Experts continue to extol the efficiency of HIIT, and yogis everywhere are Downward Dogging to the sweet sounds of Drizzy. Boxing? It's never been cooler (thanks, sisters Hadid). Needless to say, we have a pretty good idea of what's trending in fitness—but on the flip side, what about the classes that have waned in popularity over the past few years? Where'd you go, Zumba?
Every year, nearly 3000 fitness and health pros contribute their expertise to the American College of Sports Medicine's annual fitness trends survey. As useful as it is for charting the rise of everything from fitness wearables to bodyweight training, it also sheds light on the once-popular workouts and fitness trends that have since fallen in standing over the years.
While health buffs might get a kick out of reading the very detailed survey, we've broken down some key takeaways below, along with some further insight from Sheila Monaghan, editor in chief of Furthermore, Equinox's online health and fitness destination. And, of course, keep in mind that if you happen to love a workout or class that isn't ranking so highly, then by all means keep doing it—the beauty of our current wellness climate is that there really is something for every person and preference.
Keep scrolling to get the lowdown on this year's least popular fitness trends—and prepare to be surprised.
It seems as tough as ever to nab a spot in primetime SoulCycle and Flywheel classes, yet this year, cycling fell off the ACSM survey's top 20 trends for the first time ever. This might have something to do with the rise of high-intensity interval training, which offers the same benefits and calorie burn of sweaty, high-energy cardio in half the time—or even less. HIIT was ranked number three on the survey.
"People want to maximize their time, always, which explains why our readers gravitate towards 20-minute workouts," says Monaghan. "They want hard-and-fast sessions that they can do on their own in the span of a lunch break."
While traditional Pilates didn't make the grade this year, plenty of experts vouch for the ever-growing popularity of the Megaformer—a resistance contraption that essentially ups the ante (and burn) of those same sculpting exercises. Equipment-phobes, take note: The same goes for bodyweight exercises, which earned the silver medal on ACSM's survey. "Planks, push-ups, and pull-ups continue to be super-performers, but we're also seeing increased interest in strength and mobility tools like the mace ($28) and the landmine," says Monaghan.
Once upon a time, this dance-cardio infusion was all the rage, but it was noticeably absent from this year's top 20. "[Experts] argue that previously popular Zumba … and now boot camp have run their useful course and can no longer be called a trend," state the authors of the survey. According to Monaghan, however, there's another countertrend to note: Clubs and gyms are opening up more training floor space to accommodate the influx of bodyweight exercises and weight training. Of the latter, she notes that "it's no longer the domain of beefy former football players—all body types, shapes and sizes, and ages are getting on board with heavy lifting."
Surprised by the trends? Tell us your thoughts below.