As part of our New Year’s fitness special, featured in the January 2017 issue of Tokyo Weekender magazine, we tried out “equipment pilates” (see us in action here), and we also signed up for a Surfset Fitness class. The latter is the latest workout trend from California and, as the name suggests, involves exercising while standing on an actual surfboard (minus the waves). Below is our review of the class, along with a few more trends and gadgets to try if you’re looking to shake up your fitness regime in 2017.
Compiled by Dorothee Erle and Annemarie Luck
If you love surfing, this “so hot right now” workout might pale in comparison to the real thing. But for Tokyoites, who don’t have the luxury of living ten minutes from the beach, Surfset Fitness is the closest you’re going to get to feeling the freedom – and getting the kind of toned body – that comes with the water sport. Founded by Californian Mike Hartwick, this unique form of exercise has made, erm, waves around the world, and arrived in Tokyo just a few months ago in the form of a neat little studio in Ginza, complete with boards for decoration, a sun-filled workout space packed with elevated surfboards, and a temperature of 33 degrees Celsius. Climb onto the RipSurfer X – which is strapped to a metal frame and balances on Bosu balls to simulate the feeling of being on water – and prepare to squat, “paddle”, wobble, and jump into the surfing position. We tried the 45-minute beginner class, which is enough to make your muscles feel stiff the next morning, but there are more advanced classes for those who really want to challenge their core stability.
Where to try it: Book a trial class at Surf Fit Japan (sorry guys, but the classes are for women only), surffit.jp
Aerial and Acro Yoga
Take your yoga skills to the next level with two unique forms of the practice: aerial and acro. While the latter combines acrobatic elements with yoga and often requires a partner, aerial yoga is performed with a soft hammock and sees you holding asana poses in the air – hence it’s often referred to as anti-gravity yoga. We think acro yoga is ideal for couples’ bonding, but if you’ve ever dreamt of being a circus acrobat, it’s aerial yoga all the way.
TRX Suspension Training
This bodyweight system has already been around for a while, but it’s hit the spotlight lately thanks to the industry’s recent focus on “functional training.” TRX was developed by an American Navy Seal, Randy Hetrick, who created stretchy straps inspired by those used on parachutes. The key difference between TRX and your average gym machine is that you’re effectively using your own body as a machine. Your movements are not limited to one plane, and you can adjust the straps to make the moves more challenging. Best of all, if you buy your own set of straps, you can take them with you wherever you go.
The 360-degree Approach
“Club 360 is genuinely the first gym that has listened to my needs and taken a holistic approach to my body and lifestyle. I came in with chronic back and hip pain from years of sitting in offices, but I am now pain free” – Paul
When you log onto Club 360’s website, one of the first things you’ll notice is their focus not just on fitness classes but also on physiotherapy, sports massage, and healthy living. Their expert team is made up of personal trainers and therapists who are all dedicated to the 360 approach: ensuring you develop both a healthy body and mind. Whether you choose to join a group boxing class, an outdoor bootcamp session (begins at the picturesque Arisugawa Park in Hiroo), or you’d prefer more individualized, one-on-one training, you are guaranteed to leave feeling like a better version of yourself. We also love the fact that there are qualified physiotherapists on hand, so should you be recovering from an injury, your workout, treatment and rehabilitation can all happen in one spot. They even offer a 360 Wellness for Life Program, which helps cancer patients manage chemotherapy side effects through prescribed exercise and oncology massage.
Where to find them: Cma3 Building B1, 3-1-35 Motoazabu, Minato-ku. www.club360.jp
Three Fitness Gadgets to Try
This gadget is more than just your ordinary fitness tracker. The water and dust proof device, which can be worn around your wrist or ankle, can be connected to your smartphone, where it not only measures your fitness level and counts your
reps, it also acts as a real time personal coach. welcome.moov.cc
ZEPP 2 3D SWING ANALYZER
For those who want to improve their golfing skills, the Zepp 2 3D Swing Analyzer is the way to go. The device is worn on a golf glove and analyzes your swings, giving an instant evaluation. It also helps you improve your future swings with the help of its Smart Coach training system. www.zepp.com
As warm-up and recovery are just as important as training, the Vyper by HyperIce focuses on just that. The vibrating foam roller relaxes muscles through a deep tissue massage. The device gets the circulation going pre-workout, but its main purpose is the release of knots, muscle pain and aches. hyperice.com/vyper.html