3 Sexualized Workout Trends that Freak Us Out

Are sexualized workouts really necessary?

Have you ever noticed that fitness trends geared toward women tend to be a bit sexualized?

While we support a woman’s choice to get fit any way she chooses, we’d love it if the following sexualized workouts and fitness trends disappeared, like, yesterday.

1. Mermaid tail workout

Yes, you read that right. The Hotel del Coronado in San Diego hosts a weekly class called Mermaid Fitness. The class is a “high-intensity, full-body workout” that’s basically “circuit training mixed with an ab workout on the side of the pool,” Well and Good reports.

“You’ll swim laps to get your heart rate up, and I also included standing stationary movements, like squats and arm exercises with a beach ball,” Veronica Rohan, a fitness instructor at the hotel, adds.

Sure, there’s nothing wrong with donning a tail and getting sweaty, but last time we checked, mermaids were considered highly sexual, human-luring creatures. So, it’s a bit odd that this sexual fetish is now considered a great way to burn calories. We’ll just stick to swimming laps in the pool in our swimsuits.

We should note that the class is open to men, too, which does relieve us slightly. Still, though…

2. Pole dancing

This exercise trend isn’t new, but it is still really annoying. We’re all about learning how to feel sexy, but there’s just something about these classes that creeps us out. First, is pole dancing that good of a workout? Couldn’t you get similar results by going to a pilates or yoga class? Second, strippers are highly sexualized in a negative way in the United States. So, until they are respected by the masses, perhaps we shouldn’t name a class after what they do to make a living. And third—and this should go without saying—if you’re doing this workout because you want your partner to think you’re sexy, think twice. Because the person you’re sleeping with should appreciate your body and moves for what they are—not because you’re taking a strip aerobic class.

3. Super-hot workout selfies

The Greatist recently published a great piece about how fitness “gurus” and models from all walks of life are embracing the following motto in the name of losing weight or firming up: “If you do it, you’ll look great naked.” Sure, everyone wants to look good when they’re in their birthday suits, but isn’t fitness really about health?

“#Fitspiration has turned into full-blown, soft-core porn workout videos of girl after girl deadlifting in bootie shorts,” Greatist reports. “These videos clearly inspire more calories burned from fast wrists moving than any other part of the body. You can’t actually work out to them, as they quickly cut from one shot of a girl doing a handstand in a thong to another girl bouncing up and down doing jumping jacks in a bikini.”

Now, even though we are a bit weirded out about these exercise and fitness-inspired trends doesn’t mean you should be. Because if you feel comfortable doing these types of workouts and they make you feel good about your body, then go ahead and do the workouts! Just make sure the organization or class you’re taking is all inclusive and supports bodies and people from all walks of life.

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Image of pole dancing class via Shutterstock

Abbie Stutzer

Writer, editor, and owner of Ginchy!, a freelance writing and editing company, and home funeral hub. Adores smart sex ed, sustainable ag, spooky history, women's health, feminism, horror, wine, and sci-fi.