Category Archives: aerobics

IHRSA 2012 Trade Show – Yoga Direct


What’s hot:
Yoga Jellies (shown left) from Yoga Direct are 5.5” diameter gel-filled discs that provide cushioning beneath knees, elbows, feet and hands. Yoga Jellies can help alleviate discomfort that some weight-bearing positions can cause, helping participants ease into postures that might otherwise be inaccessible. Also great for Pilates.

What’s cool: The Anti-Gravity Yoga Inversion Swing (shown right) promises to take participants to the next level in their yoga practice. Anti-gravity yoga, inversion therapy, and total body strengthening and stretching are all possible with this multi-functional swing. This particular product is not commercial grade, but it can easily be used in a one-to-one training setting or at home to deepen your practice. Currently out of stock with no estimated arrival of new inventory, the trick is actually getting your hands on one! Tap into the patience and love that yoga brings to your emotional surface and embrace the anticipation of this wonderful product. Namaste!

IHRSA 2012 Trade Show – Step360 Pro


The Step360 Pro combines the familiarity of a step with the challenge of a balance trainer. New exercisers can feel confident stepping onto the flat, non-slip platform, and the height and degree of instability can be controlled by changing the amount of air in the chambers underneath. While SPRI recommends keeping air in both chambers, each one inflates independently. The main rule of thumb is that more air equals more stability, while less air means less stability. Six tubing anchors make it easy to incorporate a variety of strengthening and balance exercises into a Step360 workout. The Step 360’s versatility and wide repertoire of exercises for all fitness levels make it a standout in the balance trainer market.

Tomorrow we’ll take a peek at Yoga Direct!

IHRSA 2012 Trade Show – SPRI

What’s hot: SPRI’s Roll Out Ladder was sold out by day two of the trade show, and I wished I had gotten there earlier. Anyone who has ever led a group training session with a traditional agility ladder knows how much it can scoot around on the floor. Well, the designer of the Roll Out ladder definitely had his or her thinking cap on! The ladder is made of a heavy duty, non-skid recycled rubber that resists bunching up. It will stay put on all kinds of indoor surfaces, as well as some outdoor surfaces. Put your order in now!

What’s cool: SPRI has dubbed its attractive braided tubing line the “next generation in rubber resistance”, and I have to agree. The Braided Xertube is four tubes woven together into a braided band. Each tube is plugged independently into the connector at the bottom, making it more durable than the traditional Xertube. The Braided Xertubes are still color-coded like the original Xertubes, with yellow being the lightest and then increasing resistance as you progress to green, red, blue and purple. However, the sales rep mentioned that by nature of the braiding, the yellow Braided Xertube will offer a little more resistance than the original yellow Xertube, but it is still easier than the green Xertube. The foam handle is a plus, too, if you are accustomed to the hard plastic handles of the original Xertube.

Tomorrow we’ll check out the Step360 Pro!

IHRSA 2012 Trade Show – Power Systems III


Just for fun: The Airope from Power Systems is a pair of solid rubber weighted ropes with padded handles, about 20” from end to end (including the handle), that involves the same upper body roping motion as traditional jumproping. You may question the point of buying a jump rope that has no rope, but consider the benefits of use in low-ceilinged rooms, in small studio spaces, or for those of us who just can’t seem to stay untangled from a traditional rope. There are other less expensive versions on the market with digital counters, but they may not be up to the heavy use of a group class.

Tomorrow we’ll see what PurMotion is up to!

IHRSA 2012 Trade Show – Power Systems II


What’s different? The FreeStyle Step, which has a slightly cushioned surface instead of the traditional ridged top of The Original Health Club Step, is now available from Power Systems in gray/black as well as red/black. If your participants typically use mats on top of their steps when doing supine work, the FreeStyle Step may eliminate that need. For added versatility, the FreeStyle risers can be used to create either a flat surface or slanted positions—no need for separate wedge risers.

Tomorrow we’ll check out another fun item by Power Systems!

