Every year, there’s a slew of new fitness trends that promise to get you leaner, tighter, and stronger.
However, this year, the new “trend” seems to be taking it back to basics to align your body, correct imbalances, and focus on preservation—not deterioration—from constant back-to-back workouts.
Take a Load Off
While working hard is important, so is recovery. What you do before and after a workout can dictate not only how you feel the next day but how your muscles function. There are now entire businesses dedicated to the self-care and preservation of the post-workout body. From infrared saunas, which detox and cleanse, to cryotherapy, an extremely cold chamber meant to reduce inflammation, to fascia blasting, which works on breaking up the complex tissue between muscles for better function and mobility—it’s important to heed what you do post-workout.
If you can’t afford to try one of the newest post-workout fads, drink plenty of water, grab a foam roller, and take time to stretch at night before bed. (When in doubt, there’s always .)
Years ago, HIIT (or High Intensity Interval Training) was all the rage. Go hard, go fast, and then go home. But for 2018, it’s all about moderation in movement and a real focus on preserving the body’s function instead of constantly breaking down muscle as you would in tougher workouts like CrossFit. LIIT, or Low Intensity Interval Training, works very similarly to HIIT, except it’s longer. Instead of steady state cardio, like taking a long walk, LIIT still includes intervals—they’re just less intense than HIIT. For example, if you go for a bike ride, you can still perform intervals every five minutes, but you’re not pushing to 80-95% of your maximum heartrate as you would in HIIT. Instead, pick up the pace every four to five minutes, but only at 60-70% of your maximum heartrate. Continue chosen activity for 30-40 minutes.
Find the Balance
If you are unbalanced in your body, chances are you will not improve form or strength. If you do a squat improperly, with pronated knees, or tight hips, you won’t benefit from continuously doing squats. In the new year, it’s all about correcting imbalances with hips, knees, and shoulders. In doing so, you improve your range of motion, risk for injury, and overall strength and symmetry throughout the entire body. A good way to achieve balance is to work unilaterally, performing a dynamic warm-up and proper cooldown, as well as stretching to provide a much more stable base for achieving goals.
Hit the Playground
If you ever watch children play, you notice how they move: They run, jump, squat, climb, swing, and move the body the way it was designed. In 2018, more natural movement classes, jungle gyms, and obstacle course gyms are opening up to support the body moving in more natural ways. Swinging, hanging, squatting, running, jumping, and climbing are some of the best ways to use bodyweight to move the body while improving strength.
What fitness trend are you hoping to see for 2018?