Back-to-basics exercises are hot for 2013


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Posted Online: Jan. 14, 2013, 10:18 am
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Forget fancy workout gear. One of the hottest trends of 2013 suggests you need nothing more than your own body weight.
Body weight training includes back-to-basics exercises — pushups, planks, pullups, squats and other exercises — and using the body as resistance is a leading trend this year. A survey recently released by the American College of Sports Medicine says among fitness trends, body weight training appears in the top 10 for the first time.
"The reason body weight exercises are becoming popular is because it's a proven way to get and stay fit," said Walt Thompson, associate dean for graduate studies and research in the College of Education at Georgia State University, who authored the study.
Thompson said using your own body weight to work out has been around for centuries. Gyms are repackaging body weight training by adding lights, music and fitness instructors to make it seem "fun, exciting, new," and body weight training is something people can do at home for free.
The American College of Sports Medicine survey, now in its seventh year, was completed by 3,346 health and fitness professionals worldwide. Other fitness trends rounding out the top 10 include strength training and sharing personal trainers.
Jacob McLendon, owner of AGX, formerly Adrenaline Group Xercise, has seen interest in body weight training build for years now.
McLendon said people are more likely to combine intense cardio with strength training to achieve more well-rounded fitness. Some of his fitness clubs' most popular classes include a mix of exercises such as leg squats, pushups and plyometrics, which involves high-intensity jumping moves.
"People are getting more educated on the body and how it operates, and how body weight training not only makes you strong, but can help you with everyday movements in life like lifting your groceries into the car, or walking up that flight of stairs," said McLendon, who has fitness centers in Chamblee and Sandy Springs, Ga.
Laura Wilkinson Sinton shares a personal trainer with a friend three days a week. Doubling up on the trainer makes it less expensive than one-on-one sessions, and having a workout buddy gives her accountability.
The intense, 60-to-90-minute sessions begin with a one-mile run and include a wide range of exercises designed to make the body sweat and build muscles — lifting weights, lunges, pushups and bench presses, and the list goes on. Her personal trainer devotes one session a week to body weight training.
While her weight has remained the same, her body fat percentage has sharply dropped.
"I recently had my checkup, and my doctor said, 'Whatever you are doing, keep doing it,'" she said. It's not particularly cheap -- Wilkinson Sinton estimates she spends about $500 a month on the personal trainer.
"It's an investment in myself," Wilkinson Sinton said. "I can cut out shopping for clothes and other things. The way I look at it is this is preventive health care. I can spend the money now or spend the money later on health problems."

The top 10 fitness trends predicted for 2013 are:
1. Educated, certified and experienced fitness professionals --Fitness professionals claimed the top spot in 2013 for the sixth consecutive year. Fully accredited education and certification programs for health/fitness professionals are on the rise.
2. Strength training -- Remaining in the No. 2 spot for the second year in a row, this trend is important for men, women, young and old to improve or maintain strength.
3. Body weight training -- This is the first appearance of this trend in the survey. Body weight training uses minimal equipment, making it more affordable.
4. Children and obesity -- With nearly one in three children ages 10 to 17 considered overweight or obese, childhood obesity continues to be a serious public health problem. A growing number of commercial and community-based programs are teaming up with schools to fight the obesity epidemic.
5. Exercise and weight loss -- Incorporating diet and exercise is of growing interest among fitness professionals. A growing number of fitness programs are offering everything from meal planning to onsite nutritionists to regular lessons on nutrition.
6. Fitness programs for older adults -- The baby boom generation is growing older and living longer. With this group typically having more discretionary money and time than others, fitness programs for older adults will remain a strong trend for 2013.
7. Personal training -- As more professional personal trainers become certified, they are more accessible and available in a wide variety of settings such as corporate wellness, community-based and medical fitness programs.
8. Functional fitness -- Functional fitness uses strength training to improve balance, coordination and endurance in order to participate in daily activities without any stress. Often, this program is created for older adults.
9. Core training -- Core training stresses strength and conditioning of the stabilizing muscles of the abdomen, thorax and back. It typically includes exercises of the hips, lower back, and abdomen, all of which provide support for the spine and thorax.
10. Group personal training -- This trend, fueled by the economic downturn, allows the personal trainer to provide individualized service catered to small groups of two to four people. This allows groups to have a discounted rate, while still giving the trainer a full schedule of clients.
Source: American College of Sports Medicine annual survey completed by 3,346 health and fitness professionals worldwide.



















 



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