15 Fitness Trends That Will Dictate Your 2023 Workouts

Whether you're a fitness novice or an accomplished athlete, sometimes your workout routine can feel a little stale. Keeping in shape doesn't have to be a chore, however. With a new year just starting to unfold, there's no better time than now to add some creative energy to your exercise regimen.


Thanks to fitness influencers and communities, there are endless ways to reignite your passion for wellness in 2023. Looking for a little adventure? Try the latest in immersive technologies, from VR training sessions to app-based motivation techniques. Thinking of taking things slow? Lucky for you, plenty of low-impact workouts are making a major comeback this year.

Of course, one of today's major fitness movements is a whole-body approach to health, rather than the results-oriented focus of past workout trends. "Finding ways to incorporate physical activity into your lifestyle, whether it's in the form of structured exercise or spending less time sitting, should be a function of how well it suits your values and preferences and less about appearance or performance outcomes," fitness expert Sabrena Jo tells Forbes Health. Ready to get moving? Let's take a look at some of the most exciting fitness trends projected for 2023.


Working out in the metaverse

VR is seemingly everywhere, and the rapidly evolving technology is changing how we look at home workouts. Gone are the days of watching the clock as you perform the umpteenth set of leg lifts to a grinning instructor's cue. Using devices like the Meta Quest 2, users can transform their living rooms into fully operational boxing rings with a controller click. Still, if knockouts aren't really your cup of tea, there are always cult favorites like Beat Saber, a rhythm game that's basically what you'd get if you crossed "Guitar Hero" with "Star Wars."


The beauty of VR workouts is that they combine the compelling qualities of gaming with the heart-healthy benefits of exercise. According to the Virtual Reality Institute of Exercise, playing a fast-paced boxing game in VR can burn as many as 13 calories per minute — the equivalent of a vigorous biking session. Once you add this gaming system to your home gym, you'll wonder how you ever got through workouts before.

Emphasis on carbohydrates

Low-carbohydrate diets are nothing new. First, there were the Atkins and Stillman diets, protein-rich regimens that captured the attention of fitness enthusiasts for decades. Keto, short for the ketogenic diet, was originally used to manage severe epilepsy but is still going strong as today's most popular low-carb lifestyle plan. "When done correctly, [keto] can be a great tool to treat and prevent several chronic conditions while also supporting overall health," chiropractor Josh Axe told CNN. At the time of writing, over 3.2 million members are part of the r/Keto subreddit, where users swap recipes for cheese waffles (chaffles) and share stories of their success.


Nutrition experts say you can forget about the low-carb movement for a while, however. In 2023, there will be a far greater appreciation for carbohydrates. "People are really understanding the importance of well-balanced nutrition, and they're gonna start making decisions based on what's good for their body long term," celebrity trainer Don Saladino tells Men's Health. Although fervent keto fans may disagree, complex carbohydrates are incredibly useful in one's diet, as they can provide sustained energy, fiber, and nutrition.

Women in boxing

Boxing has always enjoyed a reputation as a fun and challenging sport. In 2023, we can expect to see more women than ever entering the ring. Women's boxing is on the rise, thanks in part to the success of champion fighters like Claressa Shields and Amanda Serrano. "You'd never see a female in a boxing gym up until five years ago, and before that, hardly any clubs had any female fighters. Now, [there are] a dozen young girls in there," boxing promoter Eddie Hearn told The Seattle Times.


Although boxing matches can get brutal, there's no reason to let that stop you from giving it a try. In lieu of sparring with a partner, you can simply learn the principles of boxing by practicing drills. Furthermore, basic boxing techniques can help you practice self-defense and, believe it or not, mindfulness. "Boxing is a huge stress relief. People assume you feel angry afterward, but it's the total opposite. You have to be relaxed when you're boxing because you're concentrating so much," ex-European Boxing Champion Cathy Brown tells Good Housekeeping. If you're interested in giving it a shot, look for a local gym in your area or check out virtual reality boxing to get started.

