first attempt at a plank hold. It lasted a whopping 10 seconds. Planks are an amazing isometric exercise that works so many muscles, including every single core muscle, and can get you sweating in under a minute.
8. TRX Workout
All of the exercises listed above can be done with no equipment, but this trend still takes advantage of body weight for a vast range of exercises. I love this workout for a couple reasons. It’s immediately adjustable to your range of motion, and your fitness level. Simply changing your body position with the TRX straps can create movements from beginner to advanced.
If you haven’t seen a TRX workout in action, check out this workout video for a little motivation.
Have you tried all of these top 8 workout trends?
I have and so far, they are all working for me. What’s your favorite on the list? Which one have you been wanting to try?
Go get your fit on – Heather
Heather Montgomery is a fitness writer, triathlete, and blogger who is devoted to sharing what she has learned about becoming a triathlete after age 40. She uses her Metabolic Training Certification to help other women struggling to get fit in mid-life. She lives and trains in Santa Rosa, California, the new home of the Ironman triathlon. You can find her biking the Sonoma County wine trails.
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