Hottest Fitness Trends for 2013

If you’ve been powering through endless planks, pushups and heavy dumbbell curls in class, not only are you a fitness badass, you’re also a trendsetter. That’s right. According to a new survey released by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), strength training, body weight training and core training will be among the most popular fitness trends of 2013.

In the seventh annual ACSM survey, 3,346 international health and fitness professional ranked and voted on the top 20 emerging trends in fitness and these three made the top ten list:

BODY WEIGHT TRAINING  – Using your own body weight as resistance training may go back for centuries, BUT this is the first time it has appeared as a trend on the survey. This desire to “get back to basics” with minimal equipment and expense makes fitness accessible and available outside of the gym.

People automatically think of pushups, pullups and planks when referring to body weight training, it encompasses so much more. Anyone who has ever done wall sits, burpees, mountain climbers and lunge jumps knows how incredibly challenging and creative you can get using your own body weight as resistance.

Here’s a do-anywhere workout, including the office, designed by Barry Jay.

STRENGTH TRAINING – Still holding strong at the #2 position in the survey, this trend reflects the recognition that both men and women need to incorporate weight training in order to have a comprehensive exercise routine. According to the CDC, strength training isn’t just for bodybuilders. It’s crucial to people of all ages and can reduce the symptoms of numerous diseases and chronic conditions such as arthritis, diabetes, obesity and depression – just to name a few.

Women in particular, need to lift weights in order to increase bone density and stave off osteoporosis and osteopenia. Contrary to persistent myths surrounding women and weights, lifting heavy WON’T increase bulk or size. In fact, adding lean muscle mass is crucial to increasing metabolism and is an underutilized ally in the weight loss war. Trainer Rhonda Hunt dispels the most prevalent weight training myths in this article.

CORE TRAINING – A strong core consists of more than a sexy six-pack.  Since the abdominal muscles have very limited and specific action, what experts refer to the as the “core,” actually consists of many different muscles that stabilize the spine and pelvis, and run the entire length of the torso. When these muscles contract, they stabilize the spine, pelvis and shoulder girdle and create a solid base of support. What this means is that all your energy originates in your core, before transferring to your arms and legs.

Even if you don’t care about improving athletic performance, the biggest benefit of core training is developing functional fitness – the type of fitness that is essential to daily living and regular activities. If you want to lift groceries, chase after your kids and do housework without strain or injury, you need a strong core.

Here’s a video demonstrating a coregasmic, core strengthening move as demonstrated by trainer Martin George.

Fitness model: Scott Haddock, Barry’s Bootcamp trainer, Sherman Oaks and West Hollywood.

Photographer: Rachel Mumford, co-founder of Barry’s Bootcamp.


Minsun Park is a blogger, writer and a black belt in taekwondo who gets her ass handed to her daily by her two sons. She’s written for iVillage, SheKnows, ePregnancy and is featured in “The Hot Mom’s Handbook” by Jessica Denay. She can be found on Facebook and Twitter.


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Minsun Park