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The Rise of Wild Fitness Classes

The internet trolls and teases these wild forms of fitness. But could they actually be beneficial for one’s health?

Image: TikTok Collage/Sophia Vesely

Across social media, people are posting videos and images of wild fitness classes. There are people beating yoga balls with drumsticks, participants soaring through the air harnessed to bungee cords, and even folks creating dance routines on miniature trampolines. 

The internet mocks and teases these eccentric forms of exercise, calling them “middle-aged white women workouts”. Trollers claim these women will do anything except pick up a pair of dumbbells.

Yet could there be benefits to these wild forms of fitness?

Cardio Drumming

Cardio drumming was invented by Dr. Michelle Unrau, a scientist in the fitness industry. She discovered the potential for drumming as aerobic exercise after traveling to Japan in the 1990s and observing a taiko performance.

The exercise requires a yoga ball, a large bucket to secure the ball in place, and a pair of drumsticks or pool noodles. The participant uses the drumsticks to bang on the exercise ball as if it were a drum set, staying in sync with the upbeat music in the background. Cardio drumming also involves small dance movements and side steps to incorporate the entire body in motion.

Despite the backlash cardio drumming has received online, it benefits one’s health. It is low-impact and not likely to cause strain on one’s muscles or joints. It is also easily modifiable, so an individual with injuries or limitations can alter the exercise as needed, whether by banging the yoga ball with just one hand, sitting down, etc. Lastly, cardio drumming improves hand-eye coordination and motor functioning through its repetitious contact with the ball.

Many YMCA locations host a cardio drumming class called Drums Alive Power Beats. Their workouts also incorporate choreography alongside the drumming.

Bungee Workout

Bungee workouts involve stretchy, resistance bands attached to the ceiling, which are then harnessed to one’s waist. It creates a workout without gravity, requiring the participant to work against the resistance of the bungee cord pulling them into the air. The participant tries to maintain contact with the ground while performing exercises such as forward and backward lunges, jumps, squats, and push-ups.

Newer bungee fitness classes have the participant hold the bungee cord in their hands with handles rather than being harnessed in. This style better engages the core and upper body, as the bungee cord does less work holding the exerciser upright.

Despite online teasing, bungee workouts do have benefits for one’s overall health. 

The buoyancy of the bungee cord allows the individual to perform movements without strain on their joints. 

If the bungee cord is hand-held, the exerciser’s back, chest and abdominal muscles are engaged to maintain an upright position, enhancing one’s posture over time. 

Bungee workouts also require the individual to constantly switch their stance and readjust their body position in order to keep their feet on the ground, creating a hyper-awareness of how the body shifts and moves, which improves one’s balance and stability. 

There are many bungee fitness studios across the United States. Some include the Aviary in Minneapolis, Fly to Fit Bungee Fitness Studio in New York, Bungee Fitness Factory in Tennessee, and D&A Flying Yoga in Los Angeles.

Rebound Exercise

Rebound exercise incorporates a miniature trampoline, which is smaller, firmer, and better for bouncing than large trampolines. Workout classes put each individual on their own trampoline, oftentimes with a handlebar in front for balance and safety. The exerciser bounces in sync with the upbeat music and the instructor’s choreography. The choreography includes regular jumping interspersed with big jumps, small jumps, and crisscrossing of the legs. 

Although rebounding has also been included in the backlash online, it does have health benefits. 

Repetitious jumping makes for a great cardiovascular workout. It increases one’s heart rate quickly and burns a lot of calories. Rebounding motions also stimulate the lymphatic system, flushing out toxins and fighting disease. 

Similar to bungee workouts, rebounding improves balance and coordination, forcing one to be cognizant of how their feet land on the trampoline.

There are several rebounding programs across the United States and the UK. Some include TrampoLEAN in New York City, JumpSport Fitness in Florida, and Boogie Bounce across the UK.

Moon Shoe Class

Moon shoe fitness classes give each member anti-gravity moon shoes to wear for the duration of the session. These shoes are said to mimic the feeling of bouncing around on the moon. The instructor plays high-tempo tunes while leading each participant through choreographed movements involving jumping, running, lunges, and high-knees.


Middle aged women competing in a try not to work out challenge 💀💀Hibbity bop aah workout 💀💀 #gym #old #women #fy

♬ original sound – FYP Stories

Moon shoe fitness classes have not evaded online teasing, but just like the other eccentric forms of exercise, they too have health benefits.

The repetitive jumping and running engages one’s cardiovascular system, while the bouncy nature of the boots limits the impact on the participant’s joints. This form of exercise is game-changing for those with knee pains, or those prone to shin splints. 

The exerciser also engages their core and balance while jumping, especially if jumping on one foot. 

Some members hold small weights in their hands while jumping and running, making moon boot class a full-body workout.

Several gyms around the country hold moon shoe classes, such as All Fit Bungee’s BootF!t Classes in Utah and JumpFit Indy in Indianapolis. 

Wild is Fun

Image: Shutterstock/fizkes

Although these workouts have received backlash online for their wild unconventionality, participants widely agree that they are fun and encourage exercise when they otherwise may not feel inclined to go to the gym.

Banging on yoga balls or soaring through the air on bungee cords may not be as research-based nor challenging as other modes of exercise; however, they empower people to move their bodies and feel good about themselves, which should be the overarching aim of fitness anyway.

Written By

Sophia Vesely is a junior in college studying Journalism and Philosophy. In her free time, she loves to run, play soccer, and write poetry.

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