These were the most popular workout trends of 2021

·Features and Health Editor
·3-min read

As we look back on the year that was a lot might have changed for you when it comes to your fitness routine after navigating lockdowns, working from home and isolation.

With gyms closed for some, we turned to home workouts, or maybe even headed outdoors. When it comes to what was the most popular the team at Myprotein looked into the Google trends and search interest over the last 12 months to work out what were the most popular workout trends of 2021.

woman doing home workout
Many of our workout routines changed in 2021. Photo: Getty

Minimal equipment, maximum output

With gyms being one of the last places to reopen following various regional lockdowns, it’s no surprise to see a rise in people searching for alternative ways to workout, often with minimal equipment and limited space.

Search interest for bodyweight exercises rose by 75%, while press-ups (+43%), planking (+28%), pull-ups (+11%), sit-ups (+1%) and squats (+1%) also saw their popularity increase.

As people started to spend more time outdoors, interest in ultimate frisbee (+17%) and parkour (+16%) increased, with the Australian Capital Territory and Western Australia showing the highest levels of popularity.

However, it wasn’t just bodyweight exercises and alternative sports keeping Australians active. 

Kettlebells were the most popular fitness trend of 2021, with a 110% increase in searches over the last 12 months, and New South Wales showing the highest level of interest. Strength training saw a 48% increase in popularity, with battle ropes (+5%) and weightlifting (+3%) also enjoying boosts.

woman using weight
Weight and strength training saw the biggest increase. Photo: Getty

“2021 was lockdown after lockdown, being confined to our four walls with little to keep us busy. We turned to at-home training as an effective way to spike endorphins and break up the monotony of being sat inside all day," Aussie PT Tom Bailey said.

"For most people this was a great introduction to weight training and was enough to keep them.

“I predict a big increase in gym-goers and people that started doing some form of weights at home, looking to continue progressing with their weight training by signing up to a gym where they have more equipment versatility, more space and heavier weights. Strength training is on the rise compared to last year and I believe it will continue to grow.”

Photo: Supplied/Myprotein
Photo: Supplied/Myprotein

Saying goodbye to group workouts

In a year largely defined by social distancing, we saw interest fall in several previously popular group workouts.

Circuit training saw the biggest fall, with search interest decreasing by 72% over the last 12 months. But it wasn’t just circuit training we left behind. Spinning (-48%), tabata (-43%), CrossFit (-22%) and bootcamp (-20%) all also fell out of favour with Australians.

As well as group workouts, a number of sports also saw their popularity fall in 2021, including kickboxing (-48%), karate (-29%), surfing (-25%), athletics (-25%), rowing (-8%), tennis (-8%) and cycling (-6%).

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