10 Workouts Guaranteed To Make You Look Ridiculous
By Anthony Sfarra, Listverse, 17 August 2015.
By Anthony Sfarra, Listverse, 17 August 2015.
Many people exercise for one reason or another. Most forms of exercise, such as jogging or lifting weights, can be seen everywhere. However, many new and different workouts have also been invented over the years in an attempt to break the monotony and repetitiveness of typical exercise, sometimes with very strange results.
In 1989, fitness buff Joanna Rohrback was exercising down Hollywood Boulevard wearing ankle weights. She added rhythmic arm movements to her steps and was struck by the result that she described on YouTube as a “springy, rhythmic way of moving forward, similar to a horse’s gait.” Feeling that she was onto something, she dubbed her new workout “Prancercise.” In 1994, Rohrback wrote a book, Prancercise: The Art of Physical and Spiritual Excellence, which was not published. The entire idea ended up on the back burner for almost two decades.
For most of the 2000s, Rohrback was prevented from exercising due to an illness which lasted nine years. In 2013, however, she began to work out again, resuming her Prancercise moves and posting a five-minute video detailing the concept on YouTube. The video went viral, and soon, others began galloping down halls and streets and filming their own YouTube videos.
Rohrback’s book is now published, and Prancercise has its own website. In addition to physical exercise, Prancercise is also described as liberating practitioners from tired gym routines and allowing for self-expression. Prancercisers move to their preferred music in whatever way feels natural to them.
The unusual workout does have the benefit of being low impact and easily doable for most people. The use of ankle weights can make it a bit tougher. Prancercise isn’t high-intensity exercise, but it will get your heart rate up and can help beginners and people who are restarting exercise after a long hiatus (like Rohrback herself) to get used to regular activity.
9. High Heel Workouts
High heels aren’t always comfortable, and frequent wearing of them has been shown to have negative effects on the body. A 2011 study indicated that high heels may make women more likely to suffer osteoarthritis in the future, particularly in the knees. The shin muscles, quadriceps, and stabilizing knee tendons are placed under extra strain. So are the calves, which can be permanently shortened. The same is true for the Achilles tendon. In addition to the strain placed on all of those muscles and tendons, some scientists think that walking in high heels burns fewer calories because the shoes slow a person’s walking speed.
Exercising in such strenuous footwear might not sound like a good idea, but high heel workouts exist, and gyms even offer classes. These classes look much like a typical fitness class, except that everyone is moving around in high heels. One workout program, Heel Hop, bills itself as a means of reducing the pain and discomfort from high heels through strengthening the body. Other stated benefits include increased cardiovascular strength, a leaner lower body, a smaller waist, increased muscle tone in the legs, and improved confidence and dance skills.
Working out in high heels will indeed burn calories and strengthen the legs, though it’s argued that the visible benefits may mask underlying, long-term wear and tear on the legs. You might want to consider stretching beforehand.
8. Fifty Shapes Of Grey
Whatever your opinion on it, you probably know about E.L. James’s hugely popular Fifty Shades of Grey and the eponymous feature film. Now, there is a workout that features exercises based on the novel’s sex scenes. Fitness personality Kristen James (no relation to Fifty Shades’s author) has developed “Fifty Shapes of Grey,” a 13-exercise routine that can be easily performed with only a chair and mats. The sexual theme of Fifty Shapes is evident in the names of the exercises, which include “seductive squats” and “sexy scissors.”
Physically, Fifty Shapes of Grey primarily builds flexibility and core strength. The ultimate goal of the workout is to give you both the confidence and physical fitness needed to re-enact Fifty Shades’s sex scenes in your own bedroom. Some of the exercises are performed standing on the tips of your toes, possibly because performing the exercises while wearing stilettos would be injurious.
7. Kangoo Jumps
The decidedly unique-looking shoes known as Kangoo Jumps (presumably a play on the word “kangaroo”) were developed in the 1990s for athletes to reduce the impact of vigorous exercise. Techniques designed to develop explosive strength can repeatedly place joints under strain equivalent to five times Earth’s gravity. Kangoo Jumps combat that strain by lengthening impact time enough to allow the muscles to properly absorb impact energy. Studies have shown that they reduce impact stress by as much as 80 percent while protecting joints.
When running on Kangoo Jumps, the entire foot strikes the ground, as opposed to the heel striking first, and is rebounded upward. Users have likened it to running on a trampoline. Running in Kangoo Jumps burns 25–50 percent more calories than regular running, and the core gets more of a workout from stabilizing the runner.
In more recent years, Kangoo Jumps have moved beyond athletic training and into more popular use. Bouncy dance classes have appeared in gyms, and Kangoo running groups and boot camps also exist. Gyms and classes aren’t necessary, however, as anyone can buy their own pair online. Though they make for a harder running workout, use of the shoes is said to be surprisingly easy to master. As of this writing, we do not know if anyone has attempted Prancercise while wearing Kangoo Jumps.
How about a workout where you barely have to move? If that sounds good, then you might like Europlate, a type of machine featuring a vibrating plate upon which a user sits or stands in various ways. The plate vibrates at 30–50 hertz, and the vibrations cause muscles to contract and stretch like they would during conventional exercise, just more effectively. In fact, the producers of the product even claim that spending 10 minutes on a Europlate is equal to an hour-long workout.
These vibration machines supposedly provide many benefits. For one, muscles are exercised without the strain and impact of traditional workouts. Bone density, circulation, metabolism, strength, stamina, and muscle tone are improved. Fat is burned, and joint pain is reduced. The body is even detoxified through increased lymphatic drainage.
