The best new fitness classes and free online workouts to kickstart your autumn wellness routine. From menopause yoga to viral walking workouts to 'brain workouts' and transformation strength challenges, we present you with the hottest fitness trends right now
September is the month many look to reinstate some sort of order into life so no wonder there are so many fitness trends taking the exercise world by storm right now. And you don't have to be some sort of pro-athlete to engage, and let's not forget to enjoy these new fitness trends. They range from (completely free!) viral walking workouts to the new high-energy fitness classes to try now, 'brain workouts,' strength challenges and yoga that is specifically tailored to suit mid-life needs. Read on to discover the list of fitspiration and the hottest fitness trends to get you back in the game.
Walk, walk, walk: the viral TikTok workouts
One good thing to come out of the pandemic is our mutual appreciation for the power of walking. It’s free, accessible and will do wonders for your mind. Naturally, this has given way to a slew of new walking trends on TikTok. Earlier this year, the 12:3:30 workout went viral thanks to user Lauren Giraldo (@laurengiraldo), who shared her half-hour treadmill routine. The formula is simple, walk for 30 minutes at an incline of 12 per cent and speed of three miles per hour (or 4.8km on most British treadmills). Simple, but surprisingly effective if you're the kind of person who struggles to know what to do on a treadmill ordinarily. More recently, it’s been all about Hot Girl Walk, coined by TikToker Mia (@exactlyliketheothergirls) and inspired by her pandemic strolls. The concept is also straightforward but you don't need a treadmill: go on a four-mile walk (6.4km) and only think about three things: the things you’re grateful for, how hot you are and the goals you have in life. Think of it as a moving gratitude practice.
@hauskris Didn’t even walk half the work day and got in soooo many miles!! #walkingpad #treadmilldesk #standingdesk #wfh #wfhlife #wfhhacks #productivity #treadmill #workfromhome ♬ original sound - Kristen
TikTok is a wealth of knowledge - not only did it reveal the TikTok trend 'fruit as makeup' - but it's now teaching us all about under-desk-treadmills, just like the one TokTok user Kristin aka (@hauskris) uses in her now viral video below, which has notched up 5.2 million views. The beauty of under-desk treadmills is that they take up far less space than regular treadmill equipment and can be neatly stacked away when not in use. They're also slightly less expensive - we found this under-desk treadmill on Amazon, £150. If you struggle to get your steps in on a normal day WFH this could be the answer.
Consider menopause-tailored fitness
Next month marks Menopause Awareness Month, and more and more influential women and trainers are sharing how they tweak their fitness routines in mid-life. Looking for something calming and low-impact? Qigong could be your new best friend. With a focus on encouraging the flow of energy around the body, by combining movement with breath and focus, it’s an ancient Chinese medicine technique that will leave you zen and energised. Read how qijong affected one woman's menopause symptoms here. Try it for free via TCM practitioner Katie Brindle’s Hayo'u Fit platform under a seven-day trial. If you like it, you can sign up to unlimited virtual Qigong FOR £40/a month from the comfort of your own home.
Regular strength training is a good idea during menopause to avoid loss of muscle mass and bone density and ultimately prevent conditions like osteoporosis. Lorraine Pascale (@lorrainepascale) shares her strength training journey during midlife on Instagram, along with helpful high-protein recipes to refuel and handy mobility exercises for recovery days. She’ll have you picking up a pair of dumbbells in no time. As will Kate Rowe-Ham (@katerh_fitness), aka the Menopause Coach and founder of the Owning Your Menopause app. Meanwhile, Caroline Idiens, aka Caroline Circuits (@carolinescircuits), and her 30-minute online strength classes have garnered a loyal following online. She offers members three classes a week for £35/month. Try a taster of a Caroline Circuits strength class here.
If yoga is more your thing, try dipping into Menopause Yoga creator (@menopause_yoga) Petra Coveney’s new online classes every Monday evening (6pm-7.30pm) or why not try an express punchy rocket yoga practice with GTG’s editorial director Victoria Woodhall (@victoriawoodhall) every Wednesday and Friday at 8am (completely free!), you can downward dog along with TV presenter-turned beauty mogul Trinny Woodall who is a fan too.
For a full day of wellness, including yoga, qigong and sound healing, catch both Victoria and Katie at the upcoming In Your Element Wellness Festival in Eccleston Yards next month.
