As we enter 2024, it’s exciting to look ahead and see what fitness trends will be taking center stage. The fitness industry is constantly evolving, with new trends and practices emerging each year. From new workouts to the way we approach health and wellness, there are plenty of exciting developments on the horizon.
In this blog, we’ll explore the top fitness trends of 2024, ranging from the resurgence of steady-state cardio to the expansion of brain training and the gamification of workouts. So, let’s dive in and discover what’s in store for fitness enthusiasts in the coming year.
Top 5 Fitness Trends of 2024
1. Steady-State Cardio Returns
After years of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) dominating the fitness scene, steady-state cardio is making a comeback. While HIIT has been praised for its ability to torch calories and improve fitness in a short amount of time, more people are realizing the benefits of low-impact, sustained aerobic exercise for overall health and wellness. Steady-state cardio, which involves maintaining a moderate intensity for an extended period of time, can help improve cardiovascular endurance, promote fat burning, and reduce stress levels.
Fitness class booking software Mindbody discovered that the average American fitness regimen consists of 40% low-intensity training and 25% moderate-intensity workouts, with lower-intensity training increasing 176 percent in popularity since 2022.
“If you’re looking for long-term and overall health benefits, steady-state cardio will help to train your cardiorespiratory system and enhance your aerobic capacity, as well as reduce your risk of type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol,” says Daniel McKenna, celebrity trainer and creator of the Irish Yank Fitness Club.
One reason for the resurgence of steady-state cardio is the growing awareness of heart rate and its impact on fitness. Fitness trackers and wearable devices have become increasingly popular, allowing individuals to monitor their heart rate during physical activity. Social media platforms have also played a role in promoting steady-state cardio, with fitness enthusiasts sharing their workouts and highlighting the benefits of longer, cardio-focused sessions.
2. Strength Meets Flexibility With the Expansion of Pilates and Yoga
Pilates and yoga, which have traditionally been more associated with women’s fitness trends, are expected to grow in popularity among men, combining the worlds of strength and flexibility training and preparing men for greater mind-body balance and longevity practices. Celebrities such Harry Styles and Giancarlo Esposito have been spotted working out on the reformer, and according to ClassPass, Pilates was the most popular workout of the year in 2023, with bookings up 92%.
Pilates and yoga have been growing in popularity over the past few years, and this trend is expected to continue into 2024. While these practices are often associated with flexibility and mental wellness, they also offer significant strength training benefits. Many fitness enthusiasts are combining the strength-building benefits of weight training with the flexibility and balance work of Pilates and yoga.
Studios are recognizing this trend and offering specialized classes that blend Pilates, yoga, and other exercise modalities. This allows individuals to enjoy a well-rounded workout that targets both their physical and mental wellbeing. Additionally, technology is playing a role in the expansion of these practices, with apps and online classes making it easier for people to practice at home.
3. Brain Training Will Get Its Time in the Sun
In recent years, there has been a greater emphasis on mental health and wellness, and this trend will continue to gain momentum in 2024. Alongside physical fitness, individuals are recognizing the importance of mental fitness and incorporating brain training exercises into their routines. Activities such as meditation, mindfulness, and stress management sessions will take center stage as people prioritize their mental wellbeing.
“In 2024, trending interest in brain training will grow to become part of everyone’s daily health stack as it impacts optimal bodily performance, including metabolic, mental, and cardiovascular health,” says Paola Telfer, CEO and founder of Sens.ai brain training system.
In particular, the Brain Training Apps market was valued at 6.52 billion in 2021 and is predicted to reach 44.43 billion by 2030, according to the most recent data from InsightAce Analytic. In 2024, we’ll see individuals prioritize mental well-being and seek new ways to optimize cognitive function through accessible at-home methods.
Virtual reality workouts, which offer an immersive experience, will become more popular, providing individuals with an escape from everyday stressors. These sessions will not only focus on physical fitness but also incorporate mindfulness and meditation practices to promote mental health and wellness.
As the fitness industry moves forward, there will be a greater recognition of the mind-body connection and the power of mental wellness in overall health. In 2024, expect to see brain training take its rightful place in the fitness spotlight.
