Flying High – Friedman Students Find a New Way to Get Their Sweat On

by Katie Andrews

If you caught up with the Sprout last month you hopefully read my article about Recycle, Boston’s newest indoor cycling studio.  This could have caused you to do one of a few things:

  • Get off the couch, shut down that computer, grab your sneakers and check out a class!
  • Check out the Recycle website, plan to buy a class with your Tufts discount and then somehow never quite make it
  • Roll your eyes at the crazy fitness fanatic who wrote the article and promptly say “Why would I ever want to spend an hour on a bike with that girl?!”

That’s ok, I understand. Traditional exercise classes aren’t for everyone. Research has shown that children given the option of non-traditional forms of exercise (golf, taekwondo) are more likely to participate. Maybe, I thought, this applies to graduate students as well. My opportunity to test the theory happen to present itself this past week at SkyRobics, a fitness class offered at the indoor trampoline park SkyZone, located just 25 minutes outside of Boston.

SkyRobics is described as being “low impact and combines advanced calisthenics, core exercises and strength building aerobics, all done on our patented, all-trampoline, walled playing courts.” A low impact workout on trampolines? This was going to be a walk in the park – or maybe more like a walk on the moon – but either way, nothing too challenging. I decided to recruit some other Friedman-ites to keep me company (and take pictures of me making a fool of myself.)

We (Meghan Johnson FPAN’12, Isabel Smith NNC’12, Allison Knott NNC’12 and myself) arrived about ten minutes early for a 9am class, unsure of whether there would be a line out the door or if we would be the only brave souls willing to jump in rented shoes for an hour. Luckily there was a group of ladies from Lululemon at Legacy Place trying out the class as well, so we weren’t the only rookies.

Upon arrival you are required to sign your life away on a safety waiver and change into what I can only describe as hideous high top sneakers adorned with Velcro. Purses and coats into the lockers and it was time to bounce.

Our instructor Joey started a motivating exercise playlist, nothing too different than what you would expect at a spin class, and it was time to get started. Warm ups were first – hamstring and quad “stretches,” which more resembled a pathetic attempt at me trying to both bounce and grasp my knee at the same time. Then the real workout began; plank push-ups, jumping jacks, toe touches, high kicks, obstacle courses, relay races and of course a lot of bouncing ensued over the next 50 minutes.

Low-impact is not exactly how I would describe this – bouncing down on your knees and back up to your feet when you are twelve years old is one thing – at twenty-eight years old I feared that something was going to tear with every bounce. But once you get the hang of it and trust that you can’t do that much damage to yourself, the exercises were both challenging and fun.

By the end we were even propelling ourselves off the wall and reaching new heights with our double-bounce technique.

There were definitely a couple drawbacks though – we all walked out with blisters due to the high top sneakers and our low socks. We were more interested in some high flying fun then an intense workout, and luckily the Lululemon ladies were also pretty laid back, so they didn’t mind when we had to ask Joey to repeat the instructions for an exercise multiple times then watch with amusement as we did nothing resembling what he had asked of us. We were trying, believe me, but I have not run an obstacle course since my days playing Double Dare with my little sister. And that was on flat ground. So, there is definitely a bit of a learning curve to overcome.

That being said, for $12 ($6 for your first class!), this is totally worth the trip out of the city, even if it isn’t the most intense workout you’ll ever get. The website claims you can burn 1,000 calorie in a one hour class, but I wouldn’t go that far – Isabel boasted a 400 kcal burn for about 50 minutes of work (there were many breaks worked in throughout the sets). Most importantly though, we had a great time. All four of us walked in that morning feeling stressed about deadlines, assignments and commitments, and we walked out giggling and chatting with our new found Lululemon friends. I wouldn’t travel regularly to a SkyRobics class, but it is worth the drive for a carefree and challenging workout that takes you outside of the fitness box.

It certainly earned the Friedman double-thumbs up!

Katie Andrews is a 1st year Nutrition Communications student also pursuing the DPD credits for her dietetic internship. She loves writing about all things food and nutrition – if you’re looking for a more regular dose of her opinions on recent nutrition news or pictures of her adorable frenchie Hugo, check out her blog at theaspiringrd.com!

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