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Study finds reverse running to be a fitness trend in 2022

In 2021, reverse running saw a 50 per cent increase in popularity

Our fitness trends are always changing, especially through the global pandemic, where gyms, fitness studios and running tracks were shut down in 2020 due to the spread of Covid-19. Last year, the industry saw a rise in online workout classes and the hiring of personal trainers. Now, with a bit of normalcy back in our lives, the trend of online fitness has shifted to reverse running.

Photo: Apple

PureGym, a chain of health clubs in the U.K., conducted a study based on Google searches of new trends and fads in the fitness industry. At the top of the list, with a 234 per cent increase compared to last year, was weighted hula hoop training.

There were two running-based fitness trends on the rise: stroller fitness was third on the list with a 90 per cent increase and reverse running was fourth, with a 50 per cent increase. Although reverse running isn’t technically a new trend, it has gained renowned interest in recent years.

Brendan Kelly breaks world backwards mile record

The known benefits of reverse running are that it burns more calories than traditional running and also improves your posture. This backward activity also reduces imbalances between your anterior and posterior muscles, decreasing the impact on your knees.




But when it comes down to it, reverse running does not have the same cardiovascular benefits as running forward, plus it’s harder to see where you are going.

Dr. Robert Stevenson, the author of Backwards Running, believes that reverse running should be practiced by all athletes, claiming that the activity itself is simple if you have the right technique. It’s best to practice reverse running form by keeping your shoulders over your feet, while holding your arms in close. It’s also important to frequently look around, to prevent yourself from running into anything or getting injured.

Backwards running: when running forwards is not an option

You can view the full list of fitness trends here.