Posted on December 28, 2018 by Josh Puttock
With 2019 just over the horizon, we’ve taken this opportunity to talk to a few of our contacts in the industry to discover the upcoming innovations and trends in exercise, fitness technology and health. Expect to see the emergence of high performance, expert-led running programmes, the rebirth of home exercise routines, with some help from new technology, and a return to animal instincts on the yoga mat.
High Performance Running
The rise in the number of UK runners, bolstered by nationwide initiatives such as parkrun, looks set to continue. Many, though, will be aiming for personal bests with help from new high performance running groups and track-based training sessions.
“People want new ways to challenge themselves and improve their running times,” says Omar Mansour, running coach with Track Life LDN. “Track running once had a stigma of being a playground for just the elite/club level athletes. But now, these communities can help everyday runners train in an arena that motivates them to progress and reap the benefits.”
Omar’s team will launch Track Life x running club in conjunction with Pullman Hotels in 2019, adds that runners want to become faster and fashionable.
While the typical age range is late 20s to late 30s, the youngest guest has been seven years old and the eldest over 60; demonstrating that taking to the track is set to take off big time.
Digital Fitness Home Workouts
2019 will see a 21st century makeover for the home workout, thanks to interactive 4G and 5G workout sessions streamed to smart TV’s.
Ian McCaig, founder of FIIT TV, reveals how the ‘Netflix of fitness’ is about to take off. There’s been very little evolution in the home workout market in the past 30 years, but developments in smart technology, wearable devices and live streaming mean that a more interactive, more social and more immersive experience can be delivered to users. Ian believes there will be more innovation in the next three years than the last thirty.
Brands like Peloton, Zwift and Fiit will drive the adoption of at-home fitness solutions – and could even negatively impact some gym brands. “With digital fitness currently growing ten times faster than the gym sector as people look for more convenient, more cost effective and often more motivating ways to get fit, the market is ready for disruption and digital fitness will be one of the leading drivers in shaking up the industry,” McCaig adds. It is certainly a market which you’ll see and hear more from in the next year.
The newly-launched The Engine Room rowing studio in London features a new generation of Technogym rowing machines, and is one of the most recent indicators that rowing is set to become the new spinning. As fitness enthusiasts seek out ever more challenging ways to achieve their daily high intensity workout, the rowing machine has come to the fore as the choicest bit of exercise kit to have at home or hog at the gym.
Personal trainer and owner of The Engine Room, Chris Heron, explains, “We use Technogym’s SkillRow and a screen at the front of the room that displays each individual rowing machine’s performance, which helps motivate you to push harder. We use different measurements in different sections of the class, which keeps it motivating.”
Chris’ classes mix instruction for beginners with coaching, great for those looking for variety in their cardio workouts and intensity.
Trail running is on the rise as the desire to experience a more mindful, meaningful and often digitally-detoxifying form of exercise encourages runners to take to the paths and fells, and The Guardian reports a 1000% increase in the number of ultramarathon.
Editor of Trail Running magazine, Paul Larkins, believes the desire for adventure running and doing ultramarathon distances is set to be a major trend in 2019, partly due to it being an ideal antidote to the time pressure of life. Paul notes, “I have seen an amazing rise in trail running. The shoe and clothing companies are doing better than ever, and it’s getting harder to get into a trail race – they fill up so quickly now. It’s amazing: more and more are turning to trail events.”
The adventure factor seems to be the key behind this major trend with people wanting to try new activities by stepping out into the unknown and exploring their surroundings.
Find Your Inner Animal
Animal Flow is a new take on an old activity and it is heading this way from the USA. The exercise routine, which combines the flexibility enhancing moves of yoga with the agility demands of breakdancing, could leave Pilates, Hot Yoga and more sedate stretch sessions in its wake.
The movement has been created by bodyweight exercise specialist Chris Flitch. The routines feature names such as Ape, Beast, Crab and the Scorpion, and encourage practitioners to create their own ‘flow’, stretching safely whilst also strengthening weaker areas such as the wrists.
Animal Flow has already captured the imagination of CrossFit devotees and with the main focus on mobility and flexibility, it could also appeal to runners, riders and all-round fitness fanatics too.
We look forward to seeing you in the fitness studios of 2019!