Mississauga athletic therapist becomes TikTok famous with new fitness challenge

Mississauga athletic therapist becomes TikTok famous with new fitness challenge

A Mississauga fitness maven who calls herself "definitely that girl in the gym that is always filming herself" has become famous on social media by creating a new fitness challenge that is much harder to do than it looks.

Melissa Cappelletti, a certified athletic therapist, posted a video of herself on TikTok three days ago doing what is called a shrimp squat.

"New fitness challenge for you guys," reads the post, which has been viewed seven million times, received more than 605,000 likes and garnered 4,373 comments on TikTok, a video-sharing social networking service.   "I thought, 'Oh, okay, I'll just toss this on there.' It took a minute to film and post. I didn't think too much of it. And then, yeah, it just took off. People loved it, I guess," Cappelletti, who joined TikTok over a week ago, said on Tuesday. 

"I posted it at night. And then the next morning, I was working, and then in a break in between work, I was like, 'Oh, this has like 30,000 views. That's kind of cool.' I was pumped about that on its own because I had 100 followers at the time. Then I worked for couple more hours and came back. And it had 60,000 views. Then it just exploded. It had a million views before the end of the day that day."

The post, accompanied by music from the song, Lalala, by Y2K and bbno$, is inspiring others to shoot their own videos doing the seemingly simple but actually very difficult move. It is nearly impossible to perform unless you are as fit as Cappelletti, who has been involved in sports since she was a child. She is also certified strength and conditioning specialist.

Cappelletti said the response has been "surreal."

The shrimp squat, also known as the Superman squat, is a body-weight squat or a single-leg movement.

Cappelletti explains how to do it: "All you do is step down into a half kneeling position, grab your back foot with both hands. Having one hand out makes it a little bit easier, but it's still tough. Then just lean forward, and stand up. that's it."

The move is easier to do with a yoga block under one knee and companies that sell such blocks are using her video as an advertising opportunity to push the product.

'Making fitness fun is really, really important'

More importantly, Cappelletti says the response to her post has been rewarding."The comments are hilarious. I wish I could read them all. There's too many but they're so funny, and I think it's so cute watching everyone's attempts," she said.

"Part of what I do is I work with youth athletes and I think it's so important to develop a healthy relationship with fitness at a young age so that they can grow with it over time versus trying to get into it as an adult," she said.

"I think making fitness fun is really, really important and these kind of challenges are a great way to do that."

She said she knows it's not an easy move. 

Cappelletti said she got a few Instagram DMs saying: "'Oh this was so hard. I couldn't get it out at first, but I kept trying.' And they finally got it. And that's super rewarding because I know how it feels because I do the same thing. I'm always trying to learn new skills.

"When you finally get it. It's like the best feeling."