9 Biggest Fitness Trends for 2020

2020 Fitness Tends

How would you like to stay fit in 2020? If you are looking for a new exercise routine, just getting started, or want to shake up what you're doing already, you may find something of interest in this list of the 9 biggest fitness trends for 2020. We checked out several sources, including the American College of Sports Medicine and several fitness experts to discover what's going to be hot in the coming year.

Read about 9 exercise and fitness trends for 2018

Wearable technology

According to the American College of Sports Medicine, wearable technology is the number 1 trend. It also held this position in 2016, 2017, and 2019. Items in this category include smartwatches, GPS tracking devices, heart rate monitors, and fitness trackers. If you want to know how many steps you take per day, how many calories you burn, what your heart rate is, and more, these may be the devices for you.

Mindfulness and mental health

At least one fitness studio is predicting a rise in an exercise routine that incorporates mindfulness and mental health not only during class but before and after as well. This means we can expect to see more meditation, massage, flotation tanks, cryotherapy, and breathing therapies being offered as part of fitness classes.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

Although HIIT is not new, it is still a strong contender as a trend for 2020. For the uninitiated, HIIT involves engaging in short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short rest period. This cycle is repeated multiple times. This approach allows you to maximize the actual time you spend exercising while minimizing the overall amount of time you are active.

Read about 7 health trends here to stay

Free weight training

Working with barbells, dumbbells, medicine balls, free weights, and kettlebells has never really gone out of style, and now it's enjoying a resurgence. What's especially important is to learn from an expert on how to use these exercise tools properly and safely. Using the correct form for each exercise is critical if you want to maximize your benefit and not get injured.

Happy hour workouts

Remember when happy hours meant meeting at a nearby bar for drinks with your colleagues and friends after work or school? That may be changing, at least for some folks. Group exercise or sweat classes after work are a healthy way to work off stress, bond with your coworkers, improve productivity, and develop friendships. That after work brew may be replaced by a spin class or yoga.

Fitness Trends 2020

One-on-one training

Also known as personal training, this fitness trend has been around for a while and shows no signs of fading. When you work with a personal trainer, you set goals, get fitness testing, and get help staying motivated. Although it may not fit everyone's budget, there are a range of personal training options from health clubs to online experts, worksite trainers, and at-home trainers.

Exercise is Medicine®

This worldwide health initiative focuses on encouraging healthcare providers to evaluate their patients' physical activity state and make exercise recommendations as part of their treatment plans. This is something like "writing" a prescription for exercise. Does your doctor participate in Exercise for Medicine(R)?

Fitness for older adults

This trend is going strong, and that's no surprise since people are living longer and remaining active longer as well. More and more gyms and health clubs are catering to the fitness needs of older adults by providing more personal trainers and offering more tailored fitness classes.

Bodyweight training

The concept of bodyweight training has been popular around the world for only a few years. Basically it involves using the weight of your body as the training modality or equipment. Examples include pushups, various types of squats, lunges, and pullups.

In bodyweight training, you use a combination of variable resistance bodyweight training and neuromotor movements to support and maintain fitness, improve flexibility and strength, and enhance coordination and balance. A trainer can help you choose the best exercises for your needs. Since little other actual equipment is necessary, it's also an inexpensive way to exercise.

2020 fitness statistics

Some of the statistics that are emerging as a result of these trends are interesting to note as well. For example:

  • There's a growth in the number of fitness clubs and fitness franchises
  • Boutique fitness studios are gaining in popularity as compared with exercising outdoors or going to a traditional gym. These studios that specialize in certain activities or offer a specific range of exercise opportunities.
  • Foreign fitness markets—Russia, Turkey, and Poland in particular—are growing quickly
  • A high percentage of millennials (81%) say they are interested in engaging in physical activity to stay in shape. A growing number of people in this age group are using wearable technology and joining fitness centers.

Bottom line

The fitness field is organic, ever-changing and shifting but always searching for new, effective ways to stay in shape. This list of fitness trends for 2020 has some familiar faces, some newcomers, and some modified oldies. The basic message, however, is to keep moving, enjoy yourself, and complement your physical activities with good nutrition, sufficient sleep, and a positive attitude.

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Morris N. The hottest fitness trends for 2020. Metro 2019 Sep 25
Team Linchpin. Trends that will transform the fitness and crossfit industry outlook in 2020. Industry Market Trends 2019 Dec 5
Thompson WR. Worldwide survey of fitness trends for 2020. ACSM's Health & Fitness Journal 2019 Nov/Dec; 23(6): 10-18
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Deborah is a freelance health writer who is passionate about animals and the environment. She has authored, co-authored, and written more than 50 books and thousands of articles on a wide range of topics. Currently, she lives in Tucson, Arizona.