Primal movement patterns

Not interested in amassing a collection of workout gear? Primal movement is the minimalist fitness routine you've been looking for. This exercise regimen is founded on one basic tenet: we should move like our ancestors did to keep ourselves fit. "It's the idea that these are things that we needed to do long before weights were invented or kettlebells were designed," KG Strong owner Katie Gould told Huff Post.


Getting into primal fitness is easy — in fact, it's very likely you're already using some popular motions associated with the trend, like bending or stooping. "Primal movements can help with posture, balance, and stability because they intentionally move your body in a way that engages more musculature," personal trainer TJ Mentus tells Bustle. Bodyweight exercises, such as squats, planks, and push-ups, are primal options that can be performed without any equipment. However, if you'd like to incorporate resistance tools to build strength, you can always pair them with dumbbells or a weighted vest.

Adult ballet

Contrary to popular belief, you don't need a lifetime of dance education to enjoy adult barre classes. Adult ballet is projected to be one of 2023's biggest fitness trends, and it's easy to see why. From "Black Swan" to TikTok's balletcore trends, the elegant dance and its aesthetics have never fallen far from grace. "[Ballet] is definitely popular right now. The [adult] classes have tripled in size. In fact, we added two classes the past few weeks because it's gotten too crowded," New York Theater Ballet School founder, Diana Byer, tells New York Post.


It's simple enough to begin your own ballet routine, even if you have no formal training. You can start by practicing foundational stretches at home using video tutorials or join a local dance studio for beginner classes. One major benefit of practicing ballet? It can help develop muscles you don't typically use in other workouts, which can improve your overall strength and balance. "Dance works your body from all planes, including lateral and rotational, which turns on and conditions all muscles, meaning no muscle is left behind," professional dancer Jonathan Tylicki tells Healthline. Plus, you'll finally have an excuse to buy authentic ballet shoes.

Hot Girl Walks

TikTok's "Hot Girl Walk" trend originated in 2022, but we're anticipating this feel-good movement will continue to grow throughout 2023. So what are the Hot Girl Walk rules? "Hot Girl Walks are the secret to happiness. The Hot Girl Walk is a four-mile outdoor mindfulness walk where you only think about gratitude, goals, and confidence," Hot Girl Walk creator Mia Lind told fans on TikTok. Combining elements of self-help and exercise simultaneously, this uplifting workout is the perfect way for busy girls to multitask their way to wellness.


Thinking about starting a Hot Girl Walk routine of your own? There are several ways to get started. While the original plan establishes a four-mile walk rule, you can certainly adjust the distance to your liking. "Doing two to four miles is an achievable goal to do most days of the week. A person could even start off with just one mile and work their way up," sports dietitian Roxana Ehsani tells Healthline. Most importantly, choose an outdoor route that you feel safe walking on — and if that isn't feasible, feel free to switch to the gym. To fill your walk with positive affirmations, try listening to self-help podcasts, guided meditations, or mood-boosting songs on your trek.

3-2-1 Workout Method

Trying to create a workout regimen on your own can quickly become overwhelming. The "3-2-1 workout method" prides itself on being a simple solution for stressed-out gymgoers. All it takes are three days of strength training, two Pilates sessions, and one day of cardio per week to fulfill the plan. "We have a natural tendency to duplicate workouts or favor certain exercises much more than others. That's why the 3-2-1 method is a great way to make sure you're evenly spreading out your training focus," fitness instructor Brookelyn Suddell tells PopSugar.


Between the three forms of movement, you can expect to see serious results over time. Three days of strength training each week can help condition your muscles and develop stronger bones. "Weight training is the best way to keep the muscle mass you have and even increase muscle mass you may have lost with aging," physical therapist Shawn Pedicini tells Harvard Health Publishing. If you're looking for a reliable, easy-to-follow plan, the 3-2-1 method is a surefire way to achieve your fitness goals.

