sneakers and gym towel

Each year we compile a list of the hottest things in fitness. It’s always one of our most popular posts of the year, probably because we have fun making predictions about what’s going to be hot in the coming year.

This year, most trend reports include High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), Functional Fitness, and Bodyweight Training. We included them in our report last year and know they’ll still be used daily in gyms and fitness facilities across the world in 2016. HIIT, Functional Fitness, and Bodyweight Training make sense and get results. We know they won’t be replaced as smart foundations for fitness programs, rightly so.

But we want to use this annual report as an opportunity to look ahead and focus on the up-and-coming things in fitness. That way you can be ready for them, especially since some trends on our list are inexpensive to incorporate. With that in mind, here is our list of the hot new trends in fitness this year.

Tools For Improved and Rapid Recovery

From portable options like compression and cold therapy sleeves to whole body cryotherapy tanks, we see more and more tools and therapies to help athletes recover faster and better. Don’t worry if the price point for these technologies is beyond what a small gym owner can manage. You’re going to have access to mobile recovery suppliers, like Genesis Mobile Performance and Recovery Systems. These recovery professionals will bring the best technologies out to your gym, and you’ll also be able to find them at all the large sporting and fitness events this year.

genesis mobile sports recovery

More SUP in Group Classes

Last year we said standup paddleboards would be a popular fitness platform, and we got that one right. But this year you can expect the trend to be even bigger. You’ll see more outdoor SUP meetups, events, and classes for people who prefer to paddle the traditional way. You’ll also see an increase in certified SUP yoga instructors and plenty of indoor and outdoor SUP yoga classes.

But don’t worry if you live in a place that’s cold or rainy in the winter. There will be more and more big indoor facilities with full schedules of SUP-based fitness classes. That means more boot camp style classes on the boards, and even some super fun surfing style classes.

The Movement Culture
Movement Culture

Zen Planner’s very own Cody Sunkel is a big advocate for the Movement Culture.

Ido Portal, an Israeli-born martial artist, founded this style of dynamic interdisciplinary movement as an intersection between health, wellness and human performance. Based on the principles of creativity, spontaneity and play, the movement culture works to improve balance, coordination, range of motion and overall movement efficiency. So what does this look like? Well, the drills and routines combine movements from gymnastics, yoga, parkour, and dance, but you have to see it for yourself.

UFC fighter, Connor McGregor, recently brought the benefits of the Movement Culture into the spotlight. Now fighters everywhere are using it in their training. Former UFC bantamweight champion Dominick Cruz even called the Movement Culture the future of MMA.

But the great thing is that movement drills and routines will make any athlete better at what they do. Whether you do CrossFit, yoga, martial arts, gymnastics, dance, or a group sport, movement drills will make you more mobile and proficient at what you do. They will also keep you healthier longer. So anticipate the spread of Movement Culture beyond MMA this coming year. Better yet, why not incorporate a few of the easy to do drills into your next group class warm-up?

Aerial and Acro Yoga

Both aerial and acro yoga have been around a few years, but they are both gaining popularity and showing up in yoga studios and at events around the country.

Ariel yoga is done in AntiGravity Hammocks, which are reasonably priced per unit. The founders of aerial yoga (or antigravity yoga) train and certify instructors, who will then go on to teach across the country. That means there will be uniformity in the instruction and style, and this type of yoga might one day be as common as Hatha or Vinyasa yoga. We see aerial yoga as part of a yoga style expansion. Aerial dance is a bit different, but also something we’ll see more of in the future.

Acro yoga is a blend of partner yoga and acrobatics. Like Aerial and SUP yoga, acro yoga instructors are also trained and certified through a standard program. But the startup cost for a small business or yoga studio to bring in acro yoga is simply the cost of training a teacher.

Wearable Technology

It’s back, and bigger than ever. Personal fitness trackers have grown beyond a simple chest strap or bracelet into smart watches and glasses, attractive jewelry pieces, and sports bras with biometric sensors. Soon we’ll see smart fabrics replace our fitness tracker bands altogether. ACSM’s annual survey and fitness trend report estimates that the wearable technology market will be a $6 billion dollar industry by 2016. Our prediction is that we won’t even need to mention wearable fitness trackers in our 2017 Trend Report because they will be as standard to workouts as your water bottle and gym shoes.

We believe a key part of member retention is keeping members engaged and excited, and one easy way to do that is to incorporate the latest fitness trends into your offerings. For more tips on how to retain your valuable members, check out our member retention webinar!
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