Top fitness trends for 2021

The ACSM has released its list of trends to watch out for in 2021.

The American College of Sports Medicine has released its annual global survey of the top fitness trends for 2021. The survey went out to fitness facilities across almost every continent, including Australia, with more than 4000 respondents from the fitness industry.

Online training has shot to the top of the list of worldwide fitness trends to watch out for in 2021. In addition, virtual training was at number six, demonstrating that more people were training at home.

Considering the ongoing effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, this new number one on the list makes sense and provides opportunity for fitness facilities and industries to take note of how people are training at the moment.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected every person and industry this year, especially those in health and fitness. It caused fitness facilities to close and restructure services. Plus, the challenges of engaging clients at a distance resulted in the use of some very strategic delivery systems,” said Walter R. Thompson, lead author of the survey and Past President of the ACSM.

“As we deal with the lasting effects of the pandemic, new systems like online and virtual training are critical to ensure the continued physical and mental well-being of people around the world.”

At number two on the worldwide list is wearable technology, down from the top spot last year.

The worldwide top 10 fitness trends for 2021:

1 Online training

2 Wearable Technology

3 Body Weight Training

4 Outdoor activities

5 High Intensity Interval Training

6 Virtual training

7 Exercise is Medicine

8 Strength training with free weights

9 Fitness programs for older adults

10 Personal training

Australia’s list of fitness trends for 2021

Australia has dealt with the COVID-19 pandemic better than many other countries, which might be why the list of Fitness Trends for 2021 in Australia looks a little different to the worldwide one. Thus, the number one trend on the worldwide list, online training, appears at 19 on our top 20, reflecting that our fitness facilities were able to reopen more quickly than other places.

Of the 42 possible worldwide trends, Australia’s list contains 40, with two Australia-specific trends added: inclusive fitness centres and quality accredited businesses.

Australia’s number one trend is Strength Training with Free Weights, which was a new entry just last year.

Australia’s number two on the list is Functional Fitness Training, while Group Training came in at number seven and High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) at eight. Functional and group fitness equipment, such as our bridge and SYNRGY systems, provide multiple options for facilities that offer versatile training areas.

Australia’s number four is Fitness Programs for Older Adults. As we see more and more research on the importance of exercising well into life, it’s only natural that older adults are wanting to maintain their health and fitness for as long as possible. It’s great to see fitness facilities taking this into account.

At number nine on our list is Exercise is Medicine, which aims to encourage health care professionals to prescribe physical activity for injury and for exercise to become a standard in healthcare.

These two trends make it clear that the fitness industry believes in catering for older demographics as well as the injured. Equipment such as the SCIFIT range, which is designed for people of all ages to stay active, as well as help physical rehabilitation is key here.

Australia’s top 10 fitness trends for 2021:

1 Strength Training with Free weights

2 Functional Fitness Training

3 Employing Registered Exercise Professionals

4 Fitness Programs for Older Adults

5 Wearable Technology

6 Body Weight Training

7 Group Training

8 High Intensity Interval Training

9 Exercise is Medicine

10 Exercise for Weight loss

For more information on the ACSM fitness trends, you can read the full report here.


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