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From virtual reality to weighted hula hooping, working out is going to get a lot more fun, says Prudence Wade
Woman using a hula hoop in a gym
Press Association Images
For many of us, the pandemic has completely transformed how we workout – with a bigger emphasis on flexible training and taking care of your body and soul.
In 2022, the ‘hybrid model’ will continue to be big news – as more of us seamlessly switch between at-home workouts and sweat sessions in the gym.
But there’s also an increased emphasis on having a bit of fun with your workout, as seen in many of the fitness trends set to be big in 2022. Let’s take a look…
1. Weighted hula hooping
The pandemic has seen us return to a whole range of childhood activities – just take a look at the boom of roller-skating. The latest nostalgic sport to add to your exercise routine is hula hooping – but perhaps not as you know it.
Weighted hula hooping takes your workout to the next level, challenging your core much more than it might have done when you hooped as a child. It’s set to be hugely popular, with PureGym (puregym.com) naming it the world’s fastest-growing fitness trend ahead of 2022.
It doesn’t just target your core though, as you can even make it into an arm workout too. The extra weight will have your muscles aching for days afterwards.
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2. VR fitness
At the opposite end of the spectrum is the predicted rise of virtual reality (VR) fitness – about as far from nostalgic childhood activities as you can get. VR has been slowly but surely making its presence known in the fitness industry but previously it’s been too expensive and inaccessible for the average person. That could be changing now.
It’s not just traditional fitness apps making their mark (although VR workouts like boxing and skiing are proving popular), but we’re also seeing the rise of ‘gamercising’ – VR apps making your workout into something fun, with lots of challenges and adventures along the way.
3. Reverse running
Bored of jogging forwards all the time? You might want to try reverse running – another fitness trend PureGym says is climbing in popularity. This fitness trend originated in the Eighties but is seeing a resurgence, and it’s a great one to try because you don’t need any fancy kit or expensive gadgets.
You’d be surprised how different running backwards feels to your traditional forwards jog – it’s said to be easier on the joints, works your muscles in a different way, and is a real challenge for your coordination. Of course, there’s a bit more jeopardy involved – just make sure you’re aware of what’s going on behind you, so you don’t accidentally run into anything, and be sensible!
Surfing made its debut as an Olympic sport at Tokyo 2020, sparking a growing interest in what can only be described as an extremely cool activity.
It’s not the easiest sport to master – you definitely have to have a lot of patience, and will have to be prepared to fall down a whole lot. But there’s nothing like catching the perfect wave, and as an added bonus, it’s a full-body workout that will get your heart pumping and muscles toned.
If you’re nowhere near the sea, why not combine it with another trend and try VR surfing?
Move over HIIT, because HIRT – High Intensity Resistance Training – is set to be the next big thing. This basically means short, intense bursts of resistance training – anything using weights. It could be barbell squats, deadlifts, shoulder presses – whatever you want to train that day. The aim is to really tire out your muscles and spike your heart rate, with short rests between each set.
It’s definitely a good one to squeeze in if you want maximum results in the shortest amount of time.
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