Supplementing with creatine

Many fitness fans use supplements to enhance their workout performance and recovery efforts. You may have heard of creatine, an amino acid beloved by cardio enthusiasts and bodybuilders alike. The supplement is projected to be a hit in 2023, but what exactly does creatine do? "If you have creatine stored in your system, it helps delay your body from losing ATP, which means you can work out for a longer period of time," registered dietitian Kate Patton tells Cleveland Clinic. Creatine has been credited with numerous advantages for athletes, from increasing muscle volume and strength to improving short-term memory, per findings published in the biological research journal "Proceedings B."


Creatine is found naturally in the body, but it can also be obtained from eating foods like red meat and seafood. That said, one would need to eat a significant amount of animal protein to achieve therapeutic doses of creatine — a feat that's out of the question for vegans and vegetarians. Therefore, many athletes choose to supplement with creatine products instead. "Creatine is one of the most-researched sports supplements out there, and there's no published literature to suggest it's unsafe," Chad Kerksick, Ph.D., tells Men's Health. Still, it's worth noting that even safe doses of creatine can lead to water weight gain at first, so don't be alarmed if you notice the side effect upon trying it.


Cold plunging

One of the most overlooked aspects of fitness is the repair phase. After a workout, it's crucial to allow your body time to rest — and to make time for healthy acts of self-care. Cold plunging may sound a bit strange at first, but this icy practice is generating a lot of attention from wellness enthusiasts. "The original thought was that when you get into a cold pool or a really cold shower after exercise, you can ease sore muscles pretty quickly and reduce your core body temperature. It can help with post-exercise recovery," Dominic King, DO, tells Self.


While you're probably shuddering at the thought of a freezing cold shower, cold plunge devotees say it's worth the chill. "There's always resistance when jumping into a cold plunge, but the benefits outweigh the three minutes of [discomfort]," TikToker Bobby Hobert writes. Other purported benefits of cold showers or baths include improved sleep, mood, and energy levels. Still, experts caution that sudden exposure to extremely cold water can potentially result in shock or cardiac episodes. To err on the side of caution, be sure to speak with your doctor if you're considering taking the (cold) plunge.

Retro exercise classes

Is there anyone who doesn't love a good leotard and legging look? We may have moved past the need for slimming belts and other manual exercise devices of the past, but vintage fitness trends like jazzercise and aerobics are having a serious moment. "We wanted to recreate that [retro] vibe. We wanted to make workouts fun again," Obé Fitness co-founder Mark Mullett told The Wall Street Journal. Streaming platform Obé Fitness is home to thousands of workout videos, but their '80s-inspired aerobic step classes are among the most popular.


Another throwback exercise class that's sure to be on everyone's mind in 2023? Water aerobics. The aquatic workout is showing up in recreation centers and pools across the country, and fitness experts wholeheartedly approve. "You get your heart rate up, work every muscle, and burn calories. But you do it with a lot less impact because the water makes the body buoyant," exercise physiologist Dr. Michele Olson tells The New York Times. Beyond building your cardio fitness, aqua classes can help you tone up in a snap. According to a study published in the medical journal "PLOS One," regular water aerobics classes helped adults reduce body fat and build upper arm strength over the course of three months.


Recovery tools

It's no secret that exercise can boost your mood and reduce inflammation, but no one likes the feeling of aching muscles that can accompany a particularly intense workout. That's why recovery tools, from massagers to turmeric supplements, are so important. In fact, research published in the "Journal of Athletic Training" demonstrated that using foam rollers after a workout can substantially decrease DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness. In 2023, fitness experts believe we'll see an even greater emphasis on recovery tools to help us heal from strenuous sessions.


Foam rollers are still excellent low-tech options, but today, there are countless new tools available to help your body relax and recover. One of the most promising devices to hit the market is the infrared sauna blanket, a portable, sweat-proof cocoon that allows you to experience spa-like luxury in the comfort of your own home. Research on infrared sauna use is still developing, but some studies suggest that saunas can promote cardiovascular health. In a report published in the "Journal of Human Hypertension," researchers found that sauna bathing reduced arterial stiffness and lowered blood pressure in study participants. Curious about trying it for yourself? The Higher Dose Infrared Sauna Blanket is one of the nation's top-selling devices, with a money-back guarantee and thousands of 5-star reviews.


