Prancercise: A review

prancerciseOver the years, Travis and I have covered a number of ridiculous exercise fads and gimmicks. Anyone remember the Shake Weight, the Hawaii Chair, or the uGallop?

The most recent addition to the silliest exercise fads of all time comes courtesy of Joanna Rohrback, the inventor of “Prancercise”, which has taken the media by storm over the past few days.

What exactly is Prancercise? Rohrback describes Prancercise as “a springy, rhythmic way of moving forward, similar to a horse’s gait and is ideally induced by elation.”

Based on the viral video, which showcases Rohrback prancercising like an elated horse while wearing ankle weights, the activity is composed of four key movements (referred to as “modes”), which look largely indistinguishable from one another and seem to be mostly random limb-flailing:
1. Walking
2. Trot (“Its really hot!”)
3. Gallop
4. Shadowbox prance

“This form of movement, along with dietary and spiritual principles can create the most satisfying, holistic and successful fitness program one could hope to experience,” claims Rohrback. According to the Prancercise website, approximately 20 years have gone into the development of the above four equine-inspired movements.

While Prancercise is definitely silly in name, form, and promise, to be perfectly honest, there is really nothing wrong with prancing around like a galloping horse through your neighborhood – from a physical activity standpoint.

“Whatever floats your boat,” explained Tim Church, a renowned obesity researcher, when asked about his thoughts on Prancercise.

If running, biking, swimming, walking or other (more accepted) forms of aerobic activity appear dull to you, Prancercise may be just what you’ve been waiting for. Sure, everyone around you may think you’ve lost your mind, but at least you’ll expend a few calories in the process.

To anyone that actually goes out in public and performs these movements: I commend you!

And here is the video that started it all:

Note: Email subscribers should head to the blog to view the video.


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4 Responses to Prancercise: A review

  1. Geezer1948 says:

    “The Strut,” “The Stroll,” a little “Hip-Hop” and a lot of “The Freddy.” I think it will die of terminal silliness…like “dork walking” did. LOL

  2. I think it’s cute. The one substantive thing I would add is that to really do something like this seriously as a form of health and conditioning activity for more than a very short period I think you would have to build a set of progressive skills into it and some practice that helps you learn to maintain the right effort level for a continuous productive flow .

    Personally, I incorporate skipping and lunging, squatting, and pivoting, leaping, and rolling, hanging from trees, yoga-type flows, all done with a continuous rhythm using eclectic sorts of movements that probably look like a bizarre dance if you’re used to traditional kinds of training. I evolved it over time from a combination of 40 yrs of martial arts training, a love of minimal equipment bodyweight training, and a powerful desire to train on my own in the outdoors rather than in a stuffy crowded gym.

    I work progressively more difficult movements as needed strategically into my “walks” in order to increase the intensity, along with bodyweight strength and agility movements. I have trained at it for a while in order to get it to flow from movement to movement, and I use music as well so I’m sure it looks a lot like dancing at some points. I honestly don’t see any fundamental difference in principle between what she’s doing and the kind of activity I do, assuming it could evolve from an easy dance into a more challenging flow when people become adapted to the challenge level.

    To me the key to turning a program like this from a dance into a training regimen is making the skills progressive, learning how to keep the intensity at the right level, learning to combine movements spontaneously, and most of all, that it is a good match for your conditioning objectives and individual abilities. You could turn a program like this into a Parkour-like extreme intensity flow, you could make it similar to the traditional boxer’s or military “roadwork” by doing less dance movements and more calisthentics, or you could make it more rhythmic and less staccato as she does in her “prancing” version if that meets your needs.

    Yes it’s funny, but I’m not going to make fun of her because I’m sure people are laughing at my routines as well. And if you enjoy it, diverse continuous movement interspersed with challenges is a particularly effective way to train multiple energy systems at once, along with skills and agility.

    I would argue that as silly as this seems, the basic idea of doing continuous walking and “dancing” flows is actually a step in the right direction from just doing bench presses and curls or jogging. It is more functionally oriented, cultivates more energy systems more efficiently, and is more motivating if the challenge level is matched to your ability.

    • Thanks for the comment, Todd. As someone who has been fairly public about exercising at home whilst hoisting jugs of water a couple of years ago, I am certainly not one to comment on silly ways to be active. In the end, it all beats sitting. So if galloping like a horse is your thing, then all the power to you. additionally, if your goal is to expend as many calories as possible then any excessive and biomechanically inefficient movement is the way to go. You will certainly burn more calories doing the trot around the block versus merely walking. I do agree with your comment on the need for some progression in the exercise/movement.

  3. Pingback: Prancercise exercise program trains your inner horse – Shreveport Times