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March 24, 2015

While we understand the draw of most fitness fads — spinning's killer playlists, barre's sweat-inducing moves and yoga's calming poses — some workout crazes just leave us scratching our heads. But if you're looking to try something new (or just have a few laughs), grab your favorite green juice and check out 10 of these wacky fitness trends. Who knows, you may discover a passion you didn't even know existed!

1. Prancercise

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This horse-inspired workout is described on the website as a "springy, rhythmic way of moving, similar to a horse's gait and ideally induced by elation." The goofy exercise has become an Internet sensation, crashing the company website and garnering more than 11 million views on YouTube. Get in on the trend if you're drawn by the combination of a majestic animal and a childhood fitness movement.

2. Aqua cycling

As if swimming in sweat at your regular spin class wasn't enough of a workout, now you can pedal in the pool. Aqua cycling uses water to create added resistance on your bike and help you torch up to 800 calories per session. And since all you want to do after a spin class is jump in a cool pool anyway, why not combine the two?

3. Kangoo Jumps

These Inspector Gadget-like boots come equipped with football-shaped springs on the bottom to reduce the impact on your joints while jogging. Embarrassed to wear them in public? Rock them indoors at Kangoo classes where instructors teach choreographed routines of running, jumping and dancing while you bounce along to the beat of hip-hop and pop tunes. You may prefer the added bonus of bouncing like an astronaut on the moon.

4. Barefoot running

Barefoot believers swear the practice promotes a more natural running style that prevent injuries, encouraging a legions of runners to hit the pavement in "five finger" running shoes that offer minimal padding to mimic the experience of running sans footwear — and oddly resemble aqua socks. As barefoot running aficionados will attest, humans were made to run, so why mess with nature?

5. Parkour

Also known as "free running," this urban, adrenaline-pumping trend involves scaling walls and leaping, diving and flipping over obstacles like fences, benches and, yes, even buildings. Thankfully it is possible to learn this daredevil exercise with the safety of crash mats.

6. Naked yoga

Just in case the poses in your yoga class weren't silly enough, now you can perform them while in the nude. Practitioners praise the class for promoting openness, self-confidence and body acceptance. It eliminates the guesswork about what to wear!

7. Backwards running

People will try anything if it perks up their running routines. Jogging backwards took off after research showed it could be gentler on the joints (the position makes you land more softly), a good alternative for those with the dreaded "runner's knee." Going in reverse may work if you've got running-related aches and pains, but make sure someone in your group is looking ahead so you avoid collisions.

8. Trapeze school

Who knew so many people wanted to run off and join the circus? This gravity-defying fitness craze promises a full-body workout as you swing through the air on a trapeze bar. Luckily, safety harnesses are required.

9. Indoor surfing

Indoor surfing is perfect for those who love the idea of hanging ten but aren't ready to get wet. Indoor surfing classes use machines that mimic the movement of a surfboard to improve balance and work all major muscle groups — in case you ever do decide to jump in the water. Some classes will even project beach videos on the studio walls for visual inspiration.

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