The virtual fitness industry has experienced a strong boom, with many offers shooting up like mushrooms in the last year.

Chloe Ting is a rage on YouTube. The Australian fitness influencer has more than 19 million subscribers on the video sharing and social media platform. The reason for their popularity? It encourages training without equipment. All you need is a corner of the house and an exercise mat. It’s not surprising why Ting is so popular. With the threat of the virus and easy access to training videos and live sessions online, home training has become a pandemic fitness trend. The virtual fitness industry has experienced a strong boom, with many offers shooting up like mushrooms in the last year.

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For some, home workouts are important as they help them stay healthy during these difficult times. “I’ve followed a lot of fitness videos. The goal is not only to lose weight, but also to stay healthy and positive during these difficult times. Whether cooking, dancing, sports or wellness, I enjoy everything virtually, ”says communication professional Arpita Sinha from Gurugram, who follows the videos of the celebrated fitness trainer Yasmeen Karachiwala on Instagram and can easily imitate them at home. “I follow various dance aerobics (channels) on YouTube and try to spend 10 minutes (doing it) from home every night after work,” she says.

As gyms open with limited capacity to keep consumer safety in mind, there is a shift towards virtual training and instruction. “Some consumers want to continue exercising at home because of the convenience and access to quality online trainers,” said Jayam Vora of Mumbai, co-founder and chief operating officer of Fitternity, a health and fitness platform that offers a variety of offline and online Services including one-on-one coaching sessions, live interactive classes, etc. The brand’s FitTV is a video-on-demand service that offers fitness videos with celebrity coaches and fitness trainers.

With the advent of work from home, there is a huge demand for home fitness solutions, says Pratik Sud, co-founder and CEO of Synq.Fit, a brand known for making smart bikes for a “home gym”. It also offers instructor-led live and interactive workouts for up to four people at a time. “Working from home can lead to many fitness problems. This is where technology has the answer, ”says Sud, adding,“ An increased focus on health has created the demand for home fitness solutions. In the past two months we have seen a tripling of orders on our website. “

Leading nutrition and exercise science expert Rujuta Diwekar supported the “workout at home” trend and also tweeted: “Fitness is fleeting. If you do not exercise for 3 weeks at a time, your body will waste the gains made. Don’t skip workouts even when gyms are closed. Train at home, get in touch with your personal trainers online. It is a win-win situation in this difficult phase. “

Celebrities are doing it too, flooding social media with photos and videos of their home workouts. actor Katrina Kaif can be seen warming up on her rooftop while Shilpa Shetty Kundra practices yoga in her garden and inspires many. Lata S from Bengaluru is one of them. The IT professional follows the videos of Kundra and the British fitness trainer Joseph Wicks on Instagram. “Both show simple and quick videos of body movements and yoga,” she says, adding, “Having easy access to online courses helps me juggle a lot of tasks. I save travel time to the gym and can multitask at home. “

Spatial dynamics

Having a permanent place to work out is the first step in developing a fitness habit. For many, the living room has become the place from which they can easily exercise.

Workouts that require little to no equipment can be done with furniture or items that are easy to find around the house. When you train at home, you have to be resourceful, says health and wellness expert Mallika Tarkas Parekh, owner of Physique 57 India Barre Studios & Livestream Virtual Class. “We have learned to accommodate our fitness program with sturdy pieces of furniture throughout the house, walls, water / wine bottles – if we don’t have light weights – pillows and, above all, our body weight. Body weight resistance training has increased during the pandemic and is a sustainable way to build strength and bone density, “says the Mumbai-based expert, who has taken her online course twice since March last year, in which people from around 150 Cities enroll in. “Online it allowed us to open up all of India and subject them to bodyweight resistance training … this fitness method has so much applicability to the Indian body type because we as a population have lower bone density. In addition, we will be launching our video-on-demand app Physique 57 in a few months, ”says Parekh.

Yoga is also a popular choice among people as it can be easily done in the home and takes up very little space. “There are minimal barriers to entry to a group class and there is a high level of motivation given the immune boosting benefits of yoga practices. Yoga has resonated with many as it helps improve both physical and mental health, ”Namita Piparaiya, the Mumbai-based yoga and Ayurveda lifestyle specialist and founder of the wellness platform Yoganama Wellness, told the students trained from all over the world through online courses.

However, experts recommend limiting training to 30-40 minutes. “The normal tendency is to get a lot out of a workout, but the truth is that after 30 minutes the benefit is not that great. Lower the intensity and create an atmosphere for variety. Mirror your movements, protect your joints. Take a look at the exercise with resistance bands and keep the room clear, ”advises Delhi-based facial yoga expert Mansi Gulati.

Diverse offers

A McKinsey report from 2021 estimated the global wellness market at more than $ 1.5 trillion, with an annual growth of 5-10%. It is therefore not surprising that the fitness market is filled with apps and social media channels that provide on-demand libraries, real-time workouts, and remote coaching services. “Virtual fitness and gamified fitness apps attract a lot of attention and that will only get bigger in the years to come,” says Sohrab Khushrushahi, founder of Sohfit, a personalized lifestyle and fitness brand.

“Virtual fitness has also opened up the possibility of planning, monitoring exercise programs and inspiring users to stay fit at a lower cost. The fitness industry is shifting to AR-based gamified fitness apps with the sole aim of exploring new ways of interacting with people, aside from making fitness perhaps more accessible even to those who don’t prioritize it, ”adds Khushrushahi.

Another breakthrough app is Bim, which aims to revolutionize home training by allowing friends, communities and coaches to train together remotely via multi-user video. It is initially available for the iPhone and connects around 20 participants in real time to simulate a physical fitness class online. The app offers 160 customizable workouts.

In addition to online offers, the demand for fitness accessories and equipment is also increasing. Gravolite, a leading manufacturer and distributor of yoga mats and accessories and high-performance sports floors for various sports in India, saw sales increase, particularly in composite and multipurpose mats. “We saw an 80-100% increase in demand. The demand for yoga mats was 10,000 per month before the pandemic, but during the lockdown (this year) we sold around 80,000 mats in one month, ”says Vaibhav Somani from Delhi, Director of Gravolite.

Amazon Fashion also launched a comprehensive marketing campaign on the topic of “Stay fit at home” in various phases of the lockdown in order to highlight the importance of exercise and fitness for consumers. In the brand’s fashion segment, the demand for athleisure and comfortwear increased. “Through regular fitness sessions and DIY indoor games on, we encourage customers to set up a home gym by using the items around the house to add more fun to their daily workout routine,” says one Amazon -Speaker.

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cymGO: An online training and coaching solution with live individual / group training where trainers can see and guide up to 12 people at the same time

rumble: A boxing studio that hosts daily Instagram live videos of cardio and bodyweight workouts

volt: An AI-controlled training plan with more than 40 different sports and activities

FitBod: A strength-based workout in a variety of formats including bodybuilding, powerlifting, etc.

305 fitness: Offers dance cardio workout livestreams

Don Saladino: This celebrity personal trainer is known for training actor Blake Lively and offers no-machine bodyweight training programs

center: Founded by actor Chris Hemsworth, Centr has a group of personal trainers, nutritionists and wellness gurus who provide training and wellness tips

HealthifyMe: A health and wellness app with a calorie counter, home exercise and immunity plans to help you keep track of your activities Offers live classes and fitness videos for all ages. There are also meditation and yoga workouts

Neo: On-demand HIIT workouts, yoga and stretching

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