Hyrox fitness competitions

Perhaps you've heard of Hyrox, the newest fitness sensation that's taking the world by storm. Developed in Germany in 2017 by Christian Toetzke, the indoor race is now a global success, with international events selling out regularly. But what happens inside the venue? "The race starts with a one-kilometer run, followed by one functional movement, which repeats eight times, taking place in large indoor venues, creating a unique stadium-like atmosphere for all participants," states Hyrox's website. If you've ever wanted to experience the excitement of athletic training and competition, Hyrox is the sport for you.


It may sound similar to Crossfit, but Hyrox's approach is a little different. "We make you fit with a three-month program from [the beginning] to the event. The good thing is that the event works for everyone, from young to old, from super fit to not fit. I think that's the beauty of it," Toetzke tells Men's Fitness. Virtually anyone can sign up, but training for the event requires months of conditioning and preparation. Interested in checking it out for yourself? Hyrox events are held in cities across the United States multiple times a year, and elite division winners can take home a prize purse totaling $75,000.

Wearable fitness trackers

Wearing your heart on your sleeve has never been easier. Fitness trackers can document everything from heart rate to sleep patterns, and these days, there are more options than ever for those who want to take charge of their health. "With each new iteration, health and fitness apps and trackers are looking more like medical devices. Going beyond biohacking, technology is providing a new era of hyper-personalized, proactive, and preventative healthcare," personal trainer Jade Skillen tells Luxury London. The Apple Watch, now approaching its ninth series, is certainly a top pick for many fitness fans — the device's cycle tracking feature can even estimate your fertility window.


Smart rings are another type of wearable fitness tracker gaining traction in many wellness circles. Bands like the Oura Ring 3 are a sleeker, smaller alternative to traditional fitness tracking accessories with powerful sensors. The Oura 3, for example, is capable of capturing data like heart rate, sleep, and body temperature. What's more, the elegant smart device is available in several finishes, like silver, black, and rose gold, making them perfect for ring stacking.

Apps for fitness accountability

Whether you're a lifetime cardio fan or a couch-to-5K aficionado, it's important to keep your workouts fun and engaging. Workout apps have been around for a while — remember when America's step count collectively jumped after the release of Pokemon Go back in 2016? Today, however, there are countless varieties of fitness apps available to Android and iPhone users looking to enhance their exercise routines. "So much of health and fitness comes down to consistency, accountability, and a well-structured program. Using a fitness app can potentially help with all three," Rae Reichlin, founder of Ladies Who Lift, tells Mind Body Green.


Fortunately, many fitness apps are capable of multitasking. Lose It! is an excellent tool for those looking to log nutritional information, and can even help set intermittent fasting schedules and track water consumption. If you're trying to add more steps to your daily tally, activity-based games can work wonders. Pocket Plants, for example, allows you to collect and grow characters using movement data from your phone, Apple Watch, or Fitbit. Those looking to start their day with intention can try Insight Timer, a mindfulness app that features guided meditations, lectures, and community engagement.

Shy Girl workouts

Gym intimidation, or gymtimidation, is a real thing. Many people struggle with feelings of insecurity and anxiety when beginning a new workout routine, especially when it takes place in public. Unfortunately, these negative feelings can derail a fitness journey before it has a chance to start. "If you show up to the gym and you're feeling uncomfortable, nervous, and anxious, you wouldn't want to come back to a space like that," Leah Katz, Ph.D. tells Shape. Thanks to TikTok, however, introverted gymgoers have a fitness plan tailored especially for their needs: the "Shy Girl" workout. So what exactly does the Shy Girl routine involve?


Just as you might imagine, this fitness circuit emphasizes finding safe, quiet spaces in public gyms. Essentially, the Shy Girl workout is all about sticking to underutilized or tucked-away areas and machines to "shy away" from others. Furthermore, you can play up the socially distant trend by wearing headphones, a hat, and comfy, oversized activewear pieces. We're betting that anyone who's ever found comfort in their gym's most dimly-lit stationary bicycle will certainly appreciate the plan's withdrawn approach.