By Stephanie Scott
itness trends come and go – and many should stay gone. But some of 2022’s most important fitness trends for women are not getting the attention they deserve. Here are three hidden gems that can change the way you exercise:
Raise the Barre
Barre workouts have been trendy for a while, but the new crop of barre fusion classes are getting the attention of people looking to feel the burn without all the fussy choreography. New class formats combine barre – a ballet-based workout typically done in socks, using a barre for support – with strength training, cardio, yoga and even kickboxing. The focus of barre is on progressive moves, which are low in intensity but high on repetition, making it a good companion for other forms of exercise.
Sheri Shon, a national master barre and fitness trainer, said that barre fitness was an answer to her prayers when dealing with post-surgical limitations. “Barre is for everybody,” Shon said. “And there are so many modifications to account for injury or physical limitations. I can even teach someone sitting in a chair.”
Intervals for Maximum Burn
You really don’t need to spend an hour jogging on the treadmill a day to get cardio results. In fact, experts say that short bursts of high intensity cardio, combined with longer rest periods, can produce better benefits. This type of exercise is known as high intensity interval training, or HIIT.
For those who are short on time and want maximum results (all of us) and can tolerate more intense cardio, HIIT is it. A recent study from California State University-San Marcos compared the calories burned during 30 minutes each of HIIT, weight training, running, and biking. The researchers discovered HIIT burned 25–30 percent more calories than other forms of exercise.
Working Your Core – and Floor
One of the most overlooked areas of fitness for women is our pelvic floor health. “The pelvic floor works in synergy with the breath and is an incredibly important part of the body that doesn’t get the attention it deserves,” says Kim Vopni, a certified pre/post-natal fitness consultant.
According to Vopni, pelvic floor dysfunction – often caused by childbirth, surgery, or aging – can impact a woman’s health, as well as her ability to exercise. Minimal impact exercises such as yoga, barre, Pilates, or functional strength training combined with a focus on pelvic floor safety can help improve pelvic floor tone and eliminate low back pain.
Combining functional strength workouts with short bursts of higher intensity cardiovascular exercise, along with a focus on core and pelvic floor work, is much more than following a fitness trend – it is creating a foundation for a fitter life.