In 2012 zumba and military-style boot camps were big news - but a whole host of new exercise crazes are set to hit the UK in 2013. Here's a round-up of some of the key fitness trends coming to gyms near you.
By Thea Babington-Stitt
Bodyweight training What is it? Replace the dumbbells with your body's own weight. Bodyweight exercises are easier on joints and allow for a wider range of movement than traditional weights do.
Benefits: You'll get everything you would from using weighted equipment, but with less risk of injury, leaving you with a strong and toned body. Doubtful? Just look at the lean and muscular upper bodies of gymnasts, bodyweight training is their secret weapon.
Get involved: With no paraphernalia involved, bodyweight training can be done anywhere you have enough room to lie down. To get started, ask a trainer at your local gym to show you a few techniques.
The lithe method What is it? Combine disciplines together and your body will work in ways it's never done before. Pilates and boxing (Piloxing) has already made its debut, but the new craze from across the pond is the Lithe Method - a blend of aerobics and strength training exercises created by an ex-cheerleader.
Benefits: Mixing up workouts pushes your body to work all key components. The Lithe Method burns fat and sculpts muscle all over by focusing on a different body part in each session.
Get involved: The Lithe Method has yet to hit our shores, but if the popularity of the classes in New York has anything to do with it, classes should start popping up later in 2013.
HIIT What is it? Don't let the name put you off - HIIT, or high intensity interval training, involves short bursts of intense exercise with breaks in between. Think circuit training, but with less memories of PE classes and more chances to catch your breath.
Benefits: HIIT burns calories and kicks your body's repair cycle into action, meaning you keep burning fat and calories for 24 hours after the session.
Get involved: Any gym or personal trainer should be able to create a routine for you, but while biking, rope jumping and rowing are all great for HIIT, you don't actually need any equipment - anything that gets your heart rate going works.
TRX suspension What is it? TRX is (rather tenuously) an acronym for Total body Resistance eXercise and involves a nylon strap and a metal frame which is used to move your body into different positions for working various muscle groups.
Benefits: With more than 300 different exercises possible with the TRX - think pull-ups, bicep curls and deltoid raises - you're getting a low-impact workout with plenty of toning.
Get involved: UK gyms are still picking up on this trend, but for those with cash to flash, the TRX system can be purchased for at-home use. Otherwise, try Soho gyms or Virgin Active.
Kranking What is it? Imagine a spinning class where the pedalling is done with your arms - and you've got your head around Kranking. Moving your arms for 30 minutes might not sound like an exercise class, but this is a serious workout.
Benefits: Proven to burn as many calories in half an hour as a run at a 10 minute mile pace (270), Kranking will burn fat and banish those bingo wings.
Get involved: Most UK gyms have a Kranking machine alongside the treadmills and cross-trainers. Ask for a demo, or for when they have classes - music and company makes this training much easier.
The jacobs ladder What is it? Invented for those recovering from injury (back, knee, hip), this is a revolving ladder set at a 40 degree incline, similar to a StairMaster.
Benefits: Each climbing stroke forces you into a long, dynamic move ensuring a full range of motion, working multiple muscle groups at one time.
Get involved: Soho gyms and selected Fitness First locations are trialling the classes this year.
ViPR What is it? It crept in last year, but now the ViPR is ready for a UK takeover. A cylindrical rubber tube which comes in seven weights ranging from 4-20kg, the ViPR has the same functionality as a combination of barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, a stability ball and a medicine ball.
Benefits: The ViPR focuses on conditioning the whole body, eradicating the uneven muscle tone that can come from sticking to one exercise. The results include increased flexibility, balance and strength while burning fat and calories.
Get involved: Classes available in nationwide gyms including Fitness First, Virgin Active and David Lloyd.
GRAVITY training system What is it? The GRAVITY Training System is a piece of equipment similar in appearance to a Pilates reformer, which can be set to different incline levels meaning you work against gravity for a tougher workout.
Benefits: A low-impact, intense exercise, you'll wake up aching as your muscles adjust, and strengthen. GRAVITY Training will tone your core, and upper and lower body.
Get involved: Available in gyms and personal training facilities nationwide, call 01494 769 222 to find the nearest centre with the equipment.
Mind/Body What is it? The yoga-loving US has gone bonkers for combining their favourite relaxing pastime with strength and aerobic exercise. One American hit is Cy-Yo, a one-hour workout combining 10 minutes of yoga, 40 minutes of speed cycling on a stationary bike, then 10 more minutes of yoga.
Benefits: You get benefits of both exercises, so a cardio workout from the cycling and a lean, toning element from yoga, as well as refocusing the mind and calming down.
Get involved: Still relatively new in the UK, it's worth asking fitness instructors to look into starting a programme. Otherwise, learn a few basic yoga moves and practise them around your more strenuous workouts.
Sh'Bam What is it? Move over Zumba, Sh'Bam is on the way. The classes involve modern dance choreographed to chart-toppers and club hits, and are redeveloped every three months with the latest music and moves.
Benefits: Provides excellent cardio work, fat and calorie burning (an average of 510 calories in a 50-minute class), without the boredom of plodding along solo on a treadmill.
Get involved: Currently being trialled by selected UK gyms, we have yet to see which chains will take it on. DVDs are available online if you want to get started in your own home.