5 fitness trends set to be huge in 2023

From diving into the metaverse to twerkouts, experts predict how we’ll be getting fit next year. By Prudence Wade.

Prudence Wade
Friday 30 December 2022 07:00 GMT
The 12-3-30 workout is gaining in popularity (Alamy/PA)
The 12-3-30 workout is gaining in popularity (Alamy/PA)

Is getting fitter one of your resolutions this year?

It’s undoubtedly an admirable pursuit, but it can be a tricky one. Even if you’ve promised yourself you’ll go to the gym more regularly, it’s altogether too easy to find your willpower fade away as January wears on.

The key to success is finding something that truly excites you – so it might be worth trying one of the fitness trends experts predict will be huge in 2023…

1. Fitness in the metaverse

Virtual reality fitness isn’t entirely new, but it’s not yet hit the mainstream and that could be about to change. Dan Cohen, programme director at Les Mills (lesmills.com/uk), has already dipped his toes into the world of VR fitness by bringing a boxing workout to Oculus Quest headsets – and he’s sold.

“There’s this thing that hasn’t yet been done – and that is really understanding the balance of where does fitness start and gamification begin?” Cohen muses. “Where does gaming stop and fitness start with that technology?” He suggests this balance is finally being met and says he’s seen “there really is a need and the desire for this”.

Fellow Les Mills programme director Rachael Newsham agrees. “It’s a little bit new to people right now,” she admits, “but I really can see it being familiar” – particularly as we search for new ways to stay fit.

“There are a lot of people who aren’t currently moving – I myself was one of those who in lockdown was experiencing the sedentary lifestyle, [thinking] how do I get my activity levels up? Not working out, but working out, is one of the ways to do it,” Newsham adds. “So [VR] is a really effective way of using your time, as you don’t put it on to think, ‘Oh, I’m definitely doing a workout’. You put it on with curiosity, and then you realise this workout is happening and you are not avoiding it.”

2. Workouts tailored to women’s health

As conversations around women’s health – particularly menopause – continue to open up, we might start seeing more workouts designed to support female issues.

“Exercise has been shown to reduce all menopause symptoms, as well as improving symptoms of endometriosis, polycystic ovary syndrome, painful periods and premenstrual syndrome,” says Leanne O’Brien, physiotherapist and women’s health service lead at Ten Health & Fitness (ten.co.uk). “Workouts tailored to women’s health and menopause should include resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, mobility and stability training.”

That’s why O’Brien suggests workouts such as dynamic reformer Pilates will become increasingly popular in 2023, as it “covers three out of four of these key elements”. She adds: “When used in conjunction with running, aerobics or brisk walking, it forms the perfect exercise combination for the menopause and perimenopause.”

3. Twerkouts

Working out in 2023 is going to be a whole lot of fun, particularly if GP and PT Dr Folusha Oluwajana’s big prediction comes true (fitdocfolu.com).

“Dancing has always been a good way of getting physical activity and burning calories, and if you haven’t heard of twerking, where have you been!” she says.

“Twerkouts can definitely help you burn calories whilst having some fun, and they could possibly also improve your moves on the dance floor. Whether you want to twerkout at home or join a group class, this is a fitness trend we’re likely to see grow in the next year.”

4. The 12-3-30 workout

You might have seen the 12-3-30 workout on TikTok, and it’s only growing in popularity. This is “a treadmill workout that involves walking 3mph on incline 12 for 30 minutes”, explains Carlo Corbin, PT at PureGym Manchester (puregym.com/city/manchester). “It’s easy to do in that you only need a treadmill, but the workout itself is more challenging than it sounds.”

So what are the benefits? Corbin says it’s “achievable for most abilities and can help to improve your cardiovascular system”.

Didn’t think cardio was trendy any more? “Cardio often gets a bad rep, but it’s important for our physical and mental wellbeing, and having a strong heart and lungs will actually help with other forms of training, including strength training,” Corbin points out.

5. Hyrox

If you like your workouts with a more competitive edge, you might want to sign up for Hyrox.

“Hyrox is a global competition which combines functional and endurance training – if Tough Mudder, Warrior Run and CrossFit had a baby, this would be it,” says Corbin. “Each competition combines a 1km run with one functional exercise, repeated eight times. Participants are timed, and this is measured against every other Hyrox athlete across the world.”

With over 40 races across 11 countries, there might be a Hyrox near you – and there are plenty of benefits to training for a competition.

“Hyrox workouts help to build strength, stamina and aerobic endurance,” says Corbin. “Functional training builds full body strength, power and mobility, and can help you move more efficiently in day-to-day life. Strength gains will also translate well to any additional training or sport you do.

“Aside from the health benefits, Hyrox workouts can be great for people who get bored training in one style. The competitive element is also a great motivator, and there is no minimum level of fitness to compete. If you’re unable to get to a Hyrox event, you can easily replicate this workout in any gym with a treadmill and functional equipment.”

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