Reflecting on strange fitness fads from the past 10 years

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How many times have you entered your gym or exercise class and noticed that everyone’s getting involved in a new fitness craze? Here’s four of the strangest fitness trends of the past ten years…

  1. Hot barre

It was across New York and Los Angeles where ‘hot barre’ really took off as a fitness trend. This craze involves doing classical ballet moves in a room heated to 40 degrees, and it took off around 2015. Advocates of the fad say that hot barre encourages you to gain a deeper stretch while helping you release toxins and feel detoxed. Then, as the body has to work hard to cool itself down, you can expect your metabolism to boost and number of burnt calories to increase.

Currently becoming more popular and with a similar concept is ‘hot yoga’. This is where classic mindfulness movements are performed in a heated pod — a guaranteed sweat stimulator.

  1. Barefoot jogging

Running shoes were replaced with a form of running ‘sock’ by several runners during 2010. Those who supported the fitness fad said that running in trainers or running shoes can make you more prone to injury, as it encourages running with unnatural form. It’s also said that running barefoot strengthens the tiny muscles found in feet, ankles and legs which can also reduce the risk of injury.

While it’s not as common today, barefoot jogging still has a support network. Experts have said that switching to barefoot running without properly transitioning makes you prone to injuries. Only try this one if you’re willing to practise walking barefoot before running.  

  1. Plogging

Plogging has become one of 2018’s biggest fitness crazes. However, some people haven’t looked back since. It’s a Scandinavian-based trend that encourages people to pick up litter while out running — improving health and the environment.

‘Plogging’ as a term comes about from a mix of the Swedish phrase ‘plocka upp’, which means pick up, and the word jogging. The exercise part comes from running with intermittent squatting and lunging so you can pick up rubbish from the ground. It is an effective calorie burner too — fitness app Lifesum estimates that a typical user will burn 288 calories from 30 minutes of plogging.

You’ll see plenty about plogging on your social media feeds as well. Head to Facebook or Instagram and don’t be surprised to see images of people in running gear with plastic bags ready to fill with litter. Could we see this trend become widespread sometime soon?

  1. High-heel workouts

There are benefits to working out while wearing high heels, it’s been discovered. Research has suggested that even walking in high-heels (below three inches) can shape the calves and improve muscle tone and shape.

If you’re looking to improve your balance, pop on a pair of high heels and squat, lunge or lift some small weights. It hasn’t been fully determined whether wearing high-heels for a workout can result in weight loss, but it can help you learn how to walk better in them.

Any guesses what next year’s most popular fitness fad is going to be?

Author bio

The research and creation of this article was carried out by Lee Dover, on behalf of a specialist provider of knee pain relief products. Lee Dover is a senior copywriter at Mediaworks with an interest in healthcare as well as researching into healthier ways of living. He has a BA (Hons) in Magazine Journalism.