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Workout trends – what’s popular, and why

What do you think of when you think of the word “fad?” If you thought of diet plans or workouts, you’re probably not alone.

Anyone worth their Jazzercise leg warmers knows that a trendy workout helps the proverbial medicine go down. In their heart of hearts, people know that running, pushups, and not much else are required to get in shape and stay there. But where’s the fun in that? We’re social creatures after all, and being on top of the latest trend helps to keep things fresh and engaging.

Here are the trendiest workouts to look for in a gym or magazine near you.

Image used with permission by copyright holder


“Total-body workout” is such an oft-used phrase that it’s nearly lost all meaning. It’s like the unicorn of workout routines. But unicorns do exist, and one of them is named rowing.

Why is rowing a trend? Because there’s no better total-body workout this side of swimming. And no pool membership is required.

Rowing machines activate a remarkable variety of muscle groups in the upper body, lower body, and core region. Some of these include:

  • Abs
  • Arms
  • Calves
  • Glutes
  • Pectorals
  • Quadriceps
  • Shoulders
  • Upper back

To sweeten the deal, the rowing world has found its answer to Peleton, and it may be the hottest home gym on the market today. Hydrow simulates the real-life rowing experience, with real-time workouts led by instructors actually rowing through actual bodies of water. It also offers a slew of pre-recorded workouts, as well as plenty of statistics and opportunities for competition.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Resistance bands

It’s time for a dose of what is known as real talk: exercising is expensive.

At least it can be. Gym memberships, classes, personal trainers, and sophisticated home equipment all can run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars before you even break a sweat.

But the alternatives — remember running and push-ups? — aren’t always so inspiring. Into the breach steps the resistance band, a humble but highly versatile piece of equipment whose applications are limited only by a user’s imagination.

Resistance bands can add some spice to a bland home workout, but also carry uncommon fitness benefits. Because they resist and thus tax your muscles through the entire course of the movement, you get more bang for your buck on each rep.


The most basic of exercises is also one of the most popular.

During the early months of the Covid pandemic, when gyms closed their doors and people were becoming just a bit stir-crazy, walking found a whole new crop of converts.

According to data from British market research firm Mintel, 24% of people ages 16-24 years now identify as walkers, up a tidy 8% from 2018.

The benefits of walking — and hiking, its more glamorous cousin — are well-known and fairly self-evident. Some lesser-known benefits? Walking can improve mood and even creativity.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

High-intensity interval training

It’s not so much a workout as it is an overall fitness strategy, or maybe even a school of thought. Whatever you call it, high-intensity interval training, more commonly known as HIIT, pays demonstrable dividends.

Simply put, it’s a form of training that alternates short periods of intense exercise with slightly longer recovery periods. Just about any exercise is a candidate for the HIIT treatment, from running, jumping rope, burpees, stair climbing, and the list goes on.

HIIT is popular because it works. It makes you sweat while working cardio and strengthening your muscles. One big bonus: The strategy can save you time, as you don’t have to work out as long as you would under traditional circumstances.

As our understanding of the body continues to evolve, so too does our understanding of exercise. That’s certainly reflected in the ever-changing fitness landscape. Fitness trends all have the same bedrock principles — boost cardio, build muscle — but the diversity of our collective workout menu means there are many ways to arrive at these endpoints. Whether it’s to target one area differently or more closely, or simply to make the same old motions more fun and engaging, there’s likely a bandwagon out there just waiting for you to jump on.

BlissMark provides information regarding health, wellness, and beauty. The information within this article is not intended to be medical advice. Before starting any diet or exercise routine, consult your physician. If you don’t have a primary care physician, the United States Health & Human Services department has a free online tool that can help you locate a clinic in your area. We are not medical professionals, have not verified or vetted any programs, and in no way intend our content to be anything more than informative and inspiring.

Scott Harris
Scott Harris is a freelance writer based near Washington, DC, with more than a decade of experience covering health…
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