Posted by Chloe Gray for Workouts
Five exercise, fitness, movement and wellbeing trends that we’ll all be doing in 2022.
We don’t normally encourage you to jump on fitness trends. After all, there are so many false promises out there – nailing the basics is all you really need to get fitter and stronger.
However, given that we’re feeling a little rubbish thanks to news of the Omicron variant, we want to look forward to 2022 and the new things it might have in store for us. Luckily, there are plenty of workouts that seem both fun and functional – some of which you might recognise but are making a comeback because they work, others you might never have dipped your toe into. We’ve picked five that we want to include in our own fitness regime – no fads, no quick fixes, just interesting ways to move your body that you might not have considered before.
How do you feel about the phrase ‘animal-inspired HIIT’? Well, that’s exactly how to define this workout that’s had a 124% rise in Google searches. Founded by elite sports trainer Nathan Helberg, the focus is on bodyweight moves with a huge focus on improving the strength and mobility needed for optimum performance. It’s basic functional fitness that we all know and love, but often neglect, with moves like frog squats, gorillas and bear crawls. You can begin with the online programme or at the certified partners across the world.
Rather than seeing your exercise time as a set 30 minutes in which you go to the gym, why not slot movement into your every day? That’s the idea behind flexercise – that workouts don’t have to be about training for a marathon or working up an intense sweat, but acknowledging that all movement counts.
Your daily walk really is a form of exercise, and fitting in a five-minute kitchen yoga stretch and dance around your bedroom also count. ‘Lazy bed workout’ has had a 135% increase in searches on Pinterest, ‘walking in nature’ is up 95% and ‘simple dance moves’ is the most popular movement-based search, with a 150% rise in searches to end the year. Given that it looks like January might be a challenge in terms of coronavirus cases, this is a self-care trend we can get on board with.
Aerial hoop, trapeze and hula hooping are all terms that have been flying around recently. The latter even went viral on TikTok for its core building benefits. But lumped together, people seem to be turning to these creative, exciting, enjoyable workouts for the mental health, rather than physical, benefits. That’s not to say these aren’t a challenge: you try holding yourself upside down on a suspended hoop. But they tap into our ongoing desire to try something different – lockdown may have ended a while ago but it left behind a desire for new routines that we’re still experimenting with.
There’s been a 50% year-on-year rise for reverse running, which feels surprising. But taking a look at the research into the benefits of running backwards and it makes more sense: studies suggest that the sport is less impactful on the knees. After more of us than ever took up running – traditional, forwards running that is – over the past two years (the number of people logging runs on Strava increased by nearly twofold in 2021 from 2019), knee problems were also on the rise. Maybe not one to do through a busy city centre, but worth trying in a quiet park to improve power and motor control without pain, according to a 2011 paper from the Royal Society of publishing’s Biological Sciences journal.
“All of my friends are learning how to tumble and cartwheel,” says Stylist.co.uk’s writer Amy Beecham. It’s not just her friends – ‘adult gymnastics classes near me’ is a breakout Google search trend. Perhaps inspired by the power demonstrated by Simone Biles at the Olympics or a natural progression from the uptake in handstand attempts we saw during lockdown, 2022 looks like the year we’ll all be flipping and sitting in splits.
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Chloe Gray is the senior writer for stylist.co.uk’s fitness brand Strong Women. When she’s not writing or lifting weights, she’s most likely found practicing handstands, sipping a gin and tonic or eating peanut butter straight out of the jar (not all at the same time).
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Posted by Chloe Gray for Workouts