Off duty YMCA fitness instructors teamed up with the Gazette’s feature writer Emma Harris to showcase 2015’s hottest fitness trends.
And according to trend forecasters, there’s more to come this year.
Personal fulfilment, improved mental and physical health, socialising and supporting charity campaigns all feature on our list of motivations for pursuing challenges.
Claire Nutton, Fitness Manager at YMCA Poulton said: “2015 for fitness, especially for women…it’s everything you thought you couldn’t do – think again. Any time, any place – you can get your fitness fix in whatever time you have.”
She continued: “working out for aesthetics is out, 2015 is about your health, wellbeing and your fitness ambition – you can achieve. Positive thinking is in. Do it however you like – but just do it.”
Trend 1. Time and Convenience
So as time is at a premium for all of us these days, the industry’s catering to our needs by increasing short, yet effective workouts.
These are not entirely new and include classes like Insanity and HIIT circuits.
They tend to be 30 minute sessions involving short bursts of fast, effective exercises with a focus on using body weight.
Claire explains: “We’re all strapped for time these days which is why more of us are asking for shorter workouts that deliver great results. The shorter HIIT based classes offer the perfect solution for men and women.
“And don’t be put off by words like high-intensity, as many of the exercises are designed to be modified depending on your ability and comfort zone.”
Leigh Hamilton, YMCA instructor added: “Technology is helping make being active more convenient, too. We’ve launched a brand new mobile app – YMCA Y:Active Lifestyles and members are now booking my classes on the go and in advance, so their whole week is sorted before Monday arrives and they are more likely to stick to it too.”
Trend 2. Let’s Get Functional
In 2014, you may well have found yourself scuttling across the sports hall floors like a lobster or leaping around like an ape! In 2015 the trend of incorporating primal movement is set to continue and develop further with functional training putting a big emphasis on widening our range of movement and off-setting the damage of sedentary lifestyles.
YMCA Poulton have recently introduced a brand new Life Fitness Synrgy functional training system to the gym floor.
Pictured below with Leigh Hamilton (left), Alison Radcliffe (centre) and Claire Nutton (right).
It’s versatile, with multiple stations. Designed for small group workouts, which also aids motivation and again offers shorter structured sessions, with dedicated instruction.
Claire said: “We all love this new piece of kit and we’ve introduced more and more functional training equipment into the gyms as a result of customers wanting to combine more and a wider mix of movement in their workouts.
“We all sit down more these days and our bodies are designed to move in a variety of ways.
“Gone are the days when gyms were just about seriously pounding the treadmill. Gyms have become fun and interesting social places people actually want to spend time in. Well, ours certainly are anyway!”
Trend 3. Stronger than Yesterday
More of us than ever are building weight training into their fitness regime. A beautifully honed bicep and sculpted quads are now the most envied curves in town, it seems, and industry insiders certainly think more and more of us will be muscling in on this trend in 2015 and using equipment like kettlebells and fitball balances.
Alison Radcliffe, YMCA instructor said: “We’ve recently introduced a weights workout class at Thornton and the feedback is tremendous.
“Traditionally ‘weights’ in a fitness environment conjured up very masculine images, but our ladies are asking for weights to be included in their workout programmes.
“There’s a real sense of the importance of building inner strength as well as feeling physically stronger and body confident.”
Trend 4. Fitness for Mind, Body and Spirit
Classes typically associated with relaxation, improving overall wellbeing and de-stressing are also seeing some new adaptations this coming year.
YMCA instructor Julie Foster (main picture above) is incorporating the use of a new stimulating massage ball into her Pilates classes and will be looking to use them during different stages of the session. She explains: “We’ll be using them under the foot to get the blood circulation flowing. Then using them under the shoulder to release tension and knots by massaging the muscles. When used under the glutes, the small rubbery spikes work to loosen tension and tightness after all that Christmas shopping.”
Check out all YMCA Fitness, Relaxation Classes.
YMCA Members can now book classes in advance online and via the new YMCA Y:Active Lifestyles App.