Ready or not, these fitness trends look set to take Singapore by storm. By Estelle Low
The fitness scene is really heating up. Over the past year, we’ve seen the spawning of activity-tracking devices, intriguing fusion classes, novelty running events… And all those #fitspo photos on Instagram! Here’s what we think will really take off in the year to come. Get ready to be #fitspired.
Photo: Antonio Diaz / www.123rf.com
Fitness trend #1: Body weight training
Bagging the top spot in the American College of Sports Medicine’s Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2015 is body weight training. Seriously, using your own weight for resistance training – such as squats and dips – can’t get any cooler. There’s little or no exercise equipment involved – no need to scramble for dumbbells, kettlebells, sandbags and the like, and you can still become super strong and toned. Tired of just doing push-ups and pull-ups? Learn the proper techniques to master impressive moves like the handstand at BodyTree Gymnastic Strength Training, the first studio to offer gymnastics strength training classes for adults in Singapore.
Fitness trend #2: Hybrid workouts
So you’ve read about the benefits of doing different forms of exercises. In the last 12 months, we tried no less than 10 fitness concepts that fused two or more disciplines in a single workout routine. These include Xtend Barre (dance and pilates), piloxing (pilates, boxing and dance), zumba step (zumba and step aerobics), Surfset (yoga and surfing), and zenga (yoga and reformer pilates), as well as fusion spinning (indoor cycling, dance, resistance-training and yoga).
Fitness trend #3: Recovery workouts
Spotted strange-looking foam rollers and spiked balls in stores and gyms? These aren’t toys. They’re self-myofascial release or self-massage tools that can relieve muscle tension and speed up post-workout recovery. Three words: Painful. But. Shiok. Try them at home or enrol in a gym class to learn the proper techniques. Pure Fitness offers Roller Release sessions that teach the basics and proper techniques.
Fitness trend #4: Yoga in new forms
This low-impact workout is well loved for good reason: It calms the mind and tones the body. Plus, it complements many other exercise disciplines. Paddleboard yoga, anti-gravity yoga and acroyoga? Bring ’em on!
Fitness trend #5: HIIT
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) may have made it to our shores a few years ago, but it’s still the buzzword when it comes to effective workouts. A HIIT session involves short, intense bursts of activity with brief recovery periods in between. Think burpees, box jumps, jump lunges, killer squats, mountain climbers, sprints, and anything else that makes your heart race. Expect fast results from HIIT, whether it’s toned arms, sculpted thighs, a flat tummy or a tight butt you’re after. The format of a session depends on who you train with, but the mantra remains the same: Go hard or go home! Currently, popular ones include Tabata, CrossFit and boot camps.
Fitness trend #6: Telemetry
Tele-what? In a nutshell, we’re talking about wearable health and fitness trackers, like Jawbone Up, Fitbit Flex and Misfit Shine. Look around the gym and you’re likely to spot more than one person wearing a thingamajig around her wrist. Warning: You might become obsessed with monitoring your daily activities, from step count and daily distance covered to calorie burn and sleep. Even sports watches are starting to incorporate fitness tracking features. Does it pay to know more? The majority of Team Shape thinks so.
Fitness trend #7: Novel races
Running is huge in Singapore. How can we dismiss the phenomenal sign-ups for local events like Shape Run (we introduced a Me and Mini Me fun run category for mums with kids in 2014) and the newbie Hello Kitty Run? Expect more such innovative races, like the Asics City Relay Singapore.
Fitness trend #8: Social media challenges
Heard of the #100dayyogachallenge or #30dayfitness? These trending fitness challenges come in the form of daily workouts or exercise goals created by gym instructors or fitness enthusiasts. Challenge participants then update statuses and/or upload selfies, or their workouts on platforms like Facebook or Instagram to chart their progress. Before you try them out, research the organisers. Established ones have websites with useful information like workout videos and safety tips.