5 fitness trends that will shape 2021: Fitness superstar Alex Crockford predicts the future of flab fighting

Alex Crockford reveals his predictions for the hottest fitness trends of 2021

Fitness trends for 2021
(Image credit: Fitbit)

2020 has been a year full of changes and it is especially true to fitness. For one, whereas before you might went to the gym to get a full body workout, IN 2020, people were trampling over each other (virtually) to buy the best kettlebells and best dumbbells so they can workout at home. With all these changes happening, who knows what will be the fitness trends in 2021?

Alex Crockford

(Image credit: Alex Crockford)

If there is one person who might have a good idea of the upcoming fitness trends in 2021, it's Alex Crockford, fitness expert and creator of the CrockFit App, as he tends to have his finger on the pulse of the fitness industry, for obvious reasons. We know for sure that Alex knows what he is talking about: he shared his six pack workout and his best home workout kit ideas with T3's readers last year, and look at you now!

As Alex says, "With gyms and studios closing intermittently, we’ve found ways to workout elsewhere and 2021 will only see these trends increase." Interestingly enough, he sees fitness entering a new are too: "the pandemic has also made us pay more attention to another area of our health, aside from our bodies - our minds!"

Here are Alex Crockford's predictions for the top 5 fitness trends in 2021.

Nike Air Zoom Peg 37

(Image credit: Nike)

Getting outside

Seemingly, the original lockdown in early 2020 made everyone want to workout outdoors. Running and cycling became hugely popular as these activities provided the only opportunity for many people to spend some time outside their homes. Interest in the best running shoes and best trail running shoes surged in April 2020.

Alex recounts his memories: "During the first lockdown earlier this year, there was a massive boom in people opting to exercise outdoors. Commutes were out the window, we had some more time on our hands, combined with a streak of inviting spring and summer weather and - frankly - not much else to do, there were more people running, cycling and walking than I’ve ever seen before."

"I believe this was an opportunity for many people and a realisation of what they can add into their lifestyle in the future and will be a part of many people’s routine in 2021", he goes on, "likely even more so when it starts to warm up a little."

top 5 fitness trends in 2021

(Image credit: Echelon)

Staying virtual: remote training and coaching

Online fitness is booming. Established companies such as Peloton and iFit are getting more popular and there are new fitness apps and services cropping up every day, the latest and greatest being Apple Fitness+, a new monthly subscription service that provides tailored workouts for Apple Watch users.

Alex thinks this trend will continue to grow in 2021: "Any mid- to long-term fitness goals relying on a gym feel tenuous so I expect to see people kicking off their 2021 goals using apps and home workout classes. The offerings available to us will only get more and more intelligent and customisable - and more appealing! It’s hard to see how we’ll go back to what we were doing before."

top 5 Fitness Trends in 2021

(Image credit: Asics)

Connection between mind and body

"In the last few years, there’s been a rise in discussions around mental health as the topic becomes slowly less stigmatised", Alex explains, "in 2021, we'll make mental health a bigger priority through promoting meditation, mindfulness and staying connected, if not physically then making connection to a community a major feature in online services."

top 5 fitness trends in 2021

(Image credit: Garmin)

Wearable tech

Alex, much like the team at T3, is excited about the (near) future of fitness wearables: "Gadgets are getting smarter and smarter, and that means our workouts can too! I’m not just talking about your traditional step trackers, heart rate monitors or sleep monitors here. I’m talking workout gear that vibrates when your form is incorrect and smart ropes that count your skips."

The best Fitbits and best Apple Watches can already do wonders but as the demand for such technologies increases, the more  innovation we'll see in 2021. As well as wearables, we expect to see more connected and 'smart' fitness tech in 2021 and beyond, such as the Trion app that can generate a billion different workouts based on your fitness level and available home gym equipment. There is also the Hyfit Gear 1, a smart resistance band that measures the force exerted during workouts so it can give you more accurate calorie burning estimations.

Fitbit Versa 2

(Image credit: Fitbit)

Increased focus on High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

"HIIT has always been a popular choice in the fitness world due to its efficiency for calorie and fat burning against time invested", Alex says, "however, next year I’d predict it will escalate right to the forefront again as gym intermittently open and close for the pandemic."

HIIT workouts are a great way to burn a lot of calories in the shortest time possible. Better still, HIIT doesn't require extensive gear: bodyweight HIIT workouts can be just as efficient as ones performed with weights. As well as that, HIIT workouts don't require much space either and can be done anywhere, anytime.

Get Fit for 2021
Get Fit for 2021!

This is part of T3's Get Fit for 2021 programme, which will be running throughout January. This story is brought to you in association with our friends at RHA headphones. We will bring you tips on diet, lifestyle and exercise that will help you shape up for what is certain to be a difficult year. One thing we can guarantee: it WILL be better than last year. We'll help you get the most out of it. 

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt Kollat is a journalist and content creator who works for T3.com and its magazine counterpart as an Active Editor. His areas of expertise include wearables, drones, fitness equipment, nutrition and outdoor gear. He joined T3 in 2019. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar and Fit&Well, and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews) and judged many awards, such as the European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.