Wednesday, 10 March 2010

REVIEW: My First Fitball Class at Bannatynes

I ache so much, my legs were like jelly trying to get down the stairs at the gym. I suppose that means I've been working hard?!

I'm a member of Bannatynes Gym but I'm not a regular attender to say the least. But as you know, 15 weeks until holidays so I'm forcing myself there as often as possible.

Yesterday I got up extra early and went to the 9am Fitball class, check me out! Fitball according to Bannatynes is - 'an intense workout using a stability ball'. The aim of the class is to improve core stability, in turn improving your strength, coordination, stability and balance. I obviously have non of these attributes! I was wobbling all over the place - never realised how unstable I am. Maybe thats why I fall over so often? Anyway, being on the ball means your body has to respond to the natural movement of the ball whilst doing the usual gym movements (abdominal crunches, bicep curls, squats etc) making your muscles work extra hard. Does this mean I'll be more toned extra quick? Lets hope so!

We got there early to try and get a few snaps but unfortunately we weren't the only early birds! I couldn't be bothered explaining to everyone why I wanted photos so I've taken a few at home in my garden to show you a handful of the moves.

The workout lasted 45 mins and involved using the swiss ball, small hand weights and a yoga mat. There were 8 women of mixed ability in my class, it's amazing how fit some of the women are, it puts me to shame (especially seeing as most of them were twice my age!).

We started with a warm up, then moving onto some back, shoulder, and arm exercises, finishing with some ab work, squats against the wall (ouch that hurts!!) plus a little stability game involving everyone. It was really fun, i feel sorry for the lady next to me she got stuck with the wobbliest girl in the world!

Dumbbell Kickbacks: these help banish bingo wings, but by being sat on the ball, you're working your core too. The closer your feet are together, the harder you work. My dog decided to poke his head in on this one, he then proceeded to take my weight off me and chew it!

Squats: much more comfortable with the ball than without, also the ball makes sure your posture is correct. Works your bum and thighs, for legs like Beyonce's!

Dumbbell Flys: works your pectorals (muscles that keep your boobs in the right place) and your arms. Again being on the ball is improving your stability - try to keep your body as straight as possible with your pelvis right up.

I'd advise you get a better fit ball than this (I picked it up from Tesco for a fiver), I'm 5ft 7 and this is a 65cm ball - it's a bit too small, your legs are supposed to be at right angles when you sit on it. Also, I can't inflate it anymore than it is, its a bit saggy, poor ball. I don't know if it's just poor quality as most fitballs advertised on Argos etc are 65cm. The one below is from Argos for a bargainous £6.99. I also managed to get some little 1kg hand weights from Tesco, they were only £3.97 each and are ideal for some at-home toning!

The class was surprisingly enjoyable (in terms of fitness classes, that its). I'm not a lover of cardio or getting a sweat on so this low impact (making it good for people with injuries) but intense workout was really quite good. I could definitely feel the burn! I know gym memberships are expensive, and you can do fitball work from home but I find the motivation of the instructor is what I need to keep me going.

I am going to practice my moves at home though. The fitball is a complete bargain and it's so useful, not just an expensive clothes hanger which a lot of home gym equipment often proves to be! Apparently just sitting on the ball improves core stability and gets those abs working! Maybe I'll write my next blog entry whilst perched on it. I'll let you know if I think it's working - judging from the aches in my shoulders, legs… everywhere! it is working. No pain, no gain ey?! I'll definitely be attending next week!


  1. Keep it up hun x x x

    @BigFashionista x x