- Google recently released its “Year in Search Trends” for 2019.
- Among the most popular exercise trends were innovative and high-tech fitness solutions, including the Mirror streaming device and a workout with electrical muscle stimulation.
- But some old-school workouts, like planks and medicine balls, appeared on the list alongside some unusual fads.
- Here are the top 10 fitness terms that experienced the biggest increase in searches from 2018 to 2019.
10. “Medicine ball workouts” experienced a surge in searches, though it’s not a new invention.
The balls range in weight from 4 pounds to well over 20 pounds, and can be used in a wide variety of exercises. One of the most common is to throw and catch a medicine ball against a wall or the ground, or back and forth with a partner. You can also use them to balance your feet or hands in plank position to build core strength.
9. Plank exercises were another versatile, full-body trend.
Planks can be performed without equipment and only require a small amount of space, making them convenient for a workout at home or while traveling.
To do a basic plank, plant your feet and hands on the ground and hold your body off the ground as though you’re about to do a pushup. Keep your spine straight and tuck your pelvis, tensing your muscles to keep your back in a straight line.
To make it easier or harder, vary the plank by resting on your elbows or knees, adding movement, or balancing on one arm or leg.
8. The “flat stomach workout” refers to any combination of exercises aiming to reduce stomach fat and build ab muscles.
Six-pack abs were a coveted fitness goal of 2019, with people looking to tone their cores with exercises like mountain climbers, burpees, planks, medicine ball slams, and crunches galore.
But getting a flat stomach requires more than exercise. You can’t spot-reduce fat in a specific targeted area of the body and often, impressive abs have more to do with good genetics and a careful nutrition plan than any specific workout.
Still, consistent healthy eating habits, and the right kind of high-intensity exercise can lead to a stronger-looking midriff.
7. Plantar fasciitis exercises were trending as people searched for solutions to heel pain.
Plantar fasciitis is the medical term for a stabbing pain in the heel, caused by inflammation in the tissue on the bottom of the foot.
It’s common among distance runners but can also affect people who spend a lot of time on their feet, for work or other reasons. It can also be a side effect of obesity, as extra body weight can put more pressure on the feet.
Regardless of the cause, exercises to treat the pain include calf stretches and using a foam roller or firm ball (such as a tennis or lacrosse ball) to massage the bottom of the foot.
6. Bungee workouts bring aerial acrobatics to the gym.
Bungee workouts (sometimes described as “anti-gravity”) use the elastic straps more commonly known for adrenaline-junkie leaps into canyons. But instead of keeping you from a deadly fall, they harness your own kinetic energy and body weight to make for a unique workout.
Bungee workouts may be popular simply because people find them fun, but they can also be good for people recovering from injuries or otherwise looking for a low-impact alternative to traditional exercises, since the bungee cords also take some of the pressure of your joints.
5. The BBG workout, a 12-week “Bikini Body Guide” program from personal trainer Kayla Itsines, trended in 2019 even though it’s not new.
The 28-minute workouts are available in two digital formats (e-book or app), starting at around $48, or a $20 per month subscription.
Each workout is divided into seven-minute circuits, during which participants try to complete as many rounds as they can of four different exercises. The exercises include body-weight moves like pushups and lunges but also use equipment like resistance bands, medicine balls, jump rope, and kettlebells.
Searches for “bbg workouts” peaked in June of this year, right around the start of bikini season for most Americans.
4. Body Groove workouts are an alternative form of dance-based fitness routines.
Body Groove is a dance-based home workout program you can follow via DVD or online streaming. Sessions are divided into five-minute long workouts.
Like Zumba and similar rhythm and music exercises, it incorporates a few simple movements into a choreographed routine, but without a strict emphasis on nailing the moves.
This loose structure is intended to allow people to relax and enjoy the movement without feeling self-conscious, according to the Body Groove website.
The program’s founder, Misty Tripoli, was a trainer for years but struggled with body image issues and eating disorders. She has said she wanted to bring an empowering and affirming form of exercise to people who might be otherwise be intimidated by dancing or going to the gym.
3. Manduu exercise uses electrical muscle stimulation to boost your workouts.
Manduu promises to give you a 15-minute workout that’s equivalent to “six hours of strength training” using electrical muscle stimulation, or EMS.
EMS has been around for years, mainly in physical therapy, because it can cause muscles to contract rapidly. For athletes or people with injuries, this can help reduce swelling and inflammation, according to Runner’s World.
As for the big claims about Manduu’s effectiveness, a review of available research found that EMS can be an effective workout to build muscle and burn fat, especially for older people or folks otherwise unable to do conventional workouts, but it’s not a substitute for good old-fashioned gym work.
Searches for Manduu jumped in mid-November, when the company opened a second fitness studio in Memphis, Tennessee.
2. The “One Punch Man” workout is based on a superhero from Japanese anime and manga.
One Punch Man
“One Punch Man” is a popular fictional character from Japanese anime and manga, so named because of his ability to knock out even the strongest foe with a single punch.
His daily workout, according to the series, is simple: 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, 100 squats, and a 10 kilometer (6.2 mile) run.
The concept is at least three years old, but interest in the grueling endurance routine peaked in April of this year after investor and finance writer Sean Seah tried it for 30 consecutive days.
He documented the impressive results, appearing to have a lost significant amount of weight and gained muscle.
The vast majority of fitness professional don’t recommend skipping rest days, though, since it can increase your risk of injury and doesn’t give your muscles time to recover.
1. Mirror fitness brings high-tech live-streamed workouts right into your home.
Courtesy of Mirror
The top trending workout search of 2019 was Mirror — a device that streams live and on-demand workouts and personal training into your home.
Celebrities including Kate Hudson, Ellen Degeneres, and Reese Witherspoon have praised the equipment too. It looks like a full-length mirror, and so doesn’t take up as much space as other bulky fitness tools, although you still need room to move around.
Its “mirroring” format allows users to see both themselves and the instructor to helps users learn new skills, and the device can customize workouts based on fitness level and injuries.
Celebrity trainer and fitness innovated Sebastien Lagree even said Mirror is the first new concept in exercise tech he’s seen in a long time. Its downfall is it’s hefty $1,500 price tag.
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