Every so often, an absurd fitness craze sweeps exercise classes and gyms across the globe. But, what are some of the strangest fads that we’ve seen over the past decade?
This is a fitness fad that’s not long been around. At the start of 2018, a Scandinavian trend began that encourages people to pick up litter while out running — improving their health while helping the environment. And, some people haven’t looked back since!
The type of workout is called ‘plogging’ and is even a recognised form of exercise on some fitness tracking apps. The word comes from the word jogging and the Swedish phrase ‘plocka upp’ which means to pick up. You burn off the calories through running with intermittent squats and lunges as you pick rubbish from the ground. It’s been found to be quite effective too — health app Lifesum estimates that a typical ‘plogger’ will burn 288 calories from just 30 minutes of the exercise.
Others are being encouraged to join in through social media too as individuals post photos of themselves in running gear with plastic bags ready to fill with litter. Could you be joining in with ploggers in your local area soon?
One fitness craze in 2010 involved ‘barefoot’ running. This craze saw people trading in their running shoes for a running ‘sock’ and heading outside.
People who support this form of exercise say that wearing trainers or running shoes can actually make you more prone to injury as you’re encouraged to run in a way that’s non-natural. Other supposed benefits of barefoot running are that the tiny muscles found in feet, ankles and legs become stronger which also reduces the risk of sustaining an injury.
There are still some followers of the trend, but it’s not as popular as it was when it started. Be careful if you’re considering barefoot running though — experts have said that switching to this type of running without properly transitioning can lead to injuries. Instead, practise walking barefoot first to get used to it.
Dog yoga or ‘doga’ is the practise of involving dogs in yoga classes. You might think that this involves dogs exercising too, but it’s not really about that. People do their regular yoga classes and their dogs are off lead and free to move.
Sometimes the dogs are involved with the yoga moves, they might act as a weight for lifting or as a platform to backbend over. Some say that the practise of doga is relaxing for both the human and the dog, as a yoga class can be a calming environment for all. And, like normal yoga, doga is great for back pain relief and other musculoskeletal problems.
Other people have taken it a step further with cat and goat yoga…would you stretch it out with your pet?
This is a weird exercise that doesn’t seem to have phased out with time… crawling. It’s exactly what you think it would be — roaming around on the floor like babies would. But, in 2016, the workout became more and more talked about and specialist classes for crawling were even launched.
Beginners are advised to start off by crawling on their hands and knees, and as they become more advanced they should progress to propping themselves up on their toes and moving around. Benefits of the movement include working the core muscles and hip joints, improving flexibility and strength. Although you may feel strange doing it, crawling also works on skills such as balance, coordination and stability.
Specialists say however that you should avoid this sort of movement if you have any wrist, shoulder or neck problems as it can be tough on these areas.
When at a gig, you might’ve noticed that it’s the drummers at the back of the stage who work up the most sweat. And, it’s not a coincidence that all drummers are prone to high-perspiration levels — it’s down to the moves that they’re busting. Originating in 2011, a class was launched that focused on these sorts of movements, and the craze spread!
The class involves lightly weighted drumsticks, an exercise sequence and some energetic music. Movements involve stretches, squats, lunges, reaches and drum solos — lots of ways to get heartbeats racing. Attendees say that the classes are for all abilities and is a great way to build strength and firm up muscles.