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What Were The UK’s Most & Least Popular Fitness Trends Of 2021

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Battle ropes, bouldering and hula hooping are some of the UK’s most popular fitness trends, according to new research from Myprotein.

The sports nutrition brand looked at over 50 different workouts, using Google Trends to analyse search interest in the UK over the last 12 months. Battle ropes came on on top, with a whopping 177% increase in searches.

After the postponed games finally took place, 2021 saw a spike in Olympics-inspired workouts, with searches around athletics increasing by 150%.

Interest in swimming climbed 133%, while bouldering (+125%), gymnastics (+75%), and badminton (+74%) also saw big boosts.

And thanks to the viral TikTok trend, we also saw a spike in interest around hula hooping, with searches increasing by 100%.

Here are the UK’s 10 most popular fitness trends from 2021:

  • Battle Ropes (+177%)
  • Athletics (+150%)
  • Swimming (+133%)
  • Bouldering (+125%)
  • Parkour (+119%)
  • Hula Hooping (+100%)
  • Gymnastics (+75%)
  • Badminton (+74%)
  • Bootcamp (+54%)
  • Mixed Martial Arts (+51%)

As well as the most popular trends, the research also highlighted the workouts the UK has fallen out of love with.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, as we started to venture back outside this year, interest in-home workouts and online workouts both declined, by 84% and 61% respectively.

In fact, most of the trends which saw the biggest decrease in popularity were all things which can be done at home, with minimal equipment and limited space.

Here are the UK’s 10 least popular fitness trends from 2021:

  • Burpees (-91%)
  • Home Workouts (-84%)
  • Online Workouts (-61%)
  • Pull-ups (-54%)
  • Bodyweight Exercises (-51%)
  • Tabata (-50%)
  • Circuit Training (-46%)
  • Skipping (-40%)
  • HIIT (-39%)
  • Medicine Ball Workouts (-38%)

Myprotein teamed up with personal trainer Tom Hall to make some predictions about the fitness trends we might see in 2022.

Here’s what Tom had to say:

1. Social Exercise 

“People like seeing people — the interaction is so valuable, even if we don’t always think it is! While people may love being part of a gym thanks to having all the equipment they could ever need, they also love chatting and being sociable, as well as having other people around to provide motivation.”

“So, all things permitting, we’re expecting to see a return to doing things in person, as well as in groups, and maybe some dust settling on those home dumbbells!”

2. Cross-Training & Functional Fitness

“The world is becoming less and less oriented around the traditional bodybuilding workout and most trainers are now doing more functional-based workout plans.

Working on functional fitness can help with any number of different goals too, whether you’re looking to build muscle, lose weight or just maintain a good level of strength and fitness.”

3. Data-Driven Workout Plans

“Rather than just using technology to keep track of our steps or monitor our heart rate, we’re starting to see entire workout plans built around biometric data.

And as technology continues to advance, we’ll be able to include more and more data in our plans — we may even start to get things like speed and power timings with our weightlifting.”

4. Even More Vegan

“Plant-based diets can still be powerful sources of nutrition and energy, and with enough planning and structure to your meals, can be high enough in protein for those looking to bulk up.

You’ve got so much more variety now, with vegan protein bars and snacks, as well as loads of plant-based protein powders. The quality is getting better and better, so expect to see more of this over the coming year.”

5. Intuitive Eating

“People are taking a more holistic view to their physical and mental health, and intuitive eating can play an important part in this.

With more thought about your eating, trying to enjoy food, rather than just thinking about numbers and macros, instead focusing on behaviours and building positive relationships with food and your overall diet.”

To find out more and see the full list of the UK’s most and least popular fitness trends, head over to the Myprotein website