Nothing says summer more than beach days with good reads, barbecue parties with songs of the summer on repeat, and margaritas at 3pm on a Friday (bless summer Fridays!). What it doesn't really say, is working out in a mostly empty gym (seriously, is it only my gym that is never more than a quarter full in the summer?) or spinning in a windowless dark lair. Unless your workout involves a surf session or paddleboard yoga class, it can be hard to motivate yourself to work out in the summer when seemingly everyone you know is out on outdoor patios living their best #RoséAllDay life.
Which is why to re-motivate you to continue working toward your fitness goals, and to also remind you of the few good things that have taken place this year, we are taking a look at all the best fitness trends of the past eight months. Maybe it's just us, but nothing gets us more hyped up to work out than an unconventional class... or a new pair of stylish leggings.
We only have four months left until the end of the year, which means it's about time to put down that rosé and pick up those weights again and try to finish strong, with our fitness resolutions intact. From new classes to buzzy products and fashion-forward apparel, find out what the biggest workout trends of 2017 are, so far.
A step up from yoga, mindful workouts unite the heart-pumping intensity of barre and pilates with breathing exercises of meditation practices. For instance, cult workout The Class by Taryn Toomey combines repetitions of muscle-shaking exercises, ranging from burpees to squats and jumping jacks, with mantras and at-the-top-of-the-lungs screaming (okay, so maybe not quite meditation) for a hybrid that's as good for your abs as is it for your soul and mental state. For even more of a high-intensity boost, studios like Circuit of Change offer bootcamp-style interval training cushioned by meditation at the beginning and end.
If you're not convinced, there's now even a Crunch class that combines HIIT with yoga and relaxation to help improve sleep patterns.
The '90s are back with water aerobics making a comeback. Well, kinda. Actually, not really. But there are plenty of updated workouts that are being taught in, and even on, water. Take, for example, AQUA, a studio that only offers underwater spin classes, or David Barton's new Holy Water class, that takes floating mats to the pool for 45 minutes of in-and out-of-water yoga, or Z Club NY's Aqua Zumba, which sees high-energy dance moves taken to the water for maximum resistance. Hey, your mom might want to join, too.
Trampolines, slacklines, aerial fabrics—it's as if fitness gurus looked to the circus to come up with the newest crop of workout trends. Classes like trampoLEAN use a childhood favorite, trampoline, to get calories burning and abs firming, while this summer's newest obsession, slackline fitness, is having trainers everywhere setting up flat lines for their clients to exercise on top of.
While aerial yoga had a newsworthy moment a few years ago, newer iterations (like AntiGravity AIRbarre, Lyra aerial hoop class, and others) are taking more and more traditional classes to new heights—literally. The draw: Most of these unconventional workouts are high on the fun factor, which is why you might not notice how hard they work your muscles while leaving less stress on your body and aiding with alleviating tight muscles. Seriously, trampoline workouts can do wonders for those with past injuries.
People are now going on vacations to work out (no, really, vacation retreats are a thing; fun fact: "thing" has been recently added to the Oxford English Dictionary). Whether it's going on a solo adventure to Nicaragua to spend 8 hours a day learning to surf or traveling with a group of friends to wine and dine and do yoga in Napa Valley, people are signing up for week-long retreats that align with their fitness interests. "Wellness is an all-encompassing part of our culture today. Instead of partying and indulging, people go on vacation to refresh and recharge," explains Jennifer Bandier, founder of fitness mecca Bandier. "There’s no better way to do it than a fitness retreat, which provides some structure and guidance that maximizes rejuvenation."
At-home workout equipment:
Another relic of the '90s, at-home equipment is making a return to homes, with compact-sized machines ranging from booty-boosting squat perfectors to high-grade stationary bikes straight from the cutting-edge studios from the likes of Pelaton and SoulCycle. Also making a comeback? Jump rope. No really, there's now an entire class, taught by a former Broadway dancer, dedicated to this equipment do-it-all.
YouTube fitness videos have been replaced by apps with, yes, fitness videos. But truly, this year has marked the smartphone fitness boom with apps ranging from Headspace, a guided meditation platform that boasts hundreds of sessions and is Gwyneth Paltrow-approved, to POPiN, an on-demand service that grants you access to exclusive membership-only fitness clubs and charges you based on the actual time you're there, rather than one-day fee, furiously populating our screens.
Our current obsession? YogaGlo, a fitness platform with more than 4,000 professionally-filmed online yoga and meditation classes taught by some of the world's leading instructors. With summer at an all-time high when it comes to packed schedules and vacation days, YogaGlo allows you to participate in a yoga class remotely at your convenience. Find your desired practice by filtering by style (hatha, ashtanga, vinyasa...) and duration (five to 120 minutes), or even by body part, focus (stress reduction, sleep...), or prop. In addition to matching you with a class, YogaGlo can create an optimal schedule that you can easily follow or adjust for your needs and goals.
