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2017 may seem like a distant memory, but there’s a lot we can learn by looking back at previous years. By analysing what went well, we can ensure we do more of the same and build on our successes. Conversely, by identifying what didn’t go to plan, we can improve in 2018. It can also help us to look at habits and trends, then make predictions for the future…

Most Google workouts

So with this in mind, we decided to look at the most-Googled workouts and exercises of 2017. This gave us some interesting insights into the types of training that people are interested in, along with some overall trends related to fitness. Here’s what we found…

Google Searches in 2017Theme
5,400,000Abs workouts
2,952,000Chest and shoulder workouts
1,980,000Back exercises
1,620,000Tricep, arm, and leg workouts
1,320,000Aerobic and home workouts
888,000Cardio, total-body, weight loss, core, and circuit training
720,000Dumbbell workouts
600,000Stretching, strength, and weight lifting
480,000Body weight workouts
396,000Pregnancy exercises

Body Area-Specific Workouts

Workouts relating to specific areas of the body dominated Google searches last year. Ab workouts were the single most-searched for term throughout the whole year, indicating that a washboard stomach was the most coveted look. Chest and shoulder workouts came in joint-second place, with almost 3 million searches each. In fact, the top seven workouts that people Googled related to specific areas of the body, accounting for over 18 million searches!

Targeted workouts like these are fantastic for improving our muscular strength and overall tone in a specific part of our body. By focusing on just one area, we can ensure that our technique is on point and activating the precise muscles we want. Many of us have hang-ups about a specific area of our body, so this type of training can help us to address them. It’s also useful if you’ve sustained an injury and need to develop strength after rehabilitation (however this is something a physical therapist should advise you on).

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With these types of workout it’s important to work opposing muscle groups (such as biceps and triceps) evenly, to avoid muscular imbalances. A periodized training plan can help you to target a different muscle group on every day of the week, ensuring consistent progression and development.

Training Types

Aerobic and cardio training were the most popular generic workout categories. This isn’t surprising since the health benefits of cardio are well-known and promoted by the CDC as part of their physical activity guidelines. Strength and stretching exercises followed behind, with 600,000 annual searches each. Cardio, strength, and flexibility are three key pillars of a well-rounded fitness routine and should be combined as part of a balanced program.

Flexibility is an element that’s often forgotten, but crucial to our overall well-being. For example, did you know that many back issues are related to tightness in the hamstrings? A few stretching exercises after your workout can dramatically increase your flexibility and reduce your likelihood of injury.

Time-Efficient Workouts

There was also a noticeable trend towards time-efficient workouts. Home, total-body, and circuit training all featured in the most-Googled queries. As our lives become more hectic it’s natural to seek fitness options that can address our health needs in the shortest possible time.

Home workouts can be a great way to reintroduce exercise if you haven’t done anything for a while. There’s a huge variety of workout DVDs and YouTube videos available to help get you on the right track. However, they don’t tend to be effective in the long term, since there’s no accountability or oversight on your technique. So once you’re comfortable we’d recommend joining an organised fitness class or seeking guidance from a personal trainer.

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Total-body workouts are the antithesis of area-specific training. Instead of focusing on just one body part, this style of exercise aims to train every area equally. If you can’t get to the gym every day, then this style of training is the ideal option. It provides a hugely effective workout, yet you only need to do it 3-4 times per week. As well as working every area of your body, these workouts also tend to combine cardio, strength, and flexibility to give you balance in that regard too.

Circuit training is another effective option for busy people. It involves a set number of workout stations with a different exercise performed at each. In a small group you rotate through the stations to target different muscle groups or achieve various training goals. Our CBXT classes combine the circuit model with total-body philosophy and HIIT techniques. The great thing about these sessions is their variety… The circuit format means you’re constantly changing exercises and there’s never time to get bored! Sign up for a free trial here.

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