This past weekend was IDEA World Fitness Convention in Anaheim, CA. This is one of the biggest fitness conferences of the year and is filled with all the new fitness crazes. This year I went through a BOSU certification and visited the expo hall on Saturday! Here are my thoughts on a few of the things I tried out at the expo …
Rep 100 (www.mkt.com/rep100)
This was truly a total body workout in one little piece of equipment kind of deal. It can be used in a few different ways depending on what you’re trying to work. I used it in a way that simulated a Pilates revolver, attached resistance bands to it for some upper body work, and added some attachments to the bottom to make it like a balance board to challenge the core a bit more. It was great. I personally don’t like to spend money, just in general. So for many of the exercises I knew of different, less expensive, more homemade ways to do similar moves. I’ve used plates to simulate a revolver before. I own a BOSU ball, and I haven’t really found a balance tool much better than BOSU. But if I wanted all of those things in one simple tool, I would buy this piece of equipment. I really did like it – but I will stick to my paper plates for now.
Strong Board Balance (www.StrongBoardBalance.com)
Speaking of different balance board options – I tried out this one! I know I said I don’t really think I’ve found something better than the BOSU, but this comes very close. It’s all flat – has two boards with some springs in the center to provide instability. What I like about this particular balance tool is that you can do lots of plyometric exercises standing on it that may be too dangerous to do on a BOSU. I love using plyo boxes with my clients for box jumps, step-up variations, and other plyometric exercises – and you could definitely do all of those things on the Strong Board to challenge the core more. If I were looking to buy a new balance tool I would for sure look into purchasing this. (I wish my gym had one…)
Fly Gym Aerial Fitness (www.flygym.com)
I would compare this to hammock classes but with a twist. I’ve done a few pole classes, dance (obviously), yoga, barre – a wide variety of things. I love experimenting with different types of fitness, and I loved this. The demo I was given, I would describe as “suspended yoga”. I know there are probably better ways to describe it, but that’s how it felt to me! It didn’t necessarily challenge my body that much, but I could tell that if I learned more about it and experimented in the sling a bit more – I could figure out how to make it very challenging. This felt good, and was fun. I liked that there was variation in how the sling could be used. It’s not something you necessarily get with hammock or TRX but has taken inspiration from each of those forms of fitness. I would love to take a full-length class with the slings to see what all they can do!
Core Stix (www.CoreStix.com)
This was probably the highlight of the expo hall for me. I’d never seen anything like this piece of equipment. For me, I try out all different types of fitness and honestly it’s rare for me to find something that is really truly difficult for me. This challenged my body in a completely new way. Not only did it challenge me, but it was clear that it could help a wide variety of people. Anyone from an olympic athlete to a elderly man to an individual fresh out of rehab could use this tool. It’s a little hard to explain; but how it works is you stand on a board and then insert sticks of varying resistance into the different slots. From there the options are endless – you can do squats, lunges, chest presses, elliptical-inspired movements, anything really, and it all works the core. I did a 15-minute demo of this, and was drenched afterwards and could barely get through it! It was tough, and I like a challenge! Definitely a total body workout without the need of a gym.