2013 was a booming year for the fitness world. It was the year of fast-paced workouts (hello, HIIT), innovative fitness classes (hello, TRX, kettlebell, barre), and a shift in fitness philosophy (hello, 30-minute high intensity workouts; goodbye, 60-minute long cardio sessions). 2013 was a great year for women looking for serious results with limited time. Huffington Post collected the 10 most popular workouts of 2013, including the most worked target areas as well as the most popular fitness styles and classes. With the boom in fitness awareness and the need to work multiple muscle groups at a time and still see results with a jam packed schedule, I’m sure we’ll continue to see a large focus on these top 10 trends in the next 12 months. Remember, fitness can be (and should be) fun, so try new things to spark your love for working out while giving your body (and mind) a major boost as you work new muscle groups.
woman doing a side plank with trx
TRX training takes bodyweight exercises up a notch. The portable straps allow you to use gravity to your advantage and provide resistance and also assistance to help you tailor tough workouts to your individual needs. Sure, it’s a strength workout, but the balance and flexibility benefits are not to be ignored.
woman doing a forearm plank
We think it’s safe to say 2013 was finally the year when planks officially overthrew crunches. And with good reason, considering the risk of straining your back or neck during a poorly-performed crunch. Planks are more efficient, incorporate ab-supporting back muscles and help you drive more power from your hips, Details reported. However, it’s not about how long you can hold one. Once you’ve mastered the plank, try variations like these to really up your ab game.
woman on row machine for back exercise
About 80 percent of American adults report some back pain, according to Consumer Reports, and certain exercises can actually help stave off the aches. For a stronger back, try perfecting your row. And, don’t forget to stretch! Try these simple moves before you even get out of bed in the morning.
woman doing a shoulder workout with free weights
Is there anyone who doesn’t want more defined shoulders?! What might be surprising to many gym rats is that more defined shoulders means focusing on all the muscles surrounding the joint. Too often, we neglect the rear deltoids, according to WebMD, leading to injuries and poor posture. Pull-ups and rows (both on a machine and off) are good options, as are lateral raises, which can be performed in a number of variations, like the Y-T-W raise.
woman doing a kettlebell lift
Once the weird new gadget no one knew how to use (or pronounce!) properly, kettlebells are now essentially mainstream, thanks undoubtedly to CrossFit’s rise in popularity. The trademark kettlebell swing is a powerhouse move for stronger legs, back and core. A complete kettlebell workout can even improve aerobic capacity, according to a small American Council on Exercise (ACE) study. A word of caution: Form is of the utmost importance, especially if you’re new to kettlebells. It’s important to master form at a low weight before advancing, and to focus on quality over quantity. Read up on more common kettlebell mistakes here.
Want to get the rest of these popular workouts? Click here to be taken to the original story from Huffington Post.