New Year Brings Obscure Trends Bubbling to the Surface

The ‘new year-new you’ momentum will carry many fitness trends forward in 2018. Yes, high-intensity interval training, wearable devices and functional fitness will all still be discussed in our workout conversations. But inventive gyms and trainers are also always pushing the boundaries, hoping that they will be on to the next big thing.

Lifestyle pubs post ideas both strange and wonderful. Find your health routine needs some serious shake-up? Maybe tap into some of these ideas for inspiration.

Death Metal Yoga: If you’ve already tried naked yoga, beer yoga, weed yoga and goat yoga, what the hell is next? Well, don’t look too far… Metal Yoga Bones hit the studio a few years ago, but it seems to just now really be gaining traction. The concept is an effort from a German-born, New York-based instructor who wanted to combine her two passions: Eardrum-bleeding rock with graceful, mind-opening stretches. The end result is a mash-up that is so weird, it kind of works. Think of a practice that’s a bit darker and more head-banging than the standard – where they call the shavasana what it is, the corpse pose. (Raises metal horns high.)

A Mermaid Swish and Sesh: Combine a little childhood fantasy with an effective water-based workout in mermaid exercise classes. From Australia-based No Ripples to Michigan’s own Mermaid Fitness, sloshing around in fins is making waves in certain exercise circles. With so much talk about the idea, it seems bound to emerge from more pools and shores this year. So slip on a tail and work that core.

Cryotherapy: If you ever feel like stepping into a freezer after you’ve worked up a good sweat, this post exercise routine might be for you. The idea is that sub-freezing temps can help muscle recovery by immediately reducing inflammation. Popular on the West coast, the cool-down concept continues to grow in eastern markets. With treatment centers popping up around the country, cryotherapy has quickly become an option even for amateur athletes.

Virtual Reality: More of us are shelling out money for high-end computers and headsets. Some VR apps make programs that make a full-body workout feel more like a space invader battle. Pilates could be completed in a soothing deep-sea environment. Even gyms are trying to incorporate some of these gaming elements into group classes. It’s such a movement, that the Virtual Reality Institute of Health and Exercise – based out of San Francisco State University – uses scientific tools to rate the exercise potential of VR and AR. This effort to harness the digital realm to power us physically continues to show up strong at health clubs around the country. Take for instance The Pursuit by Equinox, where a darkened room and projection screens push stationary cyclists and their teammates to a higher gaming level.