The six weirdest fitness trends of 2014

Businesses continuously introduce new products and services to maintain their marketing bite. Sometimes, though, they get it wrong - horribly wrong.  Coke once made 'New Coke'. The producers of Teen Wolf made Teen Wolf 2.  And Channel 10, inexplicably to me, continues to make The Bachelor.

The health and fitness industry also constantly reinvents itself, even though the fundamentals behind healthy eating and efficient exercise remain essentially the same. Although that's clearly of less importance than these must-have/must-do trends that spring from nowhere every single day. 

Here are some of the weirder ones we've heard of in 2014 that you might even be tempted to try:

Prancercise

Millions watched on YouTube as 'the Prancercise woman', Joanna Rohrback, galloped and pranced around like a dancing show horse.  It's regarded as exercise, and no greater authority than quasi-celeb Kelly Osbourne recently declared she is taking to it. It's low intensity, and your elation is meant to dictate your exercise pattern. I'm laughing so hard, I've had my core workout for the day.

In the videos I've seen, not even the horses can stand to watch Prancercise.  I would gladly exhibit my un-rhythmic Zumba moves before I'd voluntarily look that idiotic.

My tip: Do any other exercise program, then at least don't risk looking like a horse's arse. 

Barefoot running

I still see people running barefoot through major cities.  And I don't mean with the various minimalist shoes that are plentiful on the market.  What I mean is – no socks, no shoes – just barefoot on our cities' pavement.  It looks odd, and it's flat-out dangerous.

First of all, your running form had better be 100 per cent perfect, or the pounding on your feet and joints will result in severe pain.  Secondly, have you ever noticed all the shrapnel on a city street?  From needles to rocks, food to dog droppings … none of which I want my feet to land on or have squished between my toes.

My tip: Wear shoes. It's just that simple.  If you're still determined, at least have the good sense to run barefoot in a grassy park.

Naked yoga

Articles keep popping up on my screen about yoga in the nude. (Or maybe that's just to do with my web surfing habits.) Still, doesn't it sound so wonderfully Zen, so close to nature?

Sure, I'm on board with it, right up until the bit where I'd cop an eyeful of someone's dangly bits, and witness more exposed rolls than a German bakery. There's also the potential to cop a whiff of body odours of all sorts and – dare I mention the unmentionable – the undertone of perverted arousal that must surely permeate each class.

My tip: If you like to exercise in the raw, do a clothed yoga session then take yourself off to a clothing-optional beach for a run or a swim.

Gojjing

Want to go for a goj?  Yes, that's 'jog' backwards.  People are running backwards because studies say it's less harmful on the knees due to a softer stride, while more muscles are activated than a conventional run.

I don't buy it. We drive forward, walk forward, ride bikes forward … because we were designed with eyes that look forward.

If you're on a normal jog and trip over, you can usually avoid injury with a body roll, a stutter-step, or at least bracing yourself with your hands to save a face-plant. Running backwards, a fall means the back of your head will most likely bear the brunt. Hello, concussion.

My tip: Avoid a 'goj' and the neck strain involved in making sure you don't get run over by a bus, because a good ole' jog still works. Let's leave looking backwards to the rowers and backstroke swimmers.

Anti-gravity yoga

It's yoga in the air. Performing yoga moves while suspended in silk hammocks hanging from the ceiling is a risky move. 

I'll have my yoga on the floor, thank you.  Let's leave this to the professionals, such as Cirque de Soleil artists, Pink, and anti-G yoga founder, Broadway dancer and gymnastic specialist Christopher Harrison.

My tip: Go for a long, solid beach run. Then enjoy a beer, have a yawn, and stretch out in a hammock suspended between palm trees with an ocean view.

Oil pulling

Swishing a spoonful of coconut oil around in your mouth for 15-20 minutes is said to be a workout for your mouth, and it's called oil pulling. 

It's an ancient Ayurvedic practice, and believers tout whiter teeth, better oral health, headache and skin irritation alleviation, weight loss, better kidney function, and so much more.

My tip: I throw my arms in the air on this one. If you believe it works, knock yourself out.

Steve Jobs was once thought of as weird along with Warren Buffett and Albert Einstein, too.  Yet those guys have changed big business and a lot of lives.  Maybe these 'weird fitness' regimes will catch on in a beneficial way. Then won't I feel like the fool?

Have you tried any of these?  What weird workouts work for you?

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