Feature Article - March 2011
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Fit To Be Tried

Top Trends in Fitness Programming

By Deborah L. Vence


New Exercise Crazes/Secondary Trends

Finally, from ancient equipment to new workout fads, some newer exercise crazes are beginning to take shape across the country.

Kettlebells, which originated in Russia in the early 1700s, have taken off in both the club and home fitness markets as they have proven to be very effective for building strength.

"Kettlebell training has become popular in that they are inexpensive, un-intimidating, and if done properly, provide an excellent whole body workout that works multiple muscle groups as well as the 'core' at the same time," Poppler said.

Kettlebells, which are cast iron balls (grapefruit to bowling ball sized) with a single-looped handle on top and range in weight from two pounds to more than 100 pounds, involve training that provides a full body workout that works multiple muscle groups as well as the "core" at the same time, Poppler explained.

"Vibration equipment, on the other end of the spectrum, is popular and growing due to scientific claims that they provide efficient total-body workouts in a short period of time, raise testosterone and Human Growth Hormone, increase bone density, support weight loss and relieve pain," she explained.

Lastly—though it's not considered a major, industry-changing trend—a new exercise craze called Drums Alive! is catching on in some parts of the country, such as at the Bowling Family YMCA in El Paso, Texas, that offers the class. A rather newly-discovered exercise that involves exercise balls, tropical music and drumsticks, Drums Alive!, which originally began in Germany, involves a mix of aerobics and drumming on large inflatable balls.

"Drums Alive!" creates unique exercise opportunities using standard equipment. Drums Alive! uses stability balls like drums, which requires upper body conditioning and challenging eye-hand coordination drills," McCall said.

To boot, other new trends to the fitness programming list include worker incentive programs, clinical integration and reaching new markets. Those additions directly reflect some of the work ACSM is doing to globalize its Exercise is Medicine initiative.