Lately I’ve been wondering if 2021 is conspiring against our best efforts to stay in shape. Gyms are closed or working with limited capacity with no end date in sight. Top-class home fitness equipment has warned of delays in delivery until summer. And now has seen more snow than the country has seen in five years, interfering with running and other outdoor exercise routines.
Having options in the workout-from-home era has always been important. A varied regimen provides a change of pace from the monotony of quarantine, while “shocking” the body with new challenges is widely seen as the best way to build muscle and maintain motivation.
What’s the best way to find it? This answer is a little different for everyone. Some of you may just need to hit play on a YouTube yogi series or think more holistically about your fitness by making daily wellness resolutions. But for me it has sunk my teeth into one of the most underrated exercise machines in the last few weeks: the slide board, which was recently perfected by the New York fitness house Brrrn.
The Brrrn Board is an adjustable gliding surface from 5 to 6 feet. The deck is a custom-made polymer blend from the USA, and the lower abdomen is made of a grippy, recycled rubber. In line with other home fitness innovations, it’s a real eye-catcher these days – the glossy black surface and wooden “bumpers” are elegant as hell. Ever since I pulled mine out of the box, I’ve kept it in the basement so it can be easily dropped with a hat on, but it’s also discreet and portable enough to tuck under a bed or couch.
How does it work? You pull the set’s ankle boots – they resemble surgical slip-ons – over a pair of sneakers. A flatter outsole works best. I rock with Reebok Nanos. Then you stand against one of the bumpers with your feet pressed together. Then bend over, hang by your hips, and explode towards the other wooden board. Repeat and come back until you have worked in a rhythm.
It was uncomfortable for me at first, but that’s mainly because I’ve never used a slide board. They are usually the job of speed skaters and hockey players as they target the exact muscles that are needed on the ice. But there’s a reason slide boards are popular in physical training facilities too. It’s a low-impact form of high-intensity exercise that reinforces areas that are usually prone to injury. Think: muscles in the foot and ankles, stabilizers in the knees and throughout the core.
It can be stowed wonderfully under furniture
Brrrn Board / Instagram
To be clear, Brrrn didn’t reinvent the apparatus dramatically. You can choose from a number of slide boards on Amazon and “Free Slide” to your heart’s content. The most important movements can be easily learned from tutorials on the internet. Even so, I will openly vouch for this particular board, and the online platform that Brrrn creates to help you get the most of it. The brand is in the early stages of introducing a peloton-like model. The instructors record and upload brand new classes from Brrrn headquarters.
By the way, I worked out in this gym. A few years ago, long before the pandemic, Brrn had mastered a completely different hustle and bustle. The gym was famous on the ClassPass circuit and was located in the midst of innovative health clubs around the Flatiron building. Brrn stood out for its creative concept: HIIT in rooms that were cooled to 50 ° F or below. There is research to suggest that exercising in the cold has body sculpting benefits, but the novelty was enough to keep people coming back in spite of the science. Now they can make ends meet with the Brrrn board. It is a necessary adjustment to suit the home exercise era. Not every corner studio could do this – capital and marketing skills help.
A one-year membership in Brrrn’s on-demand platform costs $ 80. That’s pretty reasonable; Peloton, on the other hand, costs $ 470. Meanwhile, they have a healthy selection of “unlocked” content to show you what you’re getting into, as well as a variety of videos unrelated to the Brrrn board at all, like strength training burners and stretch cools.
However, I recommend getting active on the slide board content. It gave me another active opportunity to force my body to really improve stability and balance and suddenly to consider unfamiliar phrases like “leg extension of the legs”. (Plus, you can even do mountaineering on your board.) I haven’t moved as much sideways since my college intramural days. Today we are ready to be satisfied with a few options in our training routines. But also discovery? Now let’s talk.
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