IHRSA 2012 Trade Show – Perform Better III


Also new to Perform Better’s line of accessories is the Reebok Easy Tone Step. Group fitness guru Gay Gasper is leading the product launch and hopes to bring more functional training to group fitness. The 25.6”L x 16”W platform sits atop two cushioned chambers, or “pods”, that dictate the stability of the apparatus. The pods are located at either end of the platform, and there is a switch between them that controls airflow. It can be set in a locked position to equalize the pods and create greater stability, or it can remain unlocked and set to varying degrees of airflow to create instability. The platform is reversible and can be used with pods in the upward or downward facing position.

Check out this video and see what you think!

Tomorrow is one last look at another Perform Better product!

IHRSA 2012 Trade Show –

Speed ropes, beaded ropes, cloth ropes—you can find whatever kind of rope you need at Their fitness and conditioning ropes, which are 30% heavier than the standard speed rope, are popular for club use. It is even possible to imprint your club information on speed-style ropes and/or produce custom colored ropes.

Tomorrow we’ll bound over to JumpSport!

IHRSA 2012 Trade Show – BOSU


BOSU says tongue-in-cheek that if the dome of your BOSU Balance Trainer is purple, you are the proud owner of a collector’s item—and that it is time to upgrade to the new Pro Balance Trainer. (Blue dome owners, that may go for you, too, if your BOSU gets heavy use!) Common signs of excessive wear include constant loss of air, misshapen appearance, or loose or missing platform feet on models that have them. The new Pro Balance Trainer dome is reinforced with an added 1.5 pounds of material and has a glossy finish, which should make it withstand more use and look newer longer. The non-skid platform provides great traction without rubberized feet and is non-marking. With average use, BOSU predicts that your Balance Trainer should last 3 – 4 years.

Lift, shift & shake: The BOSU ballast ball has a lot of potential applications in a club setting. Loose filling inside the ball adds several pounds of weight and provides audible feedback and dynamic resistance while in motion. When at rest on the floor, the weighting keeps the ball from rolling away. For beginning users, less core strength is needed for many exercises commonly performed seated or lying on the ball, so it can provide a nice first step before progressing to a traditional stability ball. For more advanced users, an expanded repertoire of strengthening and core exercises is possible because of the added load and stability on the floor.

Tomorrow we’ll go for the burn with Fitness Wholesale!

IHRSA 2012 Trade Show – Aeromat


Aeromat has a new, dual surface club mat. One side is smooth and the other side is textured, so one mat suits either preference. It is available in a variety of sizes, including 3/8”, 3/4” and 5/8” thicknesses.

In addition to mats, Aeromat has a full line of balance products. One of the specialty items they offer is an air-filled wedge with a pebble-textured top and smooth bottom. The wedge can be used to ease back pain and reduce the discomfort of prolonged sitting, as well as provide an unstable surface for various standing or seated balance or rehabilitation exercises.

Tomorrow we’ll look at Airex’s BeBalanced products. Stay tuned!

Richard Simmons: Still Going Strong!

Richard Simmons,aerobics,Club Industry,low impact,grapevine,gym,exercise,workout,teach,classes

Richard Simmons is back, at least in my book. Actually, I don’t think he ever left.

For those of you who don’t remember, Richard Simmons was the underdog of the 80s gym scene. In a field cluttered with skinny, leggy and oh-so-chic aerobics divas, Richard made his mark by sidestepping the fabulously fit “it” crowd. Richard’s videos featured real people, of all ages and body types, and he made a point of listening empathetically to their struggles with fitness and weight loss.

Gag me with a spoon, you might say. But after meeting Richard at Club Industry last week in Chicago, I can tell you he genuinely loves people. He loves moving and having fun, and he is passionate about helping others become more active. His advice to fitness professionals is very simple, and he shared the following tips for successfully attracting people to our clubs and classes:

  1. Know no strangers.
  2. Treat people like a million dollars.

Amen to that!


For more highlights of Richard Simmons’ keynote address, check out the following links:

On YouTube: Dancing in the Streets with Lord Gaga. This video is classic Richard. . . with a few surprises

On YouTube: Right Said Richard. Footage of Richard as you’ve never seen him before!

Club Industry’s feature article about Richard’s keynote address.