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4 of the strangest fitness fads of the last decade

It seems that there’s a new fitness craze that becomes a part of all gyms and exercise classes each and every year, as people look for fresh and unique ways to work out. Here, we remember some of the strangest fitness fads of the past ten years…

1.      Barefoot jogging

A number of runners swapped their running shoes for a type of running ‘sock’ during 2010. Those who are in support of this fitness fad say 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.

Barefoot jogging may not be as popular now, though there are still a selection of runners who stand by the trend. 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.

2.      High-heel workouts

The benefits of exercising in high heels have been put under the spotlight throughout the past decade. Research has suggested that even walking in high-heels (below three inches) can shape the calves and improve muscle tone and shape.

You balance can be enhanced by lifting small weights, lunging and squatting while dressed in high heels too. 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.

3.      Hot barre

It was in the American cities of New York and Los Angeles that the trend of ‘hot barre’ became a hot topic. This trend 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.

There are still popular classes in operation today which have a similar approach to ‘hot barre’. Take ‘hot yoga’ for instance, where classic mindfulness movements are performed in a heated pod — a guaranteed sweat stimulator. For anyone experiencing shoulder pain and other musculoskeletal issues, yoga can be helpful.

4.      Plogging

We’ve only been getting to grips with plogging since the beginning of 2018, though the fitness fad already has some strong followers. It’s a Scandinavian-based trend that encourages people to pick up litter while out running — improving health and the environment.

‘Plogging’ is a word that originated from a mix of the word jogging and the Swedish phrase ‘plocka upp’ — meaning pick up. 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.

Social media is becoming more and more abuzz with people taking up plogging. On various pages, you can find images of fitness lovers in running gear with plastic bags ready to fill with litter. Could we see this trend become widespread sometime soon?

We’re surely only a short time away from the next strange fitness trend emerging, though it’s anyone’s guess what the fad will be…

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