Hybrid Workouts & Tik Tok: How To Sweat In 2022

·7-min read
Photo credit: Catherine Falls Commercial - Getty Images
Photo credit: Catherine Falls Commercial - Getty Images

While you were busy stockpiling toilet paper, enduring Zoom quizzes and prepping yourself for the weekly emotional episode that was clapping for the NHS, the fitness world was busy doing a full 180. In 2020, home workouts became the norm, and we all began to pay more attention to our health than ever before. This paved the way for a 2021 of various virtual innovations, but little did we know things were only just getting started.

Come 2022, exercising in your living room is about to get a whole new lease of life (think AI-powered form-tracking and SATC-themed workouts), while fun is the name of the IRL new year game. Here for it? Same. Read on to find out how you'll be sweating in 2022.

You'll embrace 'Exer-tainment’

If anyone’s going to tell you about the importance of fitness for how it makes you feel, it’s us. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: the workout you'll stick with is the workout you enjoy, and now you've got no excuse.

Following in the footsteps of Peloton’s Disney-themed rides (which we imagine are only going to get even better), other fitness brands are hosting immersive and interactive classes. Obe Fitness has 60 themed on-demand sessions to choose from, including dance cardio inspired by Cruella, while last year they teamed up with HBO Max for Sex and the City-inspired classes. And just like that, sweating became fabulous.

You'll game the system

Speaking of entertainment, we’re backing the brands pioneering gaming in exercise. Plenty are reframing their workouts from plain-old sweat sessions into interactive games, making for a solid dose of motivation.

Take FitXR. Formerly known as BoxVR, it offers a virtual reality workout in which you use a headset and follow a series of cues to box to, while watching how you fare against others via the leaderboard.

PlayPulse is also leading the charge with indoor spin bikes complete with pedal sensors, gaming controllers and a touchscreen to make it feel as though you’re really in the game, as well as Mulu – an app that hosts five minute challenges for you and your friends to compete via Instagram.

Strava and Zwift work in a similar way as users go head-to-head in virtual races. The idea is that exercise becomes less of a need, and more of a want. And it works.

You'll log on to artificial intelligence

PTs soon adapted to virtual sessions after gyms closed in 2020, but there was still a margin for error with form cues – turns out it’s not quite as easy to notice if someone’s knee is tracking over their toes by 1cm on screen as it is in real life.

We’ve since put together plenty of guides to help those struggling, but for those in the market for a more in-depth approach to digital personal training, worry not. Vay Sports, GymFitty, VAHA and Yoga Notch are just a few of the companies using image recognition and motion tracking to correct your form and provide handy technique tweaks.

How? The technology used (mirrors/wearable sensors/AI apps that adapt to any camera on your phone, laptop or tablet) is programmed to recognise common incorrect movement patterns like arching your back or lifting your toes. Ground-breaking.

You'll stay home...again

Don't panic, we're not predicting another lockdown - we'll leave the Covid-shaped predictions to Chris Whitty. But you won't be surprised to learn that home workouts are here to stay.

Several members of the WH team have converted for good, while a study by sweatband.com found that 52% of those who workout on the reg will continue to do so from home, rather than returning to a gym.

Chief among the reasons is that some gyms are simply too spenny, while hygiene concerns and feeling intimidated by commercial gym equipment came up, too.

You'll embrace hybrid workouts

Hybrid working: not just for the nine-to-five. For those who a) still want guidance from a gym or b) still enjoy working out from home, you’ll be first in line for the new wave of hybrid memberships.

Among the benefits of this half-in, half-out approach is maintaining a sense of community: while you might not be down to attend in-person classes yet - or indeed ever - there’s still a camaraderie that comes from virtual group classes.

Freeletics has a community of over 52 million users who exercise together digitally, compete against one another in virtual challenges, and share support and encouragement with one another via social media. Almost all of the mainstream gyms have changed their ways to take a similar approach, from Virgin Active to David Lloyd, both of which now have a timetable combining IRL and virtual classes.

You'll join a women-only gym

Covering both home and in-person workouts, the pandemic marked a turning point for female-focused fitness. As we were all forced to take stock of our health, women who once felt too uncomfortable to work out at a unisex gym decided to take an alternative route and make use of women’s-only gyms (as and when restrictions permitted).

Now, an average of 3,600 women search for them each and every month, so luckily there’s plenty to choose from: StrongHer is London’s first women’s only strength training studio, while fitness influencer Natalee Barnett is in the process of opening The Girls Spot in 2022, and Fitness First has women’s only areas in various gyms across the UK.

You'll jump squat for joy

Following closely in the Metcon-clad footsteps of exer-tainment and gamification is doing it for the love of it. Data shows that more of us are switching up our workout schedule to include the joyful kind of sweat sessions.

For the first time in ClassPass history, dance made the top 10 booked classes in 2021, while gymnastics is having a moment with various studios including WIT Fitness hosting classes of their own. Trampolining, roller skating and hula hooping are all picking up, too. Fitness? Fun? Who knew? (We did).

You'll tune in to TikTok

TikTok: not just for teenagers. From viral treadmill workouts to said nostalgic hula hooping, TikTok is delivering fitspo by the bucketload. And if you've been swerving the platform until now (millennials, we see you) it's worth tuning in in 2022 - and you'll be in good company.

The hashtag #fitness had a cool 126 billion views at the time of writing; #fitnesschallenge videos have clocked up 3 billion; and #fitnessmotivation clips another 3 billion. So what's all the fuss about?

Having thrived in the working-out-from-home era, community is at the heart of much of TikTok's fitness content, with users praising the platform for making intimidating moves feel achievable (we're looking at you, deadlifts) and for being a more democratic space than Instagram (even PTs with tiny followings can reach more people).

You won't ignore your pelvic floor

Like changing the water in a vase of flowers and flipping your mattress, Kegels come under the column marked: things you know you should do, but don't. Chances are you’re familiar with your pelvic floor, but as to the Ts and Cs of taking care of it, you're probably none the wiser.

That's set to change this year though. Pelvic floor physical therapy is set to become a regular and, crucially, preventative, practice, as opposed to being the preserve of pre and postnatal women. In turn, you'll reap the rewards in everything from strength training (less chance of injury and better results), to sex. As for the mattress? You're on the own there.

...And you'll actually rest

Big one, this. When ClassPass did a deep dive into trends from 2021, they noticed that people were investing more in their recovery than ever before. It makes sense: stress levels have been consistently climbing thanks to a still-hanging-around pandemic, while many of us have more time and money on our hands after life was basically put on hold for the best part of a year.

And we’re not just talking about spa days (as much as we love to). Among the recovery treatments ClassPass members are spending on are light therapy, sound therapy, hyperbaric oxygen chambers and salt cave experiences. The rest is yet to come.

You Might Also Like

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting