9 fitness trends you need to try in 2021
In 2020, our routine was disrupted, gyms closed and our lives locked down. We were forced to work out in ways we never thought we would or could – and in the process, it opened our eyes to what’s possible with a little creativity and discipline.
In 2021, with much of the world still in flux, all signs point towards fitness trends that continue to prioritize time-efficient and effective workouts over grueling slog sessions – just the way we like it at Centr! Plus, there’s an increased focus on mindfulness and well-being being an integral part of the fitness package.
So are you ready to get creative, explore new options, and start making your health a priority? These are the fitness trends to try in 2021.
Work out anytime, anywhere!
When the gyms closed, we went online… and according to a recent RunRepeat study, that’s where we’re likely to stay – over 70% of gym members plan on exercising away from the gym in 2021.
Sure, an at-home or outdoor workout can require you to get inventive (like switching from barbells to bands to keep those gains coming), but working out with an app allows you to do it on your own terms.
As our options (hopefully) open up in 2021, the easy availability and variety of online workout health and fitness programs mean you can have your cake and eat it, too. (Yes, we havedelicious cake recipes
on Centr!) You might incorporate an online workout program into your gym routine, stick to a mix of home and gym sessions, or decide to save that gym membership money and spend it elsewhere.
Turns out that fitness in 2021 is not just about how our bodies look, but how they feel and what they can DO. Amen to that!
Functional fitness can cover a lot of elements, from strength to mobility and agility, and have huge everyday benefits – something Centr expert Da Rulk knows all about. Rulk’s brand of functional training helps everyone from mothers to athletes to firefighters perform the tasks they need to do (like staying low when moving through a burning building.)
You’ll often see Chris Hemsworth throwing classic Rulk functional movements like bear crawls and sit thrus into his training. That’s because while he has to bulk up for movie roles, he still wants to be able to move freely in order to do the things he loves, like surfing and playing with his kids.
With functional training, you’re not just fit but fit for purpose.
Like pretty much anything worth doing, functional training can feel a little awkward when you first try it. With Masterclass: Da Rulk, you can learn the fundamentals and master functional moves on your own schedule.
Mental health and fitness combined
Last year, an hour or two of exercise outside felt like salvation – our only chance to connect with a friend or escape the computer screen. This experience has only solidified the connection between exercise and mental well-being.
More and more, people are seeing fitness as holistic – and finding new ways to incorporate meditation and mindfulness into wellness-themed workouts.
Centr Fusion is a new kind of training program combining movement and mindfulness in high-energy hybrid workouts. Our team of trainers will help you lose weight, tone up, and find calm and focus in a 6-week program that’s the perfect way to hit reset and take on 2021.
If a bodyweight move feels too easy, get creative and modify to make it harder.
High-intensity interval training – HIIT
If you want to fast-track your fitness, you can’t go past HIIT – high-intensity interval training. HIIT gets big results in a short, efficient style: think high fat-burn, improved cardio fitness, increased muscle endurance, and work capacity. In fact, HIIT ranked second in ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends last year.
HIIT workouts are split into work and rest phases. During the work phase, you train as hard as you can because you know that you have a rest coming up. The beauty of this style of working out is that it’s accessible at any level of fitness – you’re training at YOUR highest intensity – and it can include all types of exercise: strength, cardio, bodyweight, or weighted.
“HIIT is a great style of training for beginners, it will help you gain confidence, better endurance, and strength,” says Centr trainer Ashley Joi.
“In my HIIT Strength workouts on Centr, I’m pushing people to their limit, not mine. I’m just asking them to give me their best. You can expect to be pushed, do some moves you haven’t tried before, and feel good.”
If there’s one drawback of HIIT, it’s that high-intensity is often paired with high-impact – which can be tough on people with injuries, problem joints, or those carrying excess weight. This is where HIIT’s lower-impact cousin HILIT comes to the rescue.
“HILIT is high-intensity training with low impact movements, so you can still smash a great workout safely,” explains Centr expert Luke Zocchi. “But just because it’s low impact, doesn’t mean it’s easy!”
Luke and Ashley Joi are your trainers on the 6-week workout program Centr Unleashed – incorporating HIIT and HILIT modifications, it’s designed to remove barriers to fitness and make effective high-intensity training accessible to everybody at home.
What do you do when the gyms are closed and you don’t have access to weights and all that fancy equipment? YOU become the equipment!
Bodyweight training removes the need for equipment by using your own weight as resistance against gravity. Push-ups, squats, lunges, and burpees are common examples of bodyweight exercises.
Bodyweight workouts will boost cardio, burn fat, increase strength, and they’re great for powering up your functional mobility. Centr Unleashed is six weeks of bodyweight-only training, and you can find loads of other low-equipment or no-equipment workouts on Centr.
Pilates: do try this at home
News flash: Pilates is not just for girls. Take it from Centr member Leigh – he tried it for the first time during the lockdown. “I feel pain in areas I didn’t know existed! For someone with almost zero flexibility and tight quads, it was tough… but that’s just given me a reason to keep going.”
Described by Centr expert Sylvia Roberts as “a beautiful combination of strength and stretch”, practicing Pilates can improve your mobility, flexibility, and coordination. This in turn will enhance your performance in other physical pursuits – workouts, football, rugby, surfing, ballet, karate… whatever it is you do.
“One of the awesome benefits of regular Pilates practice is a well-conditioned, balanced and injury-free body,” says Sylvia. By the way, did we mention Pilates is great for body toning? From your abs to your glutes, prepare to feel the burn.
Did you discover a love of yoga during isolation? It makes sense – not only does yoga get your body moving, it’s the perfect way to release tension from muscles and stress from your mind. Centr’s dynamic yoga instructor Tahl Rinksy knows exactly where you’re coming from: “I have a busy head and it's hard for me to slow down. When I do slow down, it’s through the movement of yoga – my thoughts slow down, things bother me less, I'm less reactive, I'm more focused.”
As you bring the focus back to your breath and increase your mindfulness, you’re also getting a great workout in. “The vinyasa yoga I teach has a dynamic focus,” says Tahl. “You can incorporate a lot of your fitness work into one yoga flow.”
The great thing about boxing is you can get a full-body fat-burning workout anywhere, any time. No gloves, ring, or hulking opponent required – just find your stance and start shadow boxing.
“You take the getting hit part out of boxing, and it's the perfect thing for the human body,” says Centr’s resident boxing champ Michael Olajide Jr. “There isn’t a muscle group it doesn’t work.”
Evasive movements such as V-slips engage your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and lower back. Uppercuts and jabs are a fast way to abs of steel. Then break out the skipping rope to go full Rocky, elevating your heart rate and boosting your leg power.
Hybrid training styles
In 2021 we’re leaving the workouts you know behind and changing it up with hybrid training that combines the best of multiple exercise styles. Because life is too short for workouts that follow the same old formula! The benefits of hybrid training go beyond keeping it interesting, though. They challenge your body to adapt and are a time-efficient way to smash multiple goals at once.
Centr Fusion is designed for people who want a holistic, full-body training program that will help them lose weight, tone up, and find calm. Think boxing-infused cardio sessions with supermodel trainer Michael Oljaide Jr and yoga that builds serious strength and stamina with Tahl’s PowerFlow.
“What I love about Centr Fusion are the multiple disciplines that your body has to get used to,” Michael says. “Each one has a different benefit, they all come together at the end to create a better you.”
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