4. Rucking, Hiking, and Outdoor Pursuits Will Continue to Flourish
“Rucking is an excellent overall workout—the functional training benefits of hiking and running with a weighted backpack are undeniable,” says OsteoStrong‘s CEO, Kyle Zagrodsky. Military training and functional fitness have gained popularity due to their potential to enhance daily movement patterns. According to Mindbody, functional exercise is included into more than half (51 percent) of general consumers’ fitness routines, with millennial men leading the way.
While indoor workouts have their place, many people are looking for ways to combine fitness with nature and the great outdoors. This trend towards outdoor pursuits, such as rucking and hiking, will continue to grow in popularity in 2024. These activities offer a range of physical and mental health benefits, making them attractive options for individuals of all ages and fitness levels.
- Rucking, which involves walking with a weighted backpack, has gained traction in recent years due to its effectiveness as a full-body workout. It’s a low-impact form of exercise that can be done anywhere, making it accessible to everyone.
- Hiking, on the other hand, provides an opportunity to explore the natural beauty of the world while getting a cardiovascular workout and engaging the lower body muscles.
In 2024, as fitness goals are set and resolutions are made, outdoor pursuits will offer a refreshing alternative to traditional gym workouts.
5. Workouts Will Gamify and Go Virtual
VR and gamification of exercise are how fitness will remain relevant and appealing to more people in 2024. The global market for VR fitness games was approximately $11.1 billion in 2022 and is expected to reach $16.2 billion by 2030, representing a 4.7 percent growth rate between 2023 and 2030. Whether it’s for relaxation or intense sports training, VR fitness will likely take over many homes in the near future.
The world of fitness will continue to be shaped by technology in 2024, with gamification and virtual workouts taking center stage. Thanks to advancements in fitness apps, mobile apps, and wearable devices, individuals will have access to a wide range of interactive and engaging workouts, all from the comfort of their own homes.
Virtual workouts, which gained popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic, are here to stay. They offer convenience, flexibility, and a sense of community, allowing users to participate in fitness classes and programs from anywhere in the world. These workouts can be personalized to suit individual preferences and fitness levels, making them accessible to all.
Wearable devices, such as fitness trackers and smartwatches, will also play a key role in these gamified and virtual workouts. These devices offer real-time feedback, allowing individuals to track their progress, set goals, and monitor their performance. By integrating these devices with fitness apps, users can receive personalized recommendations and guidance, further enhancing their fitness journey.
Worst Fitness Habits to Leave Behind in 2024
Pushing the body to extremes with high-intensity workouts and minimal rest has gained popularity among fitness enthusiasts aiming for quick results. However, overtraining increases the risk of injury and burnout. Programs like HIIT, CrossFit, and extreme endurance events exemplify this trend. It’s crucial to approach overtraining cautiously and seek professional guidance. Listening to your body and consulting with experts is imperative before embarking on an overtraining fitness journey.
2. Doing Cardio Ad Nauseam for Weight Loss
In the quest for weight loss, HIIT remains a top choice due to its time efficiency and effectiveness. Additionally, strength training gains popularity for its overall health and weight management benefits among both men and women. Group fitness classes thrive for accountability and motivation, especially those with a social aspect. Furthermore, wearable technology and advanced fitness apps integrate into daily life. Mind-body practices like yoga and meditation continue to gain traction for their mental and physical health benefits.
3. Partial Reps for Greater Gains
As fitness enthusiasts seek to optimize their workouts, the trend of incorporating partial reps is on the rise, promising greater muscle gains. Virtual workouts, wearable technology, and mind-body exercises continue to dominate the fitness space, offering personalized experiences for users. Group fitness classes are evolving to provide more individualized attention, catering to diverse fitness goals. With an emphasis on enhancing both physical and mental wellness, the fitness industry is at the forefront of promoting holistic well-being.
Let’s Sum Up
In conclusion, the fitness industry is constantly evolving, and it’s important to stay updated on the latest trends.
As we move forward into 2024, let’s leave behind unhealthy habits like overtraining, relying solely on cardio for weight loss, and partial reps for greater gains. Let’s prioritize holistic fitness and embrace the exciting trends that lie ahead.