All-natural workout shakes:
Finally, the days of buying pre- and post-workout shakes with questionable ingredients at dodgy, not to mention grossly testosterone-fueled, vitamin and supplement stores are coming to an end. Brands like Revere, a brand-new subscription service for pre- and post-workout "natural nutrition" featuring ingredients like sweet potatoes, tart cherry, and pea and rice protein, are spearheading the movement for all-natural supplements and overhauling the protein shake's musclehead rep. And, they actually taste good.
Innovative sports bras:
No piece of workout attire is more frustrating than a sports bra; the struggle of attempting to take off an as-if-glued-on number after a particularly sweaty run is real. Which is why the fact that a number of brands are working to disrupt the industry is so exciting. Earlier this year, Lululemon launched the Enlite Bra, a style that took two years to develop, featuring a back closure for easy removal (no more jumping around the bedroom with your arms around your head trying to yank a bra off), cross-back and vertical straps to provide movement and comfort without feeling loose, a bonded underband that doesn't dig in, and an incredible barely-there fabric. It's truly a game-changer and the miracle bra of sports bras.
And even as recently as last week, our favorite lingerie and swim brand, LIVELY, entered the world of activewear with their best-selling (and softest!) bralette reimagined for the yoga studio. Each of the Active collection's five styles is made from a breathable, sweat-wicking athletic material and features sturdy cup support. "We received so many messages from our community for active tops that they could wear from the gym to brunch with their girls. Our community is everything to us, so as we did with swim, we delivered on what our girls wanted and needed," says founder Michelle Cordeiro Grant. "In developing Active, we wanted to provide pieces that had the same comfort and high-style as our leisurée, but with true active functionality. We see Active as another way to enable and empower our crew to be living LIVELY."
Star print clothing:
Star printed activewear was one of the biggest workout fashion trends late last year. Don't believe us? Ultracor's black-and-gold star print leggings, a collaboration with Bandier, proceeded to instantly sell out after first launching (soon after appearing on the likes of Taylor Swift, Shay Mitchell, and Adrianna Lima) and accumulate a waitlist of 500-plus up until the April restock, which saw the debut of four new colorways. With the addition of a crop top, bodysuit, and a zip-up jacket, and with other starry-eyed brands putting out their constellation-dotted collections, the trend is still going strong into this fall.
While tracksuits of the '90s and '00s (from the likes of both luxury houses like Juicy Couture and iconic sports brands like Adidas) had a fashion moment last year, 2017 was all about the active short suit, made up of boxer-like shorts and zip-up jackets and windbreakers; whether in a dance cardio class or out at brunch, we saw the chic combo everywhere. Our favorites came courtesy of the ever-stylish Heroine Sport (in chambray, which is another trend in workout attire), P.E Nation, and Alala (in this rose gold number).
Actually good workout boxes:
Sure, there were a lot of workout subscription boxes that have come out before this year (or the year before that), but nothing has captured the heart of yours truly quite like Out & Back. There is no subscription, which is rare among similar business models that provide discounted luxury activewear, and each box is actually hand selected to include stylish high-performance athleticwear that works for your specific lifestyle.
After filling out a quiz that asks both basic questions, like your measurements, as well as super-specific ones, like what color you won't be caught dead in, your fitness goals, and budget, the lead stylist reached out to me within a few days to narrow down a few details (I provided a larger range of workouts I participate in than most). While on the quiz, I checked off that I do not wear shorts, I revealed to her that I selected that only because, in my past experience with boxes, I was always sent pairs that were too short or tight despite providing my measurements which include me being fuller in my hip area.
In less than a week, I got the perfect workout box (see above). The Koral (yes, Koral!) burgundy top and silver pants are perfect for the crossover days that see me first in a yoga studio and then at brunch, while the Nike sports bra and tank and khaki Vuori shorts make for a fashionable gym getup. Best part: If you don't like one (or any) of the items, you can send it back, while the $20 curation fee can be applied to anything you do end up keeping, which in my case was everything.
This year there was a lot of debate surrounding gym beauty. In the August of 2017 issue of Glamour, accessories director Elissa Velluto wrote a letter in defense of gym makeup, citing her ballet dance background (where hair and makeup are expected to be up to par even at rehearsals) as the reason. Whether you're in the pro or con (with those tired of adhering to "beauty standards" even in their safe spaces) camp when it comes to makeup at the gym, brands have been coming up with beauty and skin care that keeps fitness junkies at its forefront. Clinique has recently launched CliniqueFIT, a line dedicated to providing products that will last through even the most grueling of workouts, while newer brands, like FRÉ, are coming out to provide customized skin care formulated specifically for women who work out and actually, like, sweat.