Over the past couple of years, barre and boxing have been the must-try workouts, and classes have cropped up in gyms across the country. Some gyms have even combined the two in one session. This year, there are several new approaches that you’re likely to see appear on your gym timetable. Now that summer has finally arrived, here are six ways to recharge your fitness routine…

Function and form

Functional fitness is a term that has been tossed around for a few years in gyms. It’s the idea that you’re strengthening muscles that you use every day to prevent injury, such as when you pick up or reach for your handbag without putting out your back. Fitness First has unveiled new machines to help elevate your workout, including the Assault Bike, which keeps up with your pace as you push, pull and pedal – effectively, the more resistance you give, the better the workout.

Dive in

Swimming is an age-old favourite way to enjoy a full body workout. Next year, fitness clubs including Virgin Active will be utilising their pools and offering low-impact, high-intensity water-based group High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) classes. Incorporating long distance and sprint swims, as well as resistance activities, will give you a well-balanced, unusual workout.

Top Tip

Incorporating long distance and sprint swims will give you a well-balanced, unusual workout

Fit not thin

The assumption that strength training and lifting weights makes you bulk up is slowly being overturned. Women are starting to realise that it is a myth, and strength training will actually make them feel and look amazing; you only have to look up hashtags like #fitnotthin and #girlgains for confirmation. Look out for lifting groups and the rise of
one-to-one coaching on weights.

A mindful mentality

In a world where we’re all switched on and connected all the time, it’s unsurprising that the mindful concept has reached gyms, where the focus is usually on sweating out your stress instead. Training is about taking some time out to check in with yourself and understand how you are feeling.
While yoga might have been on the rise last year, for 2017 there will be a greater appreciation for its ability to strengthen your core and calm your mind. Expect to see beginner courses offered in high street gyms and candlelit classes.

360 Fitness

If you’re already thinking that you’ll spend 45 minutes spinning around in circles, you’re on the wrong path. This trend is all about understanding every aspect of your body, and the best blend of exercise to keep it functioning optimally, as well as how to look after it pre and post-workout. The world of fitness is going to see a huge shift towards people taking a more scientific approach to understanding their bodies, and how they work best in order to perform to their greatest potential, including a greater knowledge of how a full range of movements can prevent injury. In London, boutique studios such as Twenty Two Training and Grace Belgravia already offer in-house treatments, including sports massages, but these will become the norm across the bigger chain gyms throughout 2017 too. Look out for Virgin Active’s Beyond Movement programme, launching this year.

Tiny dancers

The popularity of dance-based classes is evolving into a more athletic style, with a rise in gymnastic-based classes that work on your strength, balance and mobility. By December next year, it’s likely that there will be a barre, street and gymnastic hybrid class to merge all of the techniques.