Editor's Note: WISH-TV has taken on a station initiative to make 2013 the year of Gr8 Health and we're incorporating stories that will help members of the community achieve fitness goals in the new year
INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — The old expression "everything old is new again" rings true for trends in fitness in 2013, according to a new survey released by the American College of Sports Medicine. In ACSM's annual worldwide survey of fitness trends, body weight training — which includes back-to-basics exercises like push-ups, planks, pull-ups, squats and other exercises which use the body as resistance — appears in the top 10 for the first time.
"Body weight exercises are certainly nothing new," says ACSM National Director of Certification Richard Cotton, MA. "I think we're getting more practical with our exercise. We have this whole time pressure thing and we want to do things easily and conveniently."
The convenience of training with one's own body weight does not equal "ease." Popular home exercise programs Insanity and P90x have taken the exercise world by storm. At the core, these programs are based on interval training using body weight exercises to burn fat and gain muscle.
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For many people, these exercise programs are too intense. Cotton recommends starting off simply with well-known, yet very functional, exercises.
"A pushup is very functional because we push [things] and we have to stabilize our body at the same time. So with a pushup, we're not just isolating the pectorals. We're also using the triceps and isolating our abdomen at the same time," says Cotton.
There are several variations of push-ups, but Cotton recommends beginning with the easiest: desk-height or chair-height pushups, first.
For a challenging core exercise, try planks. The exercise requires you to tighten your abs to keep your body rigid. In the process, your core and shoulders are engaged. Cotton recommends holding the plank for 10-seconds at first, then increasing in 5-second intervals as you get stronger.
To see how to perform a plank, click here.
An example of a lower-body, body weight exercise is the lunge.
"Forward and side lunges are good because you're working your hamstrings, your gluteals and your quadriceps with these," says Cotton.
While Body Weight Training landed at the number three spot on the Fitness Trends Survey, there were many others on the Top 20 list. The Fitness Trends survey, now in its seventh year, was completed by 3,346 health and fitness professionals worldwide (certified by ACSM and other organizations) and was designed to reveal trends in various fitness environments. Thirty-seven potential trends were given as choices, and the top 20 were ranked and discussed in the survey report.
The top ten fitness trends predicted for 2013 are:
1. Educated, Certified and Experienced Fitness Professionals: Educated and experienced fitness professionals claimed the top spot in 2013 for the sixth consecutive year. Fully accredited education and certification programs for health/fitness professionals are on the rise. There seems to be an exponential growth of educational programs at community colleges, undergraduate programs, and graduate programs at colleges and universities, which have become accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs through the Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences and more certification programs accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies. The importance of obtaining certification through academic accreditation is highly recognized by the fitness industry.
2. Strength Training: Remaining in the No. 2 spot for the second year in a row, this trend is important for men, women, young and old to improve or maintain strength. Most health and fitness professionals today incorporate strength training into a comprehensive exercise routine for their clients and for patients with stable diseases.
3. Body Weight Training: This is the first appearance of this trend in the survey. Body weight training uses minimal equipment making it more affordable. Not just limited to push-ups and pull-ups this trend allows people to get "back to the basics" with fitness.
4. Children and Obesity: The epidemic of overweight or obesity in children continues to be a serious public health problem. Schools have an emphasis on scholastic achievement limiting the time spent on physical education and nutrition programming. The primary source of physical activity for kids could fall into the hands of the health/fitness industry along with fitness professionals. Corporate and clinical programs also may see this as an opportunity to develop specialized physical activity programs for children of their staff and clients.
5. Exercise and Weight Loss: Incorporating diet and exercise, increasing caloric expenditure and decreasing caloric intake, is of growing interest among fitness professionals. More and more of these professionals are finding the need to be able to provide the right fitness program to balance the energy expenditure/energy consumption scale.
6. Fitness Programs for Older Adults: The baby boom generation is growing older and living longer. Physicians are recommending that these patients enroll in some form of physical activity, thus more opportunities for physical fitness are being provided. Since this group typically has more discretionary money and time than others, fitness clubs should be capitalizing on this market. Fitness professionals should develop programs for the highly active older adult (the athletic old) with more rigorous activities and for the less active adult with more of an emphasis on functional fitness.
7. Personal Training: Personal trainers are accessible to more people in all areas of health and fitness through employment in community-based programs, commercial settings, corporate wellness programs and medical fitness programs. More attention is being paid to the education and certification of trainers.
8. Functional Fitness: Functional fitness uses strength training to improve balance, coordination, and endurance in order to participate in daily activities without any stress. This fitness program is designed to reflect the actual activities the client performs throughout any given day. Often times this program is created for older adults.
9. Core Training: Core training stresses strength and conditioning of the stabilizing muscles of the abdomen, thorax, and back. It typically includes exercises of the hips, lower back, and abdomen, all of which provide support for the spine and thorax. Exercising core muscles improves overall stability of the trunk and transfers that to the extremities, enabling the individual to meet the demands for activities of daily living and sports performance.
10. Group Personal Training: This trend allows the personal trainer to provide individualized service catered to small groups of two to four people. Due to the economic times both trainer and client have needed to come up with different options for personalized training on a budget. This allows groups to have a discounted rate, while still giving the trainer a full schedule of clients.
The full survey is available here .
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