Book into a high-energy new fitness class
Sometimes (budget permitting) you just need that group workout energy to get those endorphins pumping. And London is home to a wave of exciting new openings and new class launches.
First up Peloton, the spin bike brand opened the doors to its London flagship on Covent Garden’s Floral Street last month. Spread across three shiny new floors, with some of the fanciest facilities we've spotted in a gym, it features both a treadmill and spin studio where you can join live classes with your favourite UK instructors, from Susie Chan (@susie_chan) and Joslyn Thompson Rule (@joslynthompsonrule). Even if you're not a die-hard fan of the brand, you'll get a buzz from partaking in the sessions which are livestreamed to the rest of the world in the famous bright blue room. Choose from the likes of 30-minute HIIT sprints on the treadmill, 45-minute walking workouts and gruelling tabata training on the bike. Should you be considering splurging on Peloton equipment, this is also a great way to try out the kit before you commit. Classes from £25, book here studio.onepeloton.co.uk.
Like your HIIT surrounded by seriously stylish interiors? Look no further than John Reed Fitness the first UK outpost from the luxury German gym chain which opened opposite Liverpool Street station at the beginning of the year. It’s without a doubt London’s chicest, with excellent facilities, including a boxing ring, live DJ, sprawling free weights and cardio area and large Finnish sauna to decompress in after a sweat sesh. Yet, whisper it, since launching last January, it remains relatively undiscovered, meaning you'll never have to queue for a machine and you'll get plenty of one-on-one attention with trainers in classes. Choose from calisthenics, hot yoga, barre, Pilates and a range of strength and conditioning sessions, the list goes on. Membership from £100, johnreed.fitness.
Just around the corner is Rowbots City, the second studio from Gareth Bale’s boutique mindful rowing concept (the first is in Fitzrovia), which has just unveiled two fun new 50-minute classes that you don’t have to be a rowing enthusiast to enjoy. Energy is the brand’s first ever strength-focused session, while Capacity is a new conditioning class that incorporates the ski-erg, assault bike and rower, interspersed with weights - not for the faint hearted. Do also check out the rowing-focused classes, you'll be surprised how meditative they can be. Classes are available at Rowbots City and Fitzrovia and cost from £24, while memberships start from £120/month, rowbots.co.uk.
Take on a transformational fitness challenge
Sometimes a good old dose of accountability and structure is the only way to jumpstart a routine - which is where challenges come in.
We like the sound of a personal trainer and Evolve You app creator Krissy Cela's (@krissycela) new low-impact Strong Express programme. It's a carefully curated eight-week programme aimed at those of us with hectic schedules, who want bang for our buck when it comes to working out. Each week you’ll commit to three 30-minute full-body (dumbbell-only) workouts that will help you learn the foundations of strength training, gradually increase your strength and challenge you both mentally and physically. The programme is available to members for which there are three subscription options: annual £89.99 (£7.50 per month), quarterly: £37.99 (£12.66 per month) or monthly: £15.49. You'll also get access to on-demand yoga, barre and HIIT classes, as well as nutritious recipes.
For something completely unique, at-home fitness platform Fiit has designed four and eight-week training programmes inspired by Hyrox, a new global race and fitness challenge designed for people who love functional fitness. The games combine strength and endurance and take place on 15 October in Birmingham and 19 November in London, with more dates scheduled into 2023. Fiit's Hyrox training plans are curated by superstar trainers, including Luke Baden, Gede Foster and Laura Hoggins who have put together the two four-week block programmes. Each week consists of six workouts ranging from 10 to 60-minute sessions, designed to target the body’s three energy systems. These include three treadmill workouts, dumbbell strength, functional core and cardio sessions, as well as at least one recovery session per week. Whether or not you're training for race day, it's a great way to add structure to your training. Sign up here fiit.tv.
Try a 'brain workout' with breathwork
If you haven't yet discovered the power of breathwork, let this be your excuse to try it. Starting Monday 26 September Breathpod's Stuart Sandeman is hosting free live 30-minute breathwork sessions every morning on Instagram (@breathpod) at 7.30am for 21 days, to help you start your day right and head into the new season feeling calm, aligned and recharged. We bet you'll be surprised by the transformational effect a regular breathwork practice will have on your mind.