Viral exercise trend dubbed ‘Tarzan Movement’ teaches people to swing from trees, tap into inner gorilla

An emerging fitness trend known as “Tarzan Movement” is teaching followers to embrace their inner “gorilla” by walking on all fours and swinging from trees.

Based in Spain, Tarzan Movement founder Victor Fleites and his small group of instructors offer classes that include climbing trees on all fours, swinging from vines, squatting, making ape noises and learning to mimic animal movements throughout the forest.

“It is important to not forget that you are an animal. We are animals. We come from the ape family, and I think it is time to recognize the animal side [of humans],” Fleites said during a video played Tuesday on “Jesse Watters Primetime.”

The goal, according to the movement’s website, is to help those on a quest for enlightenment to “incorporate the way we observe life with fresh eyes and accompany us with daily practice without feeling forced.”

“It is coming together to play wherever we are,” the site reads. “It is a cultural movement that does not depend on a specific place or individual.”

With modern-day distractions and evolving societal pressures, Fleites said it is critical for humans to connect with their animal roots and tap into that “amazing part of ourselves.”

“It is something not to be missed, in my opinion,” he told FOX News host Jesse Watters. “There is a driven energy from that, [it’s] something to awake, to keep functional, something that we have lost in the modern life with all the comforts of home.”


LA gorilla dies

‘Tarzan Movement’ teaches people across the globe to connect with nature and embrace their inner gorilla. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

“It’s a way to reconnect with that strength, to be able to be functional but have fun at the same time, to make it together, to make it in nature,” he continued. “That’s the main character of the movement based on those three needs.”

Fleites, who grew up exploring Cuba’s forests as a child, said he was inspired to start the movement after observing a monkey’s behavior in the jungle.

“When I see a monkey in the jungles that I have been [to], it’s pretty much the feeling that I have inside,” he said. “It’s this feeling of not being concerned about what the fear process is, so basically you are in this rush of presence… this is what makes me feel that I’m just connecting with something else that allows me to interact with this ecosystem, that allows me to integrate my mobility there, and it just works amazingly.”

Followers of Tarzan Movement span everywhere from Finland to the United States, according to the New York Post. 

Fleites documents his workshops and other aspects of the movement on his Instagram page, which has 201,000 followers. Online courses available on the website are labeled by animal, including “Lemur,” “Orangutan,” “Gibbon” and “Gorilla” as options.

When host Jesse Watters said he found Fleites’ videos “intimidating,” the “Tarzan” instructor reassured him that he offers a range of training levels for all athletic capabilities, but cautioned anyone with physical limitations from attempting his videos.


“As [in] every sport, you have the elite workout, and then you have progressions for level bases, so it’s not like everyone should do things like that. Of course, this is what we do after 30 years of training, so it’s coming all the way from childhood. You grow up doing this. So it’s the same in every sport — you have a moment when you reach tricks and things that you can do, and you manifest a way of moving that is the result of all these years and all this experience,” he said. “But there are progressions, and that’s what we teach. That’s why we teach. Otherwise, it would be just about imitating ourselves.”

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