Let me introduce you to a fitness icon, wellness expert, founder of The Sculpt Society, and my personal #fitspo: Megan Roup. Roup is a professional dancer-turned-workout pro (#goals), and after listening to her expertise on a podcast interview, I knew she was the right person to help us all get out of the fitness rut that typically comes this time of year: It’s cold outside, we’re more tired than usual, and motivation is lacking. But exercise does not have to be a chore to check off the to-do list or a boring habit we keep up with for the sake of routine; it should always be enjoyable, challenging, and exciting, no matter the time of year (or weather outside). So to put us all out of our fitness rut misery, I grilled Roup on the trends we can expect to transform our fitness routines this year. Read on for her 2022 predictions that you can start trying right now.
1. Shorter, quicker workouts
So long, 90-minute workouts! 2022 is all about ditching extensive training if you only have time to fit in quick workouts, whether that means a few five minute spurts of yoga flows throughout the day, a 15-minute walk, or 30 minutes of an online class. “There will be a big emphasis on quick, effective workouts (i.e The Sculpt Society “quickie” workouts). My affirmation is to commit less so you can show up more,” Roup explained. “Small chunks of movement each day adds up to big wins, and consistency is the key to the success of any fitness journey.” Shorter spurts of exercise is not just a trend; it makes perfect sense. Committing to shorter workouts is way more realistic and sustainable, since you’re setting yourself up for success when you’re busy, traveling, or just don’t feel like spending an hour exercising (which, let’s be honest, happens a lot).
2. Gyms are coming back, but digital fitness isn’t going anywhere
In 2020, we learned to break our gym addiction and exercise at home. But even though our favorite yoga studios and fitness centers are opening back up, digital fitness isn’t going anywhere. “When it comes to gym memberships or digital fitness, it is and, not or,” Roup said. “Many people will have a gym membership and a membership to an app.” If you think about it, having both offers the perfect workout routine.
With digital fitness, you have the flexibility of exercising anywhere for any amount of time. But boutique fitness classes or a gym membership offers a different environment, type of workout, or equipment from you could do virtually. With both, you have the best of both worlds. Roup said that she’s even seeing more members using The Sculpt Society at the gym so they have more space and equipment for their favorite workouts they can also do at home. Don’t have a budget for both? Switch it up by trying a drop-in class every couple of months to challenge yourself and get out of your routine or check out free YouTube videos at home on the days where you don’t have time to get to the gym.
3. More focus on pelvic floor muscles
You know to work your ab muscles and glute muscles, but what about your pelvic floor muscles? In the next year, Roup predicted this important (and overlooked) area will become more of a priority, and for good reason. “In 2022, there will be more conversations around the pelvic floor and fitness, especially as it relates to pregnancy.” She explained that just like other muscle groups in the body, the pelvic floor muscles can be strengthened and lengthened, and focusing on these muscles help support pregnancy as well as help with recovery after labor. Pregnancy not in your plans? Pelvic floor exercises as part of a well-rounded workout routine will continue to grow in popularity since they have been connected to everything from better sex to ab definition. To start, try The Sculpt Society’s 360 Breathing classes or try exercises from a pelvic floor expert like Courtney Virden.
4. Less equipment
Good news for those of us who hate going to the gym or live in studio apartments: Bulky equipment and even weights are getting less important for fitness. “Workout equipment can be a limiting factor for a lot of people who are traveling, working with a budget, have limited space, or are on the go,” Roup said. “Workouts that require no equipment or light equipment that’s easy to travel with will make the entry point easier and more cost-effective to get started.” In other words, fitness is way more accessible in 2022. While weight lifting has amazing benefits or machines can be a great way to challenge yourself, you don’t need any equipment to reach your fitness goals. Body weight is good enough. And if you like having something to guide your workouts, leave the weights at home (we need to reserve all the weight in our suitcases for curling irons and shoes!) and pack a light jump rope or resistance band instead.
5. Prioritizing fun workouts
And now for my personal favorite 2022 trend: having a lot more fun. Gone are the days of intimidating fitness classes where the instructor scares you into running faster, accountability coaches who get you to the gym by bullying disguised as “motivation,” or forcing yourself into a boring run on the treadmill or lift at the gym because you think that’s what’s good for you. Let’s all agree to ditch fear-based fitness and instead opt for what feels good. Feeling more confident, proud, motivated, and excited isn’t some woo-woo self-help advice; it’s the most powerful fitness hack to actually stay consistent. “The more fun and enjoyment we find in workouts, the more consistent we will be with them,” Roup agreed. “People are looking to exercise to find positivity and be uplifted.” And in 2022, we could all use a little more uplifting.