Group exercise continues to shape the future of fitness, with 4.86 million Brits taking part in group classes every week - an increase of one million participants since 2016.
Ian Twitchen, head of product at Total Fitness, sees this as a trend which will continue, as the leading health club has seen a 17 per cent increase in fitness class bookings for the year to date, compared to the same period in 2017.
Ian said: “Not only is exercising in groups a more motivational and enjoyable way to work out, but with a growing variety of class options, there’s also something to suit all ages and levels of ability.
Here, Ian shares his expert insights on the exercise trends that are set to take over gyms, fitness studios and living rooms this summer.
1. Dance yourself fit
Dance-based exercise has been steadily growing in popularity, which may be a result of popular TV shows such as Strictly Come Dancing. The benefits of a dance workout are second to none, as the varied movements works every muscle group in the body whilst giving you that all important cardio hit.
But times are changing – it’s not just about Zumba anymore. New forms of dance are cropping up all the time to cater to all ages, fitness levels and musical taste, such as Kangoo, Medau and hula hooping.
2. Pedal power
Spin is the most attended class and the popularity of cycling shows no sign of slowing down. It’s a great choice for all abilities, as these classes let you set your own pace but will push you to work as hard as you possibly can. It’s an excellent calorie burner that also builds lean muscle, particularly in the core and leg areas.
Not only is the group training experience proven to push individuals to work harder, it also helps build a community and you’ll often find that new friendships are born through group cycling classes. It’s an all-round winner.
3. Swim to win
Another hugely popular category of fitness classes is those that take place in the pool. Swimming is one of the best forms of exercise because it gets the whole body moving - and water aerobics is particularly popular amongst older demographics, as in-pool activities are gentler on the joints. Trips to the pool make up 39 per cent of visits by people aged 75 and over, compared to eight per cent of people aged between 16 and 24.
4. HiiT the ground running
No one ever regrets a workout. No matter how long or short you exercise for, every minute of movement counts. This is why High Intensity Interval Training, more commonly known as HiiT, can be the perfect place to start if you’re struggling to drag yourself to the gym.
HiiT workouts are predominantly cardio-based and involve pushing yourself to your absolute limit in very short bursts, then resting before repeating the action. Typically, you’d push yourself for 30 seconds, then rest for three times as long, before repeating the exercise. These intervals of intense exercise are incredibly effective at burning calories and help the body to continue burning calories even after your workout is finished. HiiT sessions usually last between 15-20 minutes, but this can be more or less depending on personal preference.
5. Pound the pavement
Running is a fitness favourite and a great activity for the summer months, whether you prefer to get out on your own or as part of an organised activity like parkrun. It helps strengthen the core and leg muscles whilst burning calories and is proven to make people happier.
And bad weather is no longer an excuse to hang up your running shoes as new technology means people can enjoy a more authentic and enjoyable indoor running session than ever before. State of the art treadmills are connected to Netflix and running routes around the world, curved treadmills powered by the runner’s forward motion and indoor running tracks are just a few of the latest facilities available!
For more information please visit www.totalfitness.co.uk.