9 Disturbing Fitness Trends

1Rib Cage Bragging

Ah, the new kid on the eating disorder block—ribcage bragging. According to this new concerning fad, the visible display of a person's protruding ribcage is now a positive thing.

The term was coined by Mail Online (shame on you!), who point towards celebrities including Bella Hadid, Rita Ora, Nicole Scherzinger, and Kourtney Kardashian for popularizing it with the uploading of bikini pictures showing their ribcages loud and proud. (And no, it's definitely not healthy!)

2Ab Crack

Cosmopolitan once called the ab crack a “new core look” and an “irrigation ditch divide.” In simpler terms, it's a noticeable line that appears down the center of the torso which is only visible due to a very flat stomach.

Fox News Medical A-Team physician, Dr. Marc Siegel said the ab crack is a deceptive goal for people to attain: “There is nothing healthy about it, except insomuch as thin is healthier than heavy. But to the extent that excess fascination with body tone leads to the obsessive use of isometric (weights, etc.) as opposed to regular of cardiovascular exercise (running, elliptical, bike, rowing), then I would call the ab crack potentially unhealthy.”

3Alien Yoga

Alien yoga is less harmful than any trend on this list, although it certainly doesn't look it.

To do the move, you apparently first exhale, pushing your stomach out. While holding your breath, you then pull your abs up toward the chest. Then you isolate your abs and roll them from side to side. This move is called "nauli, " and it's meant to cleanse the digestive system and strengthen the core through a series of abdominal movements. It can also supposedly correct hormonal imbalances, improve willpower, and produce happiness and emotional stability.

Nauli is not recommended for people who are pregnant, suffer from hernias, ulcers or heart problems, and should always be attempted in the presence of a professional yoga instructor.

4Waist Training

Waist trainers, such as those here: https://fitnesseq.com/best-waist-trainer-reviews, are supposed to do just what they say—train the waist to be smaller. These types of corsets were popular in the 1500s up through the Victorian era and have been made popular again in the 2000s. They promise you can tame your midsection by wearing them continuously, but doctors warn it could cause serious long term damage. "It just crams all of your organs together. So over an extended period, wearing it too much and too frequently, it can cause harm," says health and wellness expert Dr. Tasneem Bhatia, an Atlanta physician. Waist trainers make heartburn and indigestion worse, and women pass out after wearing them because they can't get enough air. Your diaphragm, colon, liver stomach, and small intestines can all be shifted around inside your body after wearing one for too long.

5A4 Paper Challenge

In 2016, a new trend emerged on social media in which women compared their waistlines to the width of a piece of paper.

The A4 Waist Challenge encouraged women to stand behind a piece of white paper to see if their waistlines were thinner than the 8-inch wide piece of paper. This challenge also had its start in China before spreading globally.

Doctors emphasized that having a waist as thin as the width of printer paper is not even something most women or young adults can achieve, citing hormones and the natural shape of female bodies. Social media users have since suggested turning the paper landscape.

6Belly Button Challenge

Straight outta China, the ability to rotate your shoulder and the length and flexibility of your arm became the new guidelines for measuring thinness in 2015.

That's right—if you can reach your arm around your back, wrap it around your stomach, and touch your belly button, congratulations! You are the desired weight according to social media. However, what might seem like a harmless pose contributes to a warped version of the ideal body type and a pretty hefty eating disorder.

7Collarbone Challenge

In 2015, people took to social media and posted photos of themselves balancing coins above their collarbones to see how many they could stack without the whole row toppling over. The more a person was able to balance, the sexier and skinnier they were perceived to be.

Of course, like most of the challenges on this list, the trend was seen by experts as promoting an eating disorder, and some social media users weren't having it either. They poked fun at the collarbone craze by balancing random objects—from half-eaten candy bars to bottles of vodka—on their chests.

8Thigh Gap

The granddaddy of unhealthy fitness fads, this viral trend challenged girls to become so slender that their thighs don't touch even when their feet are together. Specialists say achieving a thigh gap is not only risky but virtually impossible.

Vonda Wright, a Pittsburgh-based orthopedic surgeon and fitness expert, said the spacing between a person's legs is based mostly on genetics. Even thin people may not have a body type that can achieve a gap, and most won't have a thigh gap because their thighs are muscular enough that they touch.

9Bikini Bridge

The Urban Dictionary has described the "bikini bridge" as a look in which "bikini bottoms are suspended between the two hip bones, causing a space between the bikini and the lower abdomen."

The bridge started as a hoax in 2014 when Buzzfeed posted an article entitled "12 Perks of Having A Bikini Bridge." But within just 24 hours, the bridge snowballed with #bikinibridge and #bikinibridge2014 tweeted thousands of times. This type of trending "thinspiration" was immediately panned by experts,who said it put pressure on women to feel increasingly anxious about their bodies.