Most Popular Fitness Trends in 2018

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Every year brings renewed focus on fitness and health as enthusiasts search for a new angle to reach workout goals. Some are exercise fads, met with great zeal but have little staying power. Others enjoy prolonged interest and become trends that set the tone for the fitness industry.

Trends can be consistently popular for many years, like strength training, while others, like HIIT, come out of nowhere and dominate. Short-lived trends like Zumba dazzle us with frenetic fun, while others like functional fitness live on because of real-world relevance.

The American College of Sports Medicine predicts that heading into 2018 we’ll have a continuation of some previous trends that have lasted several years or more, as well as the continued success of some relative newcomers. Regardless of whether you like to stick with the tried and true or venture into something new, 2018 has a lot to contribute to your fitness plans.

HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT was the domain of serious athletes before it became a mainstream trend in 2014. Since then it’s a preferred workout strategy for fitness buffs of all shapes and sizes. It’s a shorter workout, lasting about half an hour, which involves very brief periods of intense-level activity followed by short periods of low-intensity recovery. The intensity required for HIIT can cause injury, so if you’re new to exercise, get clearance from your doctor first.

Wearable Technology

This is a relatively new trend that isn’t likely to go away anytime soon. Data makes the world go around, and fitness is no exception. You can track your activities, physical responses, progress, locations and more with technology you wear as you work out. Having the feedback of accessible data helps to motivate and raise the bar for many.


Yoga is an ancient practice that aligns the physical, mental and spiritual disciplines to improve your health and well-being. In recent years it’s become a fitness trend as more athletes are becoming enlightened to its benefits. There are many different kinds of yoga and multiple levels of difficulty, making it an activity that welcomes newcomers as well as challenges the more experienced.

Functional Fitness

Sometimes referred to as “training for life,” functional fitness enables you to be more successful in the physical activities of daily life. Whether it be bending down to get something from the cupboard or carrying a box up a flight of stairs, functional fitness makes these activities less taxing. Instead of isolating a muscle, such as during a seated bicep curl, functional fitness workouts involve using groups of muscles together. A functional fitness bicep curl, therefore, could be done while standing or seated on a stability ball, both of which also engage your core.

Group Training

Fitness classes have been around for years but have only recently become a top trend. The year 2018 will see this trend continue as participants enjoy the benefits of qualified instruction combined with the camaraderie experienced in a class setting. Group classes motivate, educate and inspire, making them popular and likely to stay that way.

Strength Training

Strength training continues as a trend into 2018 because of its impact on well-being and accessibility to many different types of fitness participants. Weight training not only increases strength in those who are healthy, but it can also contribute to the rehabilitation of people recovering from cardiovascular, pulmonary and metabolic disease.

Bodyweight Training

Bodyweight training continues in popularity heading into 2018. Offering the same benefits as strength training, this type of exercise requires very little equipment and can be done at home as well as in a gym or fitness class setting.

Fitness trends for 2018 consist mainly of continuing successful trends from the past. Personal trainers are regularly certified, group training is gaining steam and there continue to be fitness programs available for older adults. Wearable technology continues, as does the focus on overall well-being with yoga, functional fitness and strength training. If you’re looking to get fit, 2018 is a great time to start.

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