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Class Review: Total Body Conditioning

Jan 27, 2015, 11:17 AM by

As a former collegiate swimmer, I've done my fair share of weight training sessions and "dryland" conditioning activities (as swimmers refer to training outside the pool). So I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I dropped in at the Total Body Conditioning class at Mapleton. Would it include lots of push-ups? Burpees? Lunges?

After grabbing a fit ball, hand weights and an exercise mat, we began with a short warm up that consisted of bouncing on the ball and swinging our arms back and forth to get loose. It was definitely a unique and fun way to warm up, much different than running a few laps around the room, which I had become accustomed to.

Next, the instructor, Lisa, led the other five participants and I through a series of upper body exercises utilizing the fit ball and a variety of weights. I grabbed a set of heavier weights at the beginning of the class but quickly realized that the exercises were more challenging than I was expecting. I had done many of the lifts before but not on a fit ball, which added a new element of balance and stability that made each exercise a little more challenging.

We worked our triceps, biceps, pecs and shoulders in a continuous series of lifts that lasted about 20 minutes and left my shoulders and arms rather shaky. After a short water break, we moved into core and lower body exercises, again using the ball and exercise mats. Having relied mostly on squats, lunges and running to condition my legs in the past, I was pleasantly surprised how effective some of the exercises were without even using any weight. The hip lifts with our feet on the top of the fit ball and backs on the ground were definitely hamstring burners.

We finished up by working our obliques and quads by crunching and lunging with the fit ball, then bouncing up and down once again and shaking out our arms to close out the class. The class definitely lived up to its name—as my whole body felt the effects of each exercise. The fit ball gave new life to traditional exercises like bicep curls, tricep extensions, crunches and lunges, and I left feeling strong and energized.

Total Body Conditioning When: Sundays from 11-12:15 Location: Mapleton Y Teacher: Lisa

Emily Sampl is a YMCA of Boulder Valley aquatics staff member and freelance writer. 

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