Written by Andy Corridan • Published 6th August 2020 • 7 minute read

The recent lockdown we’ve experienced across the UK has seen remote working become the norm, whilst our exercise habits have changed drastically in the process. With gyms, sports facilities, health clubs and swimming pools all closing for months on end due to covid-19, at-home and online fitness has boomed. Here we take a look at the individuals and businesses that have been most agile and managed to adapt best during these strange times.

Joe Wicks


Whilst Joe – aka The Body Coach – was no stranger to the limelight pre-lockdown, the 33-year-old has become a true household name by providing free, daily exercise classes targeted at families. “I’m going to be the nation’s PE teacher”, Joe announced on his Instagram prior to putting on the first workout. As it turns out, that statement didn’t go far enough. Every weekday at 9am during lockdown, hundreds of thousands of people across the world have been tuning in to Joe’s 30-minute accessible workouts streamed live on YouTube from his home in Richmond. The first workout alone saw people joining in from countries including India, South Korea, Jamaica and Brazil. The dad-of-two has become an integral part of the lockdown routines for families all over the globe, helping to look after our physical and mental health at a time when we were told to stay at home for extended periods of time.

Off the back of his recent success, Wicks has launched a new podcast, The Joe Wicks Podcast, with BBC Sounds – chatting to guests about the connection between fitness and mental health. Alongside the extraordinary fundraising efforts of Captain Tom, there are few individuals who have had more of a positive impact this year than Joe Wicks.

Fiit


As the #1 rated fitness app in the App Store, Fiit has been the go-to fitness platform for many during lockdown. The app, which has a high-end boutique gym feel, saw a 1,663% increase in sign-ups over lockdown. With the ability to connect to your TV and a heart rate monitor, Fiit enables you to train with your favourite PTs from the comfort of your living room. Accountability is at the heart of the offering, especially with the live classes where users can see their stats and a leaderboard shows how you’re faring against other people doing the same class. It is claimed that users burn 22% more calories in Fiit Club than other classes, with the competition element believed to make you work that much harder.

The Fiit device really comes into its own during strength classes. Technique is paramount, so much so that reps are only counted if your form is correct. The device acts like a personal trainer to give you tips on how to perform each move correctly, and having your previous rep scores on screen enables you to compete with yourself in the pursuit of new personal bests. With both free and premium membership options, Fiit has something for everyone.

Run For Heroes


Run For Heroes is an initiative set up by Olivia Strong, a documentary producer from Edinburgh. Having had her work reduced to a two-day week at the start of lockdown, the 27-year-old was out for a run when she noticed just how many people were doing the same. It was then that she had the idea that if people ran 5km and donated after, hopefully it would be possible to reach a fundraising target of £5k for NHS Charities Together. The Run 5 (km), Donate 5 (£), Nominate 5 (People) slogan was born and Olivia set up the Run For Heroes Instagram page that same day.

Just four days later the £5,000 fundraising target had been met and after 10 days the total was up to £500,000. What had started amongst one friendship group grew exponentially and quickly went global. Celebrity participation, including the likes of Sir Mo Farah and Ellie Goulding, helped to spread awareness of the initiative and the nominations and donations just spiralled from there.

To date, Run For Heroes has raised over £5m for NHS Charities Together, with more than one million people donning their running shoes and supporting the cause. Olivia has been honoured with the Points of Light award from the Cabinet Office for Outstanding Volunteering, and has recently teamed up with Strava to launch a new challenge – Faster 5k Friday – to raise money for the Care Workers’ Charity. The concept sees people run their fastest 5k every Friday for five weeks, donating five pounds each time. What was initially just a nice idea has turned into one of the most successful fundraising efforts of 2020.

JAXJOX

 

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JAXJOX gives you the freedom to workout wherever you want💪 📸: @kyndra.fit

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With the government delivering one key message at the start of lockdown – stay at home – the nation collectively scrambled to try and get their hands on fitness equipment. Prices of dumbbells soared as demand skyrocketed. Search terms such as “home workout”, “home gym equipment”, “bodyweight exercise” showed a 600% increase in volume worldwide in the last week of March alone.

When it comes to innovative, space saving fitness kit, look no further than JAXJOX’s Kettlebell Connect – a six-in-one adjustable kettlebell. Its advanced technology allows you to add or drop weight in seconds so you can work out anywhere. Users are able to connect the product to the app to track reps, sets, weight and rest time. You get 14 hours workout time on a single charge and weight ranges from 12-42 lbs. Up to nine users can be connected up, so a perfect solution for larger households. The Kettlebell Connect also syncs with your Apple Health app data. Due to unprecedented demand, the product is currently out of stock.

Therabody


New exercise habits can take their toll on your body, so when it comes to recovery, look no further than Therabody. Formerly known as Theragun, Therabody is the global leader in tech wellness and percussive massage therapy. With a brand new Bluetooth-enabled G4 product range released in May, featuring their quietest ever muscle treatment thanks to brand new QuietForce Technology, Therabody is the most trusted percussive massage therapy brand among professional sports teams, professional athletes, celebrities, world-renowned trainers, physical therapists and everyday people in more than 50 countries. From treating tech neck to managing sciatica, Therabody’s Theragun percussive therapy devices have been the must-have at home wellness companion during lockdown.

If you would like to find out more about what our specialist sport and fitness experts can do for you, get in-touch with our award-winning team today.