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3 Workouts Set to Trend This Summer

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As summer nears, many Brits have been turning to their search engine to look for popular ways to keep fit. In the last three months, the following workouts have seen significant Google search increases:

  • “Metabolic circuit” searches up 1,850%
  • “SIT routine” searches up 1,660% 
  • “Thrust exercise” searches up 91%

Keeping up to date with health trends can be a great way to keep your exercise regimes fresh and help keep you inspired. However, it’s always important to get an expert’s take on whether these workouts are right for everyone, and to learn how best to protect yourself from injuries. 

Metabolic circuits – Google searches up 1,850% in the last 3 months

Metabolic circuits are a form of high intensity interval training (HIIT) that helps burn fat. HIIT has become a popular way of working out for many, as it helps improve fitness levels and burn calories within a short period of time – and you don’t necessarily need any equipment to do it, either. 

During these workouts, the idea is to work at your maximum – or near maximum effort – in short, sharp bursts, with rest periods in between. As with all exercising, you should always do a few minutes of warming up before you start your workout – try running on the spot or some simple star jumps. 

This ten-minute metabolic circuit routine has the flexibility to be done from the home, the gym or the park. Once you’ve warmed up, repeat this routine for 10 minutes, followed by a cooldown – for example, going for a five-minute walk and stretching: 

  • Bodyweight squats – 30 seconds
  • Rest – 30 seconds
  • Burpees – 30 seconds
  • Rest – 30 seconds
  • Mountain climbers – 30 seconds
  • Rest – 30 seconds
  • High knees (running on the spot) – 30 seconds
  • Rest – 30 seconds
  • Press-ups – 30 seconds
  • Rest – 30 seconds

Benefits of metabolic circuits

  • Anyone can benefit from them if they’re done safely.
  • They can be adapted for all ages and abilities.
  • When done regularly, it doesn’t take long for fitness levels to improve.
  • Conditions your metabolic system, meaning you continue to burn calories even after your workout is finished.

Metabolic circuit considerations

  • As this form of exercise is of higher intensity, your body will need time to adapt between sessions. Make sure to have rest days between workouts initially and gradually build up the amount you’re doing over time. 
  • Chance of injury is heightened without a proper warm-up/cooldown. Make sure to spend 5-10 minutes before and after the workout to focus on preparation and recovery. 

SIT routine – Google searches up 1,660% in the last 3 months

Sprint interval training (SIT) was the first type of high intensity interval training. Originally introduced in the 1950s, SIT was designed to help improve the performance of elite athletes, through exercising in short bursts, to reach 100% maximum heart rate.

The rest period between exercise sets is longer for SIT, as the heart is pushed to its full working capacity. Typically, a set of between four to six sets of exercise are repeated. Each set lasts 30-seconds, and performance is at maximum, followed by three to five minutes of active or passive recovery between.

The type of SIT exercise completed is based on the specific sport the person wants to focus on. For example, a cyclist may introduce 30-second bursts of cycling at maximum effort during their sessions.

Benefits of SIT

  • Proven to improve health and fitness.
  • Very time efficient and more effective for performance than traditional aerobic exercises.

SIT considerations

  • Given the significant demands on the body, SIT is not recommended as an exercise routine for non-professional athletes.
  • Without professional guidance, SIT can be a dangerous form of exercise for those of average fitness as it requires a level of stamina and discipline most people would find difficult to maintain.

Thrust exercise – Google searches up 91% in the last 3 months

Thrust exercises – also known as hip thrusts, can have many health benefits when they’re done correctly. Geared primarily to strengthen your glute muscles, hip thrusts are a simple way to help strengthen the muscles around the lower body and back.

Hip thrusts are completed sat on the floor, with a weight – like a dumbbell or weighted barbell – resting on the hips. With a bench, box, or even your sofa behind you to support your upper back, each thrust involves lifting the hips to a 90-degree angle towards the ceiling and holding for a few seconds. 

To keep the movement controlled, each foot remains flat and stable on the ground and the back remains neutral. During each thrust, the core is engaged, and the upper back and shoulders stay supported on the surface behind you 

Thrust exercise benefits

  • Grows the largest muscle in the buttocks, helping to keep you stable and able to move well.
  • Can help with athletic performance.
  • Can help with improve performance at daily tasks, e.g., climbing the stairs/getting up from a seated position. Easy to modify for different fitness levels.
  • Can improve pelvic floor muscles and help reduce pain.
  • Can help improve bone density, which can be especially useful for those going through the menopause. 

Thrust exercise considerations

  • Without proper form, it’s possible to injure yourself when doing hip thrusts. 
  • Speak to a personal trainer or physiotherapist for guidance on form and technique.

Considerations for all exercise trends

If you have certain health concerns, like high blood pressure, high cholesterol or heart disease, make sure you have a GP check-up before changing up your exercise routine. Another thing to consider is how long it’s been since you’ve exercised, or if you’ve had any musculoskeletal injuries in the past. If it’s been a while since you last exercised, it’s important to not jump in with anything too intense. 

Always slowly build up the intensity and length of your workout over time, as this helps your body to recover, along with helping reduce the chance or injury. If you experience some muscle soreness for a few days after your workout, this is common – especially after starting a new exercise routine.

Tom Harrison is an MSK physiotherapist from Bupa Health Clinics.

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