5 Fitness TikTok Trends That Work (and 2 to avoid)
Fitness trends are everywhere, but nowhere are they more prevalent it seems than on social media. With the rise of easy content creation and accessible posting platforms, just about anyone can become a “fitness influencer.” And because of this, it’s important to know which fitness TikTok trends are great and which ones might be downright dangerous.
What is TikTok? Why Is It Great for Fitness?
You’ve undoubtedly heard of social media, which includes platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and yes, TikTok. They can all be great sources of information on all topics, including health and fitness.
With the decreased attention spans of most people these days, the short 15- to 60-second videos offered up by TikTok are extremely popular, especially those revolving around exercise. These bite-sized fitness plans can give you fresh exercise ideas and get you motivated to move your body. Like so many things, though, while some of the information is top-notch, well-researched, and worth exploring, other information is very, very, very far from it, and some should be avoided at all costs.
5 Fitness TikTok Trends That Work
1. The 12-3-30 Workout
The 12-3-30 workout is a treadmill workout that’s been popular now for several years. Created by internet influencer Lauren Giraldo in 2019, this workout helped her lose 30 pounds and transform her body. It can do the same for you too as long as you’re up for some hard work.
How does it work? Just follow the name. Once you’ve warmed up, set the treadmill at a 12% incline (this is probably the highest level on most models). Once you’re at a 12% incline, gradually push the speed up to 3.0 mph. That’s it. Keep it up for 30 minutes (if you can)!
Note: Not all fitness TikTok trends are good or bad. They just might not be right for you. That doesn’t mean you can’t adapt them to your level of fitness. This is a good example of a program that looks simple on the surface but is extremely difficult. Start slowly with less time and a lower incline and work your way up to those suggested namesake levels.
2. 25-7-2 Stairmaster Workout
Started by fitness influencer Camilla Abkas (@shutupcamilla), this workout is exactly as the name suggests. Basically, you’ll do a stepper workout for 25 minutes, at Level 7, twice a week. It’s no joke and will have you sweating profusely, breathless, and burning off body fat. It provides an intense focus on the legs and glutes. If you’re not quite ready for that level workout, try changing it up by lessening the time and definitely taking it slower (try level 2 or 3 to start). Once again, work your way up to the 25-7-2 combo.
3. The Grumpy Girl Stomp
Modeled after the original TikTok fitness trend, “The Hot Girl Walk,” inspired by college student Mia Lind, this is a different version that allows you to let it all hang out and just get your walk on. In contrast, the Hot Girl Walk involves grabbing an outfit that makes you feel good or “hot” and only thinking three thoughts during the walk: gratefulness, goals, and how hot or amazing you are. No drama! While you can listen to a podcast or uplifting music during the four-mile mindfulness walk, she recommends being alone with your thoughts to reclaim your own voice and build confidence.
Thanks to Tiktok user @madiwood_, TikTok’s Grumpy Girl Stomp, on the other hand, is built on the premise of “get up and get out.” You don’t need to dress up or have the trendiest gear on. Just get up off the couch and walk. Even if you don’t like it, you’re grouchy as can be, and a hot mess, you’re still gettin’ ‘er done. Hide behind your sunglasses, baseball cap, or oversized hoodie if that’s how you’re feeling.
Improve your cardiovascular fitness, mood, and energy levels, and burn some body fat with this great, relaxing, worry-free workout. While there are no guarantees, you’ll likely find your mood turns around and improves after stomping a while in the fresh air.
4. The Ab Dance
Inject some fun into your workouts says Janny14906, a popular fitness TikTokker. While this may not offer quite the list of quick benefits that the creator touts, it’s still an inventive way to get in your crunch work.
How is it done? Rhythmically with music, stand and push your pelvis forward while crunching your abs and then tilt your butt back all while swinging your arms. If you can keep this up for 20 minutes a day (it helps to add your favorite playlist), you have the potential of working your core, burning off some calories, and even enjoying the process.
Note: Just be sure not to follow the rest of her advice like “eat whatever you want.” That method will most certainly prevent a toned abdomen.
5. The 75 Soft Challenge
As opposed to the 75 Hard Challenge which involves a much stricter diet and exercise program, this fitness TikTok trend is focused on solidifying lifestyle changes. The mind behind this program, Stephen Gallagher, says the 75 Hard Challenge was too restrictive and difficult for mainstream fitness enthusiasts. (We agree!) So, he created the dialed-down version of the program to be followed consistently for 75 days in a row:
- Exercise once a day for 45 minutes, with one active recovery day per week
- Consume a healthy diet and avoid alcohol unless in a social setting
- Drink 3 liters of water a day
- Read 10 pages daily—ideally a self-improvement book
If you miss any of these core points on any day, you have to start over again at Day One. This type of program can help readjust your body and mindset and get you into a healthy habit trend.
2 TikTok Trends to Avoid
Just because something is being done on TikTok and has a lot of likes or followers doesn’t mean that it’s good for you or even correct. This is a case of “viewer beware.” It’s important that you use discretion to determine what’s good and what’s bad. And even if a program seems great, it might not be good for you and could even be dangerous. So, do your due diligence and throw in some common sense when trying out fitness trends you see.
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Some examples of fitness trends on TikTok that might not be so great are:
1. Mouth Taping
This is the practice of sealing your mouth shut with tape. The purported upside to this is that by taping your mouth shut at night, you force yourself to consistently breathe through your nose and can get more restful sleep. Additionally, breathing through your nose can have benefits such as avoiding dry mouth, bad breath, and snoring. Some experts also say that nose breathing can help lower blood pressure, moisturize your throat, and prevent allergens from entering your lungs.
What’s the downside? Well, there are a number of them. The kind of tape you use could be harmful to your skin and you might have or develop an allergy to the tape or adhesive. It can also be dangerous if you suffer from obstructive sleep apnea or can’t breathe well through your nose. Some mouth breathers even find themselves “mouth-puffing”—still trying to get air through their mouths even though they are taped shut.
The jury is out on whether this is a safe and effective way to force nasal breathing. Follow this advice only with abundant caution or not at all.
2. Pre-Workout Dry Scooping
Pre-workout supplements are designed to help you feel energetic and focused while fighting off fatigue and bettering your performance during exercise. Yes, pre-workout powders may be all the rage right now, but there is a proper way to take them and a dangerous way to take them. They are concentrated powders, designed to be mixed with water when consumed.
What’s the fitness TikTok trend? It involves “dry scooping” your pre-workout supplement powders instead of diluting them with water like they are meant to be consumed. TikTok influencers are instead pouring the powder straight into their mouths and then hitting the gym. Why? They claim that the concentrated powder form is absorbed by your body more quickly and thus you start off your workout with a powerful energy surge.
What’s the problem? Number one, high doses of caffeine and other stimulants are extremely dangerous and can cause death. When you slam something that’s designed to be sipped, you’re getting all the caffeine and other stimulants at once. This can overload your system and crank up your heart rate and blood pressure to unsafe levels. What else? You could literally choke on the powder by inhaling it because it’s hard to swallow without water. You might also get nauseous from the dosage, thus pretty much negating your plan of getting a killer workout.
What’s the best advice when it comes to fitness TikTok trends? Don’t believe the hype right away. Ask yourself if it sounds logical or healthy and determine if it fits into your exercise program and is safe for your level of fitness. Go in with some healthy doubt and humility.
Most fitness plans are going to “work” as long as you do. If you put in the time and effort consistently, you’re going to see results. Bottom line, keep what works and ignore the rest, no matter how hyped the trend.