Back in March, when COVID-19 forced gyms to close their doors, we all quickly realized that wherever you lay your mat is the “gym.”. According to the media analytics firm Comscore, “March of 2020 saw a 147% increase over the prior year in on-demand fitness video consumption.” In June, YouTube announced that in the three months since March 15th, daily views of videos with “home workout” in the title rose 515%.”

These trends are expected to continue in 2021 as we continue to adapt and adjust to the new normal. This newfound appreciation for sweating at home will only become more entrenched in our daily lives as the year progresses.

Here are some fitness trends to watch in 2021…

• Online Fitness Classes Are Here to Stay!

Before the pandemic, we associated exercise with “going to the gym.” As we’ve changed our habits, digital workouts have become the norm, and this will continue in 2021. Brands are embracing an approach that gives users access to a variety of workouts, including live-streaming classes and on-demand libraries.

Companies like Apple, Google, and Amazon are developing their own offerings. Apple Fitness+, launching in 2021, will offer workout recommendations based on the intensity of your last workout. Matrix Fitness has partnered with Apple to connect the Apple watch to their treadmills, ellipticals, and bikes.

• Focus on Restorative Fitness

The self-care/mental health trend has been brought home by the sky-high stress levels of 2020. Restorative fitness like yoga, pilates, meditation, and stretching made it into the top ten for 2020. In 2021, expect the trend to continue as we all deal with managing ongoing pandemic stress!

• Wearable Technology

Wearable technology consists of smartwatches and fitness trackers and includes devices like heart rate monitors and GPS trackers like those used in cycling. Their accuracy and capabilities have expanded. Some even offer AI fitness solutions; others use VR games to promote fitness. The wearables trend is growing and is expected to be a top trend in 2021.

Digital / In-Person Hybrid

While digital workouts and classes are here to stay, it doesn’t mean “in-person” classes are obsolete. A recent survey of professionals found that 92% hope to return to the gym in 2021. Forty percent of respondents are planning on returning exclusively back to in-studio workouts when they feel it’s safe.

• Interactive Home Machines

Whether it’s strength training or cardio, we’re adding workout machines to our home gyms and dedicated workout rooms. Companies like Matrix are creating large-screen consoles for their treadmills, ClimbMills, and ellipticals that allow users to stream and view live entertainment, browse social media, and race through virtual mountain trails while working out.

• Well Equipped Home Gyms

The market for home gym accessories will continue to grow in 2021. Whether it’s dedicated machines for cardio and strength training, all-in-one gym units, or flooring and storage trees and racks, the market for home fitness items and accessories will grow in 2021.

Physical fitness is vital to our physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Digital technology has helped us through the pandemic, but it can’t completely fill the void of connecting and exercising with friends and instructors in the gym.

As we work through the challenges of the pandemic, we’ll begin to see the growth of this new “hybrid” community of both in-person and digital offerings. We’re entering a phase where we will each decide what works best for us, and as a result, the companies and brands that will survive will seamlessly serve the client who craves the community that an in-person class offers but still needs to take online classes as well.

For more information about the trends of fitness in 2021, contact an Opti-Fit fitness professional.

Newer trends in athletic training revolve around advancements in science and the ethics of the business. No longer are the days where it is acceptable for a coach to yell at their team to make them better. New methods of athletic training are allowing coaches to build on the work of scientists and other coaches to create more competitive teams and better overall athletes.

Evidence-Based Practice

Coaches learning from science and other coaches experience is called evidence-based practice. As parents demand that coaches do better for their children and fans continue to cheer for their favorite teams; coaches are looking to up their game by looking to other professionals in the industry.

The best evidence-based practices are most commonly found by reading peer-reviewed industry journals, as well as reading about the experiences other coaches have. Taking advantage of professional strength and workout equipment dealers can be of service as well.

Companies that offer consulting services can get your training program up to par by exposing you to new uses of equipment you already have, or helping you to choose appropriate new equipment. If you are already in the process of looking for additional equipment, plan to extract the knowledge your sales representative will have on new training trends for athletes.

Specialized Training

Specialized training means that coaches need to focus on each individual being coached. Each athlete needs to be guided to perform corrective and preventative exercises that fit them, their position on the team, and any injuries they may have endured.

Specialized training can be associated with building the strengths of each warrior on your Final Fantasy squad. This is also applied to athletes in solo sports like running or swimming. These exercises are meant to enhance a players strengths and to help them overcome anything that may be getting in the way of further developing those strengths.

Injury Management

Coaches are more proactive about injuries. More and more coaches are instructing athletes to get massages, do yoga, see chiropractors, or engage in physical therapy. This is a big change from sending children home and telling them to “ice it; we’ll see when we can get you back on the field.”

Having coaches more engaged in the injury healing process generally ensures that children will get the best care, and have the best season they can. Evidence has shown, that doing so is better than leaving it to the parents.

Active Concussion treatment

This one falls under injury management, but deserves a category to its own. Concussions, especially in school children are being taken much more seriously. Coaches, pediatricians, and parents are becoming aware that a full protocol really needs to be followed when it comes to handling concussion injuries. Concussions can be dangerous for anyone, especially children with developing brains.

There are many online protocols for cases where a child has sustained a concussion injury. The most important piece to injury management is understanding where you may be lacking knowledge and looking to reputable resources to fill those gaps.


The major developing trends in athletic training are to use evidence-based practices, specialized training, and to learn injury management techniques. Networking with other coaches is a great way to learn how better follow these trends. Look for meetup groups in your area, or talk with other coaches online.

A professional equipment retailer can help you to set up your gym to emulate some of the best training gyms around the world. You may not even need new equipment, just realize a new way to use it. Contact Opti-Fit today for a free consultation about the gym you are using to train your athletes. The more knowledgeable we are about new trends, the more competitive and healthy our teams and kids will be.