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Why 2015 Is the Year of Free Fitness

Barre3Workout_400Watch your back, SoulCycle. This year, fit folks are moving away from $35 boutique classes to a better choice for both wallet and abs. Body weight training was named the No. 1 fitness trend for 2015 by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). The association surveyed 28,000 health fitness professionals to find out what was on trend in the world of fitness, and body weight training came in on top.

What makes body weight training so effective? First, it’s as familiar as an old sneaker. The training is based on old-school movements that you probably remember from gym class, like push-ups, pull-ups, jumping jacks, and squats. You need little to no equipment, you can do it at home, and the movements can be done alone or as part of a larger workout. Lots of versatility means a higher likelihood you’ll actually work out regularly.

Body weight training is also very efficient: Research shows that body weight-based exercises done in short sessions will yield maximum results. It also works multiple muscle groups at once, so you’ll maximize workout time by hitting different areas simultaneously. In other words: You can improve balance, flexibility, and strength super fast without forking over the big bucks. What’s not to love?

If you’re more comfortable letting someone else take the lead, barre classes incorporate body weight training as part of getting those thighs “shaking and quaking.” And barre is bigger than ever in 2015. Studios are popping up in towns and cities all over the place, and some companies like Physique57 and Barre3 offer classes online. If you haven’t tried barre yet, 2015 should be your year.

Coming in at No. 2 is High Intensity Interval Training, the winner of the top spot last year. Still a favorite in group strength-training classes, HIIT uses anaerobic interval training with less-intense recovery periods for optimal fat burning and muscle building. Rounding out the rest of the top 25 were the usual suspects, like yoga, strength training, and personal trainers.

So stay at home and kick your gym membership back to 2014. Your bod, and bank account, will thank you for it.

Photo courtesy barre3

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