With vibration machines becoming more popular and appearing in more gyms, you don’t necessarily need to drop a few thousand dollars to gain access to one. There is debate over what benefits sitting and shaking on a Europlate actually provides, however. A 2009 study did show that obese women using vibration plates lost more weight than those using conventional exercise. But it’s important to use the machine properly for maximum effectiveness. If it feels easy, it’s not being done right.
Finally, there is a workout that you can do while reading Listverse. Chair-A-Cise, like the name suggests, is done entirely while sitting in a chair. Personal trainer Daryl Madison developed the program as a means for anyone to benefit, regardless of their condition.
Many of the typical obstacles that may prevent someone from adopting a regular fitness regimen do not apply. If someone doesn’t have time to go to a gym, they can still do Chair-A-Cise at home or even on a lunch break. Hotels tend to have chairs, so frequent travel isn’t a problem. The program is also easy for beginners and people with injury or weight issues.
Exercising while sitting in a chair might sound counterintuitive, but Chair-A-Cise supposedly provides an effective workout, even for veteran athletes. (To be fair, Madison is certified by the American Council on Exercise and has over a decade of experience as a trainer.) Adding dumbbells to the movements and increasing the tempo can increase the program’s difficulty.
There are currently four Chair-A-Cise programs available, varying in time and intensity. For example, Chair-A-Cise Turbo is a short but intense version optimized for busy schedules. That one may work for reading KnowledgeNuts.
High-intensity interval training has become popular in recent years, and Zuu offers a new and unique way to keep your heart rate up. Invented in Australia by Nathan Helberg in 2010, Zuu is gaining worldwide attention, with classes now also offered in the US, the UK, France, and Japan. Fans of the workout include Sir Richard Branson, sports teams, and militaries.
It’s probably no coincidence that Zuu sounds like “zoo,” as the workout primarily involves an instructor shouting the name of an animal and the participants moving like that animal for 30-second intervals. Some people also make the corresponding animal sounds. Among others, the moves include the gorilla, the frog squat, the bear crawl, and the iguana. Zuu also features a few movements that aren’t animal-themed.
As silly as Zuu participants may look, the workout is hideously effective. Fifteen minutes of Zuu can burn 500–1,000 calories. Exercisers are typically covered in sweat and may not even make it through the 15 minutes. To make it even more difficult, Zuu can be done while wearing a resistance harness, which has been compared to being on a human-sized leash. Classes tend to be quite a spectacle, but few participants care, citing how good they feel by the end of the workout.
3. Horse Riding Fitness Ace Power
Horseback riding can provide more of a workout than you might think. In terms of energy cost on the body, which is also known as “metabolic equivalent of task” (MET), riding a horse requires 5.5 METS on average. (For reference, sitting here and reading this article uses 1 MET.) The energy cost drops to 3.8 if the horse is walking and rises to 7.3, roughly equivalent to playing squash, at a full gallop. Regular riding has also been shown to improve muscular strength, particularly in the quadriceps and hamstrings. Cleaning the horse’s stall can provide moderate exercise, too.
Granted, horseback riding requires open space and, more importantly, a horse. Horse Riding Fitness Ace Power may change that, however. Using a seat like that of a bicycle, this Korean exercise machine rocks up and down in a manner meant to simulate the motion of riding a horse, which supposedly confers the benefits of horse riding. Users of Ace Power look as though they are hip thrusting in their living rooms. The suggestive appearance of the workout has drawn comparisons to the infamous Shake Weight.
Looks aside, there are also doubts about the machine’s effectiveness. It doesn’t mimic the movements of a horse particularly well and only moves in a single, repetitive way. The arms receive no exercise at all, and some fear that Ace Power could cause back problems. One could arguably get a slightly less repetitive workout from a bull-riding machine at a local bar.
Spanning the line between exercise device and party favour, Waterwalkerz are endlessly likened to hamster balls for humans. Originally popular in China and Japan, they’re now showing up in other countries, too. People sealed inside the inflatable plastic spheres use them to walk across water in a manner that does indeed resemble a hamster in a ball. A device to inflate the balls is provided, and their plastic is durable enough to be used on pebble beaches without fear of puncture.
You can spend about 30 minutes inside a Waterwalker before you run out of air, assuming you last that long. Walking in one is not as easy as it looks. Even standing is a difficult balancing act. As shown in the video above, one TV reporter claimed that it would easier to fight Mike Tyson. Walking, running, spinning, and stumbling in the plastic balls provides a full-body workout, especially for the abdominal muscles. Waterwalkerz likely serve as a great way to tire out children at parties, too.
1. Pao Facial Fitness
Whether through conventional or unconventional means, there are many options available for those seeking a full-body workout, but what about exercise for the face? According to spokesman and world-class footballer Cristiano Ronaldo, Pao Facial Fitness fills that niche. A rather simple-looking device made from ABS plastic, Pao consists of a mouthpiece with two weights attached to long, flexible extensions. To use it, you simply place the centre part in your mouth and shake your head up and down.
The shaking action is said to exercise the muscles of the cheeks so that a more youthful smile results. The greater and lesser zygomatic muscles are conditioned, as is the risorius muscle, leading to a better-contoured smile. The shape of the mouthpiece is also designed to force the lips into an “O” shape while using Pao, which works the orbicularis oris.
Pao’s weights come in 18, 23, or 28 grams, depending on the desired intensity of the workout. Shaking your head with Pao for 30–90 seconds twice a day is all it takes. If used properly, Pao can tone the face without straining the jaws and teeth.
Top image: Cristiano Ronaldo on PAO Facial Fitness video commercial. Credit: PAO Facial Fitness.
[Source: Listverse. Edited.]