Body Weight Training Now a Top Fitness Trend

Body weight training is now a top fitness trend for the first time, according to the American College of Sports Medicine‘s annual worldwide survey released today.

body weight training top trend

Body weight training includes exercises that use the body as resistance, requiring minimal or no additional equipment and includes exercises like push-ups, planks, pull-ups, squats and others.

“Body weight exercises are a proven way to get and stay fit.” said Walt Thompson Ph.D., FACSM, of Georgia State University, who authored the study. “In a time when many people are concerned with cutting expenses, body weight exercises are a great way to feel great and look toned without a big financial investment.”

Here are the top 10:

  1. Accreditation matters: Demand for fully accredited health/fitness education programs continues to rise.
  2. Strength Training is in the number 2 spot two years running and is important for all ages.
  3. Body Weight Training appears for the first time: body weight training uses the body’s own resistance and minimal if any equipment.
  4. Children and Obesity: Citing the rising obesity epidemic, the prediction here is that part of the solution will lie in the hands of health and fitness professionals as schools are unable to fully address the problem.
  5. Exercise and Weight Loss: Helping clients understand their personal body math of calories consumed and calories burned is a hot topic among fitness professionals who want to provide their clients with personalized programs that will help them meet their goals.
  6. Fitness Programs for Older Adults: As the aging population grows, lives longer and has more money and time to spend, fitness clubs should be developing more programs for both highly active older adults and those who require functional fitness (see number 8 below).
  7. Personal Training: Now accessible to more people through community-based programs, corporate wellness programs and medical fitness programs.
  8. Functional Fitness: Strength training to improve balance, coordination, and endurance in order to enable people to take part in daily life without stress.
  9. Core Training: Exercises that help to stabilize muscles of the abdomen, thorax, and back, helping people to participate in both daily life and sports.
  10. Group Personal Training: For small groups of two to four people, this allows a more personalized approach for people on a budget who wish to share the costs with others.

Interestingly, pilates, balance and stability ball training dropped off the top trends list a few years ago and have not reappeared. Full details of the complete survey are available here.

The ACSM’s survey measures trends as reported by 3, 346 certified health and fitness professionals globally. Trends are behaviours that have traction among a lot of people and are not the same as short-lived fads.

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