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Top fitness trends of 2014

Canadian Living
Health

Top fitness trends of 2014

Crossfit In 2014 we saw a surge in fitness trends outside the typical gym workout. Words like “Crossfit” and “Fitbit” entered our fitness vocabulary and changed the way we think about getting active. We’re counting down some of the biggest fitness trends from the past year. 5. Ballet-inspired workouts Ballet is back in a big way, but it’s not graceful dance moves everyone is looking for; it’s those long, lean ballerina muscles. Tons of barre studios popped up in Canada in the past couple of years, and many women took their place at the barre, pliéing and arabesquing their way to stronger cores and toned limbs. This workout trend is effective because it works muscles you didn’t know you had and challenges your balance to engage your deep core muscles. Try our basic barre workout. 4. Obstacle races You’ve likely heard of Spartan Races and Tough Mudder events. Though they've been around for a while, they gained huge popularity this year. Unlike your usual road races, these competitions consist of miles through mud, over walls, into water—even through fire. When you sign up, you never know what to expect, though ropes, barbed wires and monkey bars have been known to make appearances in these courses. Expect to sign waivers at the start and feel a huge sense of accomplishment at the finish line. These races aren’t just about performing—they’re about surviving. 3. Yoga mash-ups In the past few years, yoga has become a staple in many Canadians' lives. In 2014, it became engrained not only in our daily routines but also in other workout regimens. This year you might have tried yogalates (a fusion of yoga and pilates), yoga-spin class (sometimes called Spynga), barre yoga—even yoga for runners. All kinds of fitness instructors are seeing the benefits of stretching, balance and flexibility on overall fitness and performance, so they're incorporating yoga into different fitness routines. Haven’t gotten into your own yoga practice yet? Start with these seven yoga poses for beginners. 2. Crossfit Crossfit used to be the territory of hard-core athletes—a grassroots competitive fitness movement meant to distinguish the strong from the super-strong—but in 2014, it became mainstream, with Crossfit gyms opening up throughout the country. Some workplaces even started their own after-hours workouts. Crossfit is a strength and conditioning program that is all about pushing your body to the limits, with box jumps, kettlebell swings, burpees, pull-ups and other pain-inducing exercises. This workout is not for the faint of heart. Be careful: The competitive culture and demanding workouts of Crossfit have been known to cause injury. 1. Wearable tech Whether you got a Fitbit, Jawbone or Nike Fuel Plus band this year, or you’re waiting for the Apple Smartwatch in 2015, wearable tech is everywhere. Early models are like pumped-up pedometers—tracking your steps, distance moved and calories burned. As we move into 2015, you can expect this trend to continue and these smartbands to grow even smarter, adding features such as heart rate monitors and other fitness trackers in the future. Though they might have started by helping people achieve simple fitness goals—like walking 10,000 steps a day—they will soon be able to help elite athletes reach more intense fitness goals. (Photography: FlickrCC/Crossfit Fever)
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Top fitness trends of 2014

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