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Life Insurance > Love Life > Lifestyle > Hottest fitness trends

Posted 13 June 2017

The 7 hottest summer fitness trends for 2017

Things move at a sprint in the world of fitness, so another year means another set of trends. We dispatched fitness expert Laura Williams (@laurafitness) to delve into everything from the new crawling craze to mindfulness in motion.

  • There’s something for everyone when it comes to the latest fitness trends.
  • Variety and affordability is key for the time-poor or those on a budget.
  • Injury prevention and stress management is as important as feeling the burn.

1. Water workouts

Two ladies doing a water workout in a swimming pool

A water workout is an easy class featuring brightly coloured floats, right? Well, not anymore.

High intensity interval training (H.I.I.T) has now hit the water in gyms across the country, offering a tougher time in the pool,

‘We’ve seen an increased demand to accommodate these more challenging workouts. Pools are no longer reserved for families and inflatables, or aqua aerobics, as people look for complementary workouts to their gym floor sessions’, reveals Andy Birch, Fitness Director at Virgin Active (@VirginActiveUK), which now offers Hydro, a water-based class consisting of sprint sessions, resistance activities and endurance exercises.

2. Fitness technology

Gone are the days when fitness tech simply meant a state-of-the-art pedometer. Fitness trackers have now evolved to check your vitals, monitor your sleep and even notify you of emails – while fitness apps are progressing at an even faster pace.

Whether you’re after the best home workout app (try out Sworkit), the simple-but-effective 7-minute workout, or something a little more technical for the keen runner such as Saucony’s new Stride Lab app, there really is something for everyone.

3. Foam rolling

A lady uses a foam roller

Rolling around your living room floor on a brightly coloured spongy object may not be top of your list when it comes to downtime, but the evidence for foam rolling is stacking up.

A study published in the Journal of Sports Rehabilitation found foam rolling to be more effective at improving hip mobility than stretching alone, while one Canadian study found it to be effective in reducing muscle soreness.

‘Foam rollers are quickly gaining popularity because they are an easy and convenient mechanism for self-myofascial release‘, explains Danielle Johnson, M.S., P.T., Wellness Physical Therapist at the Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program.

Myofascial release is the treatment of muscle and tendon pain and stiffness to improve blood flow and relax any contracted muscles.

‘It’s an easy and affordable way to massage away the tensions from a hard workout in the comfort of your own home,’ she continues. ‘If you’ve never used a foam roller before, you may want to begin with a soft or medium-density roller, which may feel more comfortable.’

4. Flexible fitness

Thanks to apps such as PayAsUGym and ClassPass, visiting the gym or trying a new class is now easier than ever before. Many find lengthy, inflexible gym memberships a barrier to taking up exercise, but with hundreds of studios and health clubs now participating in flexible schemes, it’s almost certain there’s a class or club right up your street – and near your street.

5. Free fitness

If budget’s an issue, there’s never been a better time to explore your free fitness options.

Whether you’re lucky enough to be close to a Sweaty Betty clothing store to benefit from one of their great free in-store classes, chasing the ultimate feel-good factor by combining good deeds and fitness with The Good Gym, or just investigating the huge variety of apps and online workouts available, there is something for even the most limited budget.

6. Crawling/animal flow workouts

A woman and man doing an animal flow workout

‘Crawling and other natural movement patterns like squatting, jumping, running, hanging, lifting, and balancing are all gaining popularity among the fitness industry’, says Danielle Johnson. ‘Practising these movement patterns can increase your core, leg, and shoulder strength, and help improve your balance.’

Darryl Edwards, (@FitnessExplorer) founder of the Primal Play Method, agrees.

‘Quadrupedal [on all four limbs] or cross-pattern [when your arms or legs move from one side to the other] movements are not only a full-body exercise that work the core, upper body, and lower limbs – they act as cardio and weight-bearing exercise too,’ he says. ‘They also provide a workout for the brain – try crawling backwards!’

Check out Darryl’s free Animal Moves programme online.

7. Mindful fitness

Mindfulness is no longer considered to be the remit of the dedicated practitioner – the incorporation of simple tips and techniques into every type of workout is the new fitness norm.

Sakyong Mipham (@SakyongMipham), author of Running with the Mind of Meditation, maintains that the relationship between running and meditation was ‘a natural discovery’ for him, and believes that remaining present during your run can lower the risk of injury and help you to better appreciate your environment.

Meanwhile, Easygym are advising gym-goers to incorporate mindfulness into their workout by becoming more aware of their breathing, remaining focused and adopting a mantra that includes your chosen goal or challenge. Read our feature for minimising stress and remaining focused for more information.


A rounded fitness routine consists of so much more than a quick run, or picking up the odd dumbbell, but there’s never been more in the way of technology and easy-to-access information at your fingertips to ensure your routine ticks as many fitness boxes as possible.

Maintain your fitness and improve your health with these great summer trends, but for further peace of mind make sure you have the right life cover in place.


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