Top 7 Sports and Fitness Trends of 2020

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Keeping fit is big business in the UK. But for your fitness franchise to stand out from the competition and be profitable, it’s important to stay ahead of the latest sports and fitness trends.


Today, we present seven of the biggest trends shaping the evolution and growth of the sports and fitness industry.

The sports and fitness industry in the UK

The fitness industry is growing year on year. It generated around $94 billion across the globe in 2018, which was an increase of over $6 billion from the year before. In the UK, the total number of gym memberships has exceeded 10 million and the industry is worth over £5 billion. These pretty impressive statistics raise the question: ‘What better time is there to start a fitness business?’


Top 7 sports trends and fitness trends of 2020

1. All-in-one approach to fitness

To obtain our ultimate health and wellness, we tend to have to go to multiple places, whether that’s to the doctors, the gym or a nutritionist. However, experts believe that in the future, health professionals like trainers, physical therapists and dieticians will work together under one roof. It’s thought that by removing the grey area between the different practitioners, fitness fanatics will be able to achieve their dream results.

2. Home workouts

Pinterest reported an incredible 1,423 percent increase in searches for ‘simple weight training exercises’ in November last year, while searches for ‘core exercises’ jumped by 694 percent and ‘at-home HiiT workouts’ by 290 percent.

There’s also an increased demand for virtual trainers. For those that don’t want to part with high amounts of cash for one-to-one time with a personal trainer, this is a more affordable option.

A big part of the continuation of the digital and on-demand fitness trend is a rise in online one-on-one coaching – Jen Tallman, group fitness instructor and online coach

You can read more about virtual home workouts in another one of our articles here.

3. Active mindfulness

Many London studios are starting to incorporate key elements of mindfulness into their calorie-burning workouts. Some instructors are opting to teach mental resilience with shorter, more intense rounds that are deigned to improve stamina, productivity and focus. One boxing club launched a Beat the Blues initiative where it offers free classes that encourage active mindfulness. The founder of Rathbone Boxing Club, Manya Klempner said:

"Many of us find it difficult to meditate or to practise mindfulness in its traditional manner. Due to the nature of boxing, which requires 100 percent focus and concentration, it allows people to check out of their lives for an hour. For many of us, it’s the only escape we can justify. It’s active mindfulness, effectively."

It’s predicted that these conscious workouts will become more commonplace in 2020, with some fitness businesses like Barry’s Bootcamp even hiring mental health consultants that will teach trainers how to deal with any issues surrounding mental health.

4. Wearable technology

Technology is increasingly finding a place within our fitness routines and is changing the face of the industry. Gymgoers are no longer satisfied with just knowing their weight; they are also interested in their progress in terms of sleep quality and body fat percentage, for example. Wearable technology has remained in the top three trends for the fifth year in a row. The technology now includes everything from fitness trackers to heartrate monitors, and smart watches to GPS tracking devices.

5. Community-driven

It’s thought that community-driven fitness will take off this year. I’m sure lots of people can agree that it’s easier to stick to a workout plan if you have the support of like-minded individuals also trying to achieve their goal. Rather than heading to the gym on your own, you can easily connect with other people though sweaty selfie check-ins, live-streamed classes, fitness app forums and social media challenges.

Having a team to cheer you on and empathise with where you are in your journey helps make those tough days more achievable – Katrina Scott and Karena Dawn, co-founders of Tone It Up

This presents an exciting business opportunity for entrepreneurs wanting to enter the fitness industry. Take for instance, One Element, a sports franchise that provides HiiT fitness training in local parks and has an active social programme that creates local community hubs.

6. On-the-go fitness

With some of us struggling to squeeze in workouts when out and about, life’s only going to get easier with more opportunities becoming available on our smartphones. The demand for on-the-go wellness, in particular for fitness, is on the up. According to Megan Roup, the creator of The Sculpt Society App:

“As we get busier, people want to have their favourite workouts on their phones and at their fingertips so they can work out consistently no matter where they are.”

“You now have access to top trainers for less than the price of one class.”


7. Road to recovery

With the HiiT fad having swept across London and the rest of the UK, we’ll likely see lots of people return to slower and restorative movement. And, in 2019, there were more conversations about the dangers of excessive training and conditions like Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport.

So, this year, there’s going to be an increased emphasis on having a healthy relationship with training that is also sustainable. We’re still going to be just as obsessed with fitness tech, but it’s going to be focused on how we recover, as well as burning calories.

Ben Leonard-Kane, the founder of boxing studio Flykick said:

In 2020, I want to take this a step further and look at recovery in more depth. Simply taking the day off from training isn’t always enough to sufficiently recover a lot of the time.

To do this, he’s going to use Whoop, a wearable that tracks energy expenditure and calculates overall daily strain.

Less strenuous, low-impact forms of exercise like yoga will be a key 2020 trend too.

Remember these sports trends and fitness trends

Whether you’re considering starting a fitness business or already have a successful one up and running, remember to bear in mind these seven trends. Even if you’re already well established in the industry, by doing so, you are showing your customers that you are flexible and will change to accommodate the current situation. Alternatively, if you’re hoping to enter the sector and need a point in the right direction, check out our ‘How to Choose a Sports, Fitness or Gym Franchise That’s Right For You’ article here. You can also check out our 'Top 10 Sports, Fitness, and Gym Franchises in the UK' article here.

>> Read more articles on the Fitness sector

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