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YHL takes a look at some of the health and fitness trends predicted for 2020

Strength training

“For too long, lengthy cardio workouts have been the go-to exercise for individuals with generic fitness goals like getting in better shape, losing weight, and toning up,” says Abbie Watkins, a qualified personal trainer from OriGym Centre of Excellence, ( “The benefits of strength training for losing weight and toning up have been overlooked until pretty recently. Now, thanks to the introduction of free weights into group exercise classes, we’re going to see the trend of strength training with free weights grow even more in 2020. Strength training with barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells and medicine balls makes you feel good mentally and look good physically so not only is it going to be one of the most popular exercise trends of 2020, it’s a trend that’s here to stay!”

Wearable fitness trackers

“Fitness trackers like the Fitbit have been around for a while now, but demand for them is increasing significantly, especially as the technologically is becoming even more advanced,” says Abbie Watkins. “In 2020 I expect that we’ll start to see more wearable fitness trackers – mainly in the form of clothing. There are already a couple of brands which have released this ‘smart clothing’ but it hasn’t really taken off just yet. The kind of thing you can expect to see become more popular includes running socks that record data on your pace, distance, time running and even running style, so that you can track your progress and identify areas that have potential for improvement. Smart clothing also includes compression t-shirts with integrated sensors that can measure heart rate, anaerobic threshold and general fitness level. The data is immediately available to view on a smartphone app.”

Recovery classes

Workout classes will begin to take on a more holistic vibe with the implementation of recovery classes, predicts London-based gym group Gymbox. Gymbox also envisages an increase in the number of people using meditation, breathing exercises and sensory deprivation experiences in a bid to cut themselves off as part of their weekly fitness regime. This takes the idea of a digital detox and allows members to have scheduled down time throughout the week; something we could all do with more of. The 2019 programme of recovery classes at Gymbox included Cannabliss, Braingasm, Digital Detox and Gonged Out. There will be a continued focus in 2020 to educate members on the importance of taking care of their mental health as well as physical.

HIIT Pilates

“Bridging two types of proven exercise techniques in to one workout has already gained huge momentum in the UK, and 2020 will see this continue to rise in popularity,” says Kate Burdett, head of training at leading Pilates studio, Raw Pilates. “There will be a greater demand for classes which encourage individuals to combine their high intensity interval training (HIIT) with low impact forms of exercise, which is exactly what we are trying to achieve with the launch of the new Power Reformer Class at Raw Pilates. The benefits of low impact training, such as Pilates, are already well documented, from injury prevention to improved core stability and increased muscle strength, which is why I encourage all my clients to incorporate low impact training into their regime. Combining elements of HIIT with a low impact form of training such as Pilates enables you to train at a faster pace whilst burning fat and reaping all the benefits of a full body workout. Incorporating Pilates into the same workout allows you to target the smaller supporting muscles which are often neglected in HIIT, and improve core strength, flexibility and balance, as well as preventing injury, which is often one of the main issues of HIIT.”

Digitally enhanced yoga

“Focusing on the mind and spiritual development, yoga is a practice that has long remained distant from the digital world,” says Charlotte Cox, founder of Fly LDN. “However, over the past few years, yoga has slowly crept into the ever-changing technological world and people are now using these advances as a further way to enhance their yoga performance and experience.” At Fly LDN, yoga classes are practised against a huge display screen which projects immersive and vibrant cinematic visuals, from mountain ranges to ocean swells and sunsets, offering a completely immersive experience. “Not only does it inspire you to work harder and enhance your overall performance, but it also makes it a much more enjoyable workout as the screen is truly captivating,” says Charlotte. “Whilst improving your overall performance and experience of the yoga session, an immersive screen allows you to escape reality and focus your mind, also bringing yoga into the modern, ever-changing world.”

Mindful running

“This particular trend is coming from the increasing levels of stress and pressure that an increasing number of individuals face,” says Melissa Weldon, head trainer at treadmill-based training concept, Sweat It ( “Mindful running enables you to put all of your worries to the back of your mind, disconnect from everything that is making you feel overwhelmed, and allow yourself some ‘me-time’. Mindful running also encourages you to pay attention to your training and learn how to be more present-focused. At Sweat It London, our 50-minute treadmill-based PACE class has been created for this reason. We want people to be able to channel all of their energy and thoughts into their training and truly immerse themselves in this experience, rather than worrying about whether they have completed what has been left at their desk. PACE has been carefully programmed to take you through everything from warm up to endurance, inclines and high intensity intervals. The session’s playlist is curated in a similar nature to spin; so, each track matches the intensity of the phase and you can just switch off and roll with it.”

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