The Most Popular Workouts Of 2013

It was a fast-paced year in the world of fitness. There's no denying the breakout starpower of the HIIT workout, with exercisers everywhere looking for shorter, faster, harder ways to work out and get results... YESTERDAY.

In fact, some of the most popular workouts and exercises of 2013 fit into the HIIT category one way or another. In the list below, compiled from Google's 13th annual Zeitgeist of the most popular searches of the year, you'll see why not all of those popular HIIT workouts were created equal, as well as some of the big changes from 2012's list.

TRX Workout
TRX training takes bodyweight exercises up a notch. The portable straps allow you to use gravity to your advantage and provide resistance and also assistance to help you tailor tough workouts to your individual needs. Sure, it's a strength workout, but the balance and flexibility benefits are not to be ignored.
Plank Exercises
We think it's safe to say 2013 was finally the year when planks officially overthrew crunches. And with good reason, considering the risk of straining your back or neck during a poorly-performed crunch. Planks are more efficient, incorporate ab-supporting back muscles and help you drive more power from your hips, Details reported.

However, it's not about how long you can hold one. Once you've mastered the plank, try variations like these to really up your ab game.
Back Workouts
Damon Dahlen, AOL
About 80 percent of American adults report some back pain, according to Consumer Reports, and certain exercises can actually help stave off the aches.

For a stronger back, try perfecting your row.

And, don't forget to stretch! Try these simple moves before you even get out of bed in the morning.
Shoulder Workouts
Is there anyone who doesn't want more defined shoulders?! What might be surprising to many gym rats is that more defined shoulders means focusing on all the muscles surrounding the joint. Too often, we neglect the rear deltoids, according to WebMD, leading to injuries and poor posture. Pull-ups and rows (both on a machine and off) are good options, as are lateral raises, which can be performed in a number of variations, like the Y-T-W raise.
Kettlebell Workouts
Once the weird new gadget no one knew how to use (or pronounce!) properly, kettlebells are now essentially mainstream, thanks undoubtedly to CrossFit's rise in popularity.

The trademark kettlebell swing is a powerhouse move for stronger legs, back and core. A complete kettlebell workout can even improve aerobic capacity, according to a small American Council on Exercise (ACE) study.

A word of caution: Form is of the utmost importance, especially if you're new to kettlebells. It's important to master form at a low weight before advancing, and to focus on quality over quantity. Read up on more common kettlebell mistakes here.
7-Minute Workout
The profile of this high-intensity, high-efficiency circuit workout sky-rocketed after it made an appearance in the New York Times Magazine in May. Understandable, considering that all of us would love to get a complete workout in just seven minutes.

While the science behind the circuit is solid, to really reap the benefits of this quick routine, the moves must be performed at high-intensity (read: uncomfortable), and you're likely better of repeating the whole shebang two or three times. The 21-minute workout just doesn't have the same ring to it...
Bicep Workouts
If you really want to make the most of your bicep exercises, you've got to focus on form. Done right, the simple bicep curl can be a full-body move, writes celebrity fitness coach and HuffPost blogger Manning Sumner, working the abs, glutes, triceps, shoulders and other muscles that activate to keep you balanced while holding weight.

To really kick things up a notch, try some of these bicep curl variations from Men's Health to engage your core and lower body even more.
Ab Workouts
By now you probably know that a stellar set of stomach muscles requires a whole lot more work than a few reps of crunches. Diet changes are usually essential to uncovering ab muscles, not to mention the whole concept of a "flat" stomach is riddled with body image concerns.

We hope when you're searching for ab workouts it's because you know a strong core is essential for good posture and eliminating back pain. And that sometimes the best ab exercises don't seem like ab exercises at all!
CrossFit Workouts
In 2013, everyone tried CrossFit: pregnant ladies, kids, Miss America. Even cats.

Despite critics' rush to call it extreme and dangerous, a recent study from the ACE deemed CrossFit an efficient and powerful workout, provided you follow some basic safety guidelines.

Still haven't hopped on the bandwagon? Here's what to expect at your first CrossFit workout.
Insanity Workout
Marketed as "The Hardest Workout Ever Put on DVD", Insanity is not for the faint of heart. The 60-day program pushes interval training to the max, extending hard work periods for longer and minimizing rest.

Albeit it popular, such seductive marketing can be misleading. As one of the most popular blog posts of the year points out, transformation photos are usually too good to be true, and lasting results usually take a lengthier effort.

How many did you try in 2013?

What To Expect At Your First CrossFit Workout