With any luck, you’re still going strong on your New Year’s resolution to get fit in 2017. Oh, you fell off that wagon? You aren’t alone. That’s okay, because the best thing about setting goals year-round is that you can always get back up, dust yourself off, and get right back to it. The same goes for working out, even if you haven’t yet figured out your go-to workout or got bored of your routine and are looking to shake things up.
If there is one constant in the fitness industry, it’s that things are always evolving. As a certified personal trainer, I often feel like I’ve tried or heard about every new fitness trend imaginable. Then the next day I hear about some new trend from a client or a fellow trainer. While some trends stick around for the long haul and become the new norm in fitness, other trends fade away quickly (Shake Weight, anyone?). To get a sense of the hottest workouts of 2017, I reached out to some of the top fitness professionals in the industry to get their take. These are the workouts that everyone will be talking about this year.
Full-body workouts are very in for 2017, and according to Row House coach Erin Landy, there’s no better full-body workout than rowing. “Rowing is the best workout because it’s full body, so you’re getting a great cardio workout while toning your entire body. It’s also low-impact, so it’s easy on your joints,” Landy said. She also told me that rowing is a workout anyone can do, whether you’re prone to injury, have never stepped foot in a gym, or are looking for great cross training. “You should definitely expect to work up a sweat and feel a good burn in your leg muscles, core, and all the way through your arms and back,” she said. “Expect satisfying soreness in muscles you never knew you had and a well earned high-five from your neighbor celebrating hundreds of calories scorched.”
While it’s entirely possible to get into rowing on your own, Landy recommends a studio like Row House where the whole workout is a team effort, like what you would get on the water. “Not only does rowing challenge every individual’s mind and body, the sport offers the unique opportunity to push towards a goal as a collective unit,” Landy said. “On the water and at Row House, we work as a team, letting rhythm, technique, and efficient power drive us as one to the finish line.” So grab a workout buddy or your entire squad and get rowing.
Mind-body classes on the water
Brandon Kolar, a Tier X Coach at Equinox in Boston, said water-based classes on floating platforms in pools and lakes will be all the rage in 2017. “The zen-ness of it all is outrageous, and the body control that it takes to do these moves on a floating platform in the water takes you to a new level,” he told me. Unlike the SURFSET classes that were popularized by their appearance on Shark Tank, but which don’t actually happen on the water, the classes Kolar is referencing are all about floating. Examples include AquaPhysical’s FloatFit HIIT class that incorporates isometrics, plyometrics, and stretching on a floating board. If yoga is more your thing, BOGA YOGA utilizes stand-up paddleboards for their yoga classes on the water. “Once you do this once, you’re going to be hooked,” Kolar said.
Way beyond yoga retreats, Stacy Schwartz, the co-founder of Ketanga Fitness Retreats, anticipates that fitness retreats like theirs will be one of the top health and wellness trends of 2017. “Fitness retreats give active enthusiasts the opportunity to travel with like-minded people,” she said. “And being healthy while traveling is no longer just trying to fit in a workout or deprive yourself of local foods and drinks in a new part of the world; being healthy is now a primary reason for traveling!” Some examples of Ketanga’s fitness retreats include boot camp in Costa Rica, Pilates & Pinot in Sonoma County, horseback riding, yoga, and hiking in Ireland, and more. The retreats incorporate local active activities into the program (hiking, surfing, waterfall rappelling, etc.) as well as time to relax and decompress. “It’s not only fitness, but fitness is the foundation,” Schwartz explained to us.
Another big trend that continues in 2017 is doing workouts that actually help you function in your everyday life. This type of training, known as functional training, works with everyone from fitness beginner to athlete. “For the regular person, it’s important to do functional training to help bring that strength into everyday life, and functional training uses exercises that use the most muscle at one time,” said personal trainer Jamie Logie of Regained Wellness. “A bicep curl can strengthen your bicep, but we don’t do many movements like that in everyday life (though it’s still helpful), compared to doing a lunge which strengthens pretty much every muscle in the lower body and will make it easier for you to climb stairs.” Functional training applies to athletes as well. “It makes more sense to have [athletes] perform workouts with exercises similar to what they do in their sport such as basketball players doing jump squats,” Logie told me, explaining why you probably won’t see the top NBA pros doing something like leg presses.
When thinking about functional training, I have clients think about the things you do every day and how they can be mimicked in the gym, like squatting down to reach things (air squats), lifting items overhead (shoulder press), climbing stairs (lunges), bending over (deadlifts), and pushing doors open (push-ups). If you can’t think of a way it might help you in your everyday life, functional fitness enthusiasts would argue there’s probably something better you could be doing.