This Is How Women Around the World Work Out
For a country best known for originating Tai Chi, the gentle exercise called a "moving meditation," it's a little surprising that these days, the Chinese are all about pumping iron. Bodybuilding was the most popular exercise searched in 2014, according to Google, and bodybuilding gyms are popping up all over the country to serve the huge demand. After being banned for decades by the communist government, the muscle sport has made a huge comeback since the turn of the century, with men competing in more traditional competitions while women favor the softer "bikini" look.
China's top 5 workouts according to Google: bodybuilding, Zumba fitness, jumping jacks, fitness bands, and facial exercises
India is the birthplace of yoga and it's clear they still value the practice, as stretching and breathing exercises ranked number one among Indian fitness enthusiasts on Google. Still, people are modernizing, with women trying out Pilates and prioritizing exercise during pregnancy. The real surprise is how much Indians love American WWE wrestler Brock Lesnar, who has become somewhat of a national hero. Professional wrestling is one of the most popular sports in the country (only America has more WWE fans), so they are intensely interested in how Lesnar gets his legendary muscles.
India's top 5 workouts according to Google: stretching exercises, exercise during pregnancy, breathing exercises, brock lesnar [wrestler], workout and Pilates
In keeping with their efficient and practical natures, Russians want to get the most bang for their buck at the gym. The ultra-short 7-Minute Workout not only doesn't require a big time investment, but it's also equipment-free, so you can get your workout in anytime, anywhere. The anti-gym trend continues as no-equipment street and home workouts are also enormously popular. And while we're not sure exactly what the "Batman workout" is, it certainly sounds fun!
Russa's top 5 workouts according to Google: 7 minute workout, street workouts, exercises at home, workout for beginners and Batman workout
Sorry, Jane Austen fans, no leisurely walks across the moor here! People in England prefer their workouts to be hard, sweaty, and intense. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is characterized by short bursts of heart-pumping, gut-busting, all-out exercise, followed by a brief rest. So it only makes sense that they'd also love CrossFit and the insanely tough training plan that was used to whip the cast of the movie 300 into such phenomenal shape.
England's top 5 workouts according to Google: HIIT [high intensity interval training] workout, Pilates, Crossfit, 300 [movie] workout, and sciatica exercises
With their blend of athleticism and artistry, who wouldn't want to be like a gymnast? So even though they can't wear the sparkly leotards (leotards and other tight athletic clothing are banned in Saudi Arabia), the women there still love doing gymnastic workouts and focus on stretching as much as on strength. Similarly, even though most pop music is forbidden—as is dancing where men can see—Saudi women adore the sexy groove of Zumba.
Saudi Arabia's top 5 workouts according to Google: gymnastics, stretching exercises, Zumba, squat exercises, and plank exercises
Why just pump iron when you can swing, lift it, throw it, and twirl it around your head too? Kettlebells are one of the most versatile fitness tools around, and Australians are taking full advantage by crafting workouts that incorporate both the cardio and weight-lifting benefits of the 'bells. Bonus: kettlebells are said to burn 70 percent more calories than a traditional weight-lifting workout. Aussies, like their British cousins, are also into super-intense workouts like CrossFit, Tabata sprints, and the 300 movie workout.
Australia's top 5 workouts according to Google: kettlebell exercises, CrossFit, tricep exercises, Tabata workout, and 300 [movie] workout
After gracing the world with beauties like Gisele Bundchen and Adriana Lima, it seems like Brazil's top export is supermodels. Clearly, Brazilians know a thing or two about sculpting a beautiful body, and their go-to workouts are ballet- and dance-inspired. In addition to focusing on long, graceful limbs, they're also careful not to forget to hone their world-famous booties and stomachs.
Brazil's top 5 workouts according to Google: ballet fitness, glute exercises, ab exercises, home exercises, and bodybuilding exercises
Stability ball exercises topped the list of most popular workouts in Japan, but even more interesting was what landed in spot number two: The demand for "face workouts" highlights the different beauty standards around the world. Where Americans are most concerned with their stomachs and Brazilians are obsessed with their backsides, the Japanese prize a youthful, fit-looking face over all else. (Tiny calves are also coveted.) And their love of pop culture showed with searches for the TRF EZ DO dance workout based off of the mega-popular band Tetsuya Komuro Rave Factory, famous for its impressive dance numbers.
Japan's top 5 workouts according to Google: balance ball exercises, face exercises, maternity exercise, soccer exercises, TRF dance exercises, skinny calf exercises
Hockey may be the national sport, but it's bodybuilding that took the top spot for the most popular workout in Canada. (Maybe becasue it's a lot warmer inside gyms!) But while they may love the sexy look of lean muscle, Canadians keep things well-balanced with fat-burning Tabata workouts, strengthening core exercises, and a little TRX-assisted bodyweight moves for variety.
Canada's top 5 workouts according to Google: bodybuilding, leg workouts, Tabata workouts, core exercises, and TRX workouts
Rather than chase after the latest fitness fads, Mexicans prefer to stick to tried-and-true methods for a healthy body and mind. And proving that women are leading the way, pregnancy workouts were listed as number one. Even if they're not gestating, they're still interested in a well-rounded workout that not only builds strength but also improves balance, coordination, flexibility, and mental stamina.
Mexico's top 5 workouts according to Google: pregnancy exercises, relaxation exercises, isometric exercises, resistance exercises, stretching exercises, and flexibility exercises