The Hawaii Chair: Gyrating to Fitness?

Squeezed January 20, 2007

Ryan at HawaiiBlog did a double-take when he found out about the newest gimmick that the fitness “industry” has come up with to bilk money out of unsuspecting consumers.

Introducing the Hawaii Chair:

“Anyone who has been to or seen anything on Hawaii has come across this unique dance form. The traditional Polynesian Hula dance encourages the combination of cardiovascular exercises with small, controlled movements throughout the buttocks and abdominal region, promoting weight loss and increased abdominal muscle tone.

The Hawaii chair will bring the hula dance into your office, and home… That’s right, you get all the benefits without all the hassle. No traveling to expensive classes. No wasting precious time, it’s all in your home and office. Get all the benefits and none of the fuss.”

Opines Ryan: “Huh. And here I thought the hula was an ancient, spiritual performance in which the culture and history of a dwindling indigenous population is preserved and fiercely protected by practitioners that are revered and respected. Turns out it’s just an ‘exercise’ that’s still too much work for lazy people.”

I’m with Ryan with this one. Hawaiian culture has taken cheap shots before, but this takes the cake. And at $419.94 a pop (six monthly payments of $69.99)? Goodness gracious.

My personal observations? I took a look at the video on their site and on YouTube, and it seems to me like what’s being pictured isn’t the hula at all, but rather the Tahitian tamure, which is much more gyration-oriented that hula. From what I’ve seen, hips sway in hula, but they don’t shake.

Besides, everyone knows. It’s all in the hands.

One contributor to HawaiiThreads.com likens it to “a toilet for octogenarians.”

And another contributor observes:

Hula as a weight-loss plan…yeah, I’ve seen it done as such, but I gotta tell you, many of the best dancers I’ve ever seen have been momona [Hawaiian for chubby]. They don’t gotta be skinny to be captivating and graceful.

Something that the developers of the Hawaii Chair didn’t realize. I wonder if any of them had ever been to the islands. Didn’t think so.

2 Responses to “The Hawaii Chair: Gyrating to Fitness?”

  1. John Lott Says:

    It’s not really an insult to Hawaii, it’s just generalized stupidity, I think. The other day, I saw a “Euro-fryer”, which was a deep fat fryer. I told my wife, yeah, because when you think of frying things in deep fat, you think of Europe. I then said, they should sell it in Europe, and call it an Ameri-fryer, because when you think of frying things in deep fat, you DO think of America! Vendors do this sort of thing all the time, they just think of Hawaii as appealing, and as a place people would like to be and think about, and they got the idea into their heads that any sort of circular motion could be associated with the hula, so they just jammed the name “Hawaii” onto it.

    I think it is not much more of an insult to Hawaii than it is to consumers generally – how could it be? I mean, you get move around by a MOTOR, and they expect you to believe it’s supposed to provide exercise benefits? And I suppose you get benefits of stair climbing by riding an escalator?

  2. Keith Says:

    You could, if you go up a down escalator. :)

    At least we agree it’s stupidity. And to some extent we can invoke Luke 23:34 (“Father, forgive them…”) But Native Hawaiian culture has suffered some insensitivities as of late, the biggest firestorm being the Celebrity Cruises ad of a doctored pic of the Kamehameha I statue. So you can probably forgive Native Hawaiians (which, BTW, I’m not) for being a tad bit sensitive.

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