I was wondering if someone might be able to explain in as simple terms as possible how the running man animation is created in the attached video link?
Do you think its done by creating the layers in illustrator then rigging it like in this tutorial?
The tutorial you referenced is OK but as Mylenium said, there's a lot of extra rigging involved that isn't really necessary for a project like the one you referenced. My friend Angie Taylor has a tutorial that shows a much less involved way to animate the puppet tool that I use all the time. The key to success in either technique is to start with artwork that is suitable to your intended animation. You'll find Angie's tutorial HERE.