Getting #strongnotskinny is the new thing. We give you the low-down on ﬁve big trends this year.
1 WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY
You would have used or at least seen an activity tracker by now. These immensely popular devices are made for logging your daily steps, distance, calories burned and sleep. Those stats are presented in simple graphs in your mobile phone’s app, so you can easily chart your progress over a period of time. Anyone who owns one will tell you that he or she has been motivated to walk, exercise and sleep more after using it.
Shape says Those with ﬁtness goals will appreciate trackers with additional features, like the Fitbit Charge 2 ($248) that offers 24/7 heart rate monitoring, the Tomtom Touch ($239) that measures your percentage of body fat and muscle mass, as well as the Polar M200 GPS Running Watch ($219) that has an integrated GPS for outdoor runners. Nifty!
2 BODY-WEIGHT TRAINING
Any form of exercise that involves using your body weight as resistance – such as push-ups, squats and lunges – can be considered bodyweight training. This concept is not new, but it has picked up over the last few years due to its easy accessibility and effectiveness. You don’t need special equipment to do it, yet it produces quality results. For instance, just look at the number of waistlines (and happy faces) the Kayla Itsines Bikini Body Guide has carved out. These days, almost every ﬁtness inﬂuencer is a proud practitioner of such exercises, be it in yoga, pilates or a gym session.
Shape says Inspired by celebrity Jaime Teo as well as HIIT-specialised Ritual gym, our go-to exercises are now squats, planks (plus variations), push-ups, mountain climbers and burpees!
3 HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING
As the name suggests, highintensity interval training (HIIT) involves doing intense exercises for a set period of time with short breaks in between. The goal of a HIIT class is to exhaust you in a short period of time, because the more you tire your muscles, the stronger they’ll become. Research has consistently shown HIIT to be more effective than steady-state cardio. Plus, it forces you to bust out of your comfort zone, training your mental focus too.
Shape says If you own a gym membership, join classes like HIIT, Tabata and circuit training. Any class with words like “hard”, “core” and “strength” probably means it’s going to test your limit. Even if your instructor doesn’t push you, go as hard as you can to reap maximum beneﬁts!
4 GROUP TRAINING
Also known as group exercise classes, it has been around for a while. Some say such training is the premise of every gym. Without exciting classes like zumba, barre and cardiolatino, people have much less incentive to sign up for a gym membership. These classes are multi-level, so anyone from a newbie to a pro can join without feeling awkward. For those in need of external motivation, group training is a godsend. Once you’ve committed to a class, you’ll be much less compelled to skip the session. Plus, ﬁtness classes are where you will meet like-minded people. You just might ﬁnd an exercise BFF – or two!
Shape says Whether you like spinning, dancing, pilates or bootcamps, it’s easy to ﬁnd a class that appeals to you. Every other week, we hear of studios offering novel classes. Pound, pulse and piloxing are just some we’ve tried. Check out our favourite ﬁtness classes from Shape Sports Awards 2017.
This mind-body practice needs little introduction. Besides toughening your mind and muscles, every asana (posture) has various health beneﬁts, including improved sleep, mobility, posture, digestion and blood circulation. There are many types of yoga – hatha, vinyasa, ashtanga, Bikram, Iyengar, yin and so forth – catering to different needs. It doesn’t hurt that the poses have quirky-sounding names like warrior, downward dog, cobra and half-moon to tease you.
Shape says Looking at the likability of #yoga on Instagram, and how strongly it’s embraced by the masses and ﬁtness gurus alike, we are likely to see even more yogis in the coming months. The scene is heating up, with funky classes like yoga wheel, aroma yoga and standup paddleboard yoga constantly being introduced. You’ll be hooked!