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The wellness team behind Balance Festival have laid out their top five fitness trends for 2018 and shared them with us here at FitPro. Do you agree with their predictions? What do you think will be big this year? Tweet us @fitpro_online and let us know.

Fitness trends #1: Fighting fit

The boxing trend that swept the nation in 2016-2017 will be evolving for 2018 with a progression of interest in combat sports leading to a rise in classes specialising in martial arts, kickboxing and Muay Thai. These fast-paced, intense workouts engage the whole body while improving cardiovascular health and stamina, and building lean muscle mass.

Jamie Ray, personal trainer and Balance Festival ambassador, says, “Combat exercises are a hugely exciting development in the fitness sphere. Not only are they a brilliant way to increase stamina, build muscle and improve agility but, by occupying the mind, they provide a total release from the stresses of our every-day, chaotic lives.”

Fitness trends #2: Slacklining

At Balance Festival we’re huge advocates of one particular fitness craze set for 2018: slacklining. While it might look simple, comprising a tightrope elevated just a few inches off the ground, holding your balance on a slackline is no easy feat. This workout engages the core and can be done anywhere (within reason!), making it the perfect park exercise. Just grab a line and set it up between two trees.

Ludovic Rossignol, Balance Festival founder, says, “A practice that has been around for generations, slacklining provides a simplistic, no-frills attitude to exercise which is so in-keeping with our ethos at Balance Festival. Exercise doesn’t need to be overly complicated to be hugely effective, which is why slacklining is a brilliant way to tone up and restore some balance to your life.”

Fitness trends #3: New recovery rules

This year will see focus shift to advanced recovery plans, such as targeting the fascia, a connective tissue made mostly from collagen which wraps around the muscles, ligaments and organs in our bodies to control mobility. Keeping vital muscles and tissue, such as the fascia, in good condition reduces injury risk and heightens muscle mobility, enabling you to perform better, for longer. Triyoga and Xtend Barre will be taking up residence at Balance Festival this year, both of whom offer classes to improve mobility, flexibility and strength.

Zanna Van Dijk, Balance Festival ambassador, says, “We will soon be seeing a rise in the use of advanced recovery techniques usually reserved for athletes. Gyms will also be introducing recovery-based classes and workouts, which focus on stretching, releasing and mobilising your joints and muscles.”

Fitness trends #4: DNA fitness testing

Through DNA fitness testing, fitness goers can check in on their microbiome activity and tailor fitness regimes and nutrition plans to optimise healthy living while constantly reprogramming their genetic identity. With a need for quick fitness gains, 2018 will see a spike in this sort of testing.

Fitness trends #5: Outdoor functional training

This year will see a back-to-basics approach to fitness. Outdoor workouts, focusing on bodyweight exercises such as press-ups, skipping and bear crawls or using basic equipment such as tyres/bars to do pull-ups, will be the ultimate test of fitness, endurance and strength. Outdoor functional training has a whole realm of benefits: the fresh air, no (or minimal) cost and an added element of competition when training with a partner.

Ludovic Rossignol, Balance Festival founder, says, “While state of the art studios appeal to some fitness-aficionados, it’s not for everyone. Functional training is the perfect workout regime for those looking to improve strength. This year at Balance Festival we’re introducing a functional training workout zone where visitors can compete to test their endurance and strength.”

For more information about Balance Festival, head to