Like CX and Body Combat, Body Balance is making its’ debut on my blog in terms of a release/program review. Before I get into the specifics of Body Balance 58 I’ll give you a brief overview of the program.
Body Balance is a 55 minute, low intensity class. The moves and choreography are inspired by Tai Chi, Yoga and Pilates. But don’t let this fool you- Body Balance is no easy ride. Actually, it’s funny when people come expecting it to be a total piece of cake (mmm) and then end up working up a huge sweat whilst repeatedly cursing under their breath haha.
The format has 8 different tracks and each release brings something different in terms of its’ vibe, music and choreography. I’ve always loved Body Balance and really wish more people would fit it into their exercise regimes. It’s amazing the good that can come from a class, both mentally and physically (flexibility being one of them!). Personally I’ve noticed that I’m calmer and more in touch with myself after a class, and it’s really a time for my mind to concentrate on nothing other than the calm movements of my body. Physically I’ve become more flexible (in my hammys, calves and hips especially), gained a stronger core and lower back (CX is to thank also!) and I’ve become stronger. Having to hold poses (not easy ones at that) for long periods of time really tests you, as does trying to balance and activate the core- oh and stay graceful at the same time 😉 Let’s get onto 58!
- To start we have a Tai Chi warm up which takes us through movements that warm your body, slowly increase the heart rate and centre yourself. Although I am typically always warm due to a Fitbox class beforehand I enjoy the squats and the focus on the arms with the swaying and opening movements. I also like getting into the Body Balance vibe before the hard work starts! They’ve picked a top song for to start the class- with a feeling good vibe 😉
- We move onto Sun Salutations and the work starts straight away. All releases have very similar moves and this one is no different. We do plenty of intense poses, downward dogs and crocodile stretches. There’s a tricep push up type move in here also, which will test your upper body strength. Throughout this track I begin to feel my body lengthen thanks to the many leg stretches and poses.
- After lengthening it’s time to strengthen with the Standing Strength track. I’d say this ties for hardest track, and will have your legs shaking and feeling like jelly in no time. There’s little moves and variation in this one, and instead plenty of standing around in one pose for a long time! Moves such as warrior and triangle are seen. The song that accompanies is awesome and it’s actually the same song that we do in Body Step 89 as our stretch and cool down.
- With shaky legs they now test us more when asking us to Balance! I’m lucky I’ve got good balance because you can get a serious case of the wobbles in this track. I don’t particularly love the three legged dog move but that’s just because you really feel it in your shoulders and upper body haha! Winger 😛 I LOVE the tree pose and enjoy the challenge when we cross the legs and get deeper. Thanks to my ballet background my balance is pretty good but I am still challenged at times. This song is pretty quirky and I enjoy how some of the moves work with the music. (Try it and you’ll understand!).
- Hip openers is next and I think this would be one of my less favourite hip opener tracks. Normally, I’m a huge fan because I love working on my hip flexibility and seeing the progress- but this one just doesn’t quite do it for me. We do the usual swan moves as well as the half lotus? Sorry I’m terrible with the names of moves- so that’ll do for now haha.
- Next is core work and this would have to tie with standing strength for the toughest track. They don’t ever give you an easy ride with this track, and this time I reckon they’ve upped the anti even more. We do plenty of one legged slow movements to work the lower abs and test the lower back, as well as oblique work right at the end. The upper abs haven’t been forgotten and we bring this in with a combo utilising the lower and upper abs. You’ll be sweaty and sore by the end!
- It’s now time for twists and forward bends. I much prefer the hamstring work in this track compared to the twists. The twists always have me feeling uncomfortable… but I guess that’s the point of it! Flexibility is really the focus here and we even do a variation of one of my favourite hamstring stretch moves- the triangle. The intense pose is also seen again and back twists are incorporated.
- Probably the most important track of the class is the relaxation and mediation time. However, so many people skip this. Now whilst sometimes it can be a tinsy bit rude when people are super loud as they pack their gear up (I understand people have lives but some people are un-awaringly super noisy as everyone else is trying to relax) but it’s more the fact that they miss out on a super important part of the class! How often do you take/have a few minutes to completely stop, and relax the mind and body? Thought so! Why not do that for just a few minutes after your body has been stretched, twisted and strengthened. It’s important we relax our minds as well as our bodies!
So there we go! I’m sorry some of the moves have been poorly described and may be wrongly labelled but since I’m not Body Balance trained this is what I remember as a participant. I do Body Balance once a week and really wish I could do it more. If you enjoyed this review, maybe you should try a class out near you! Or check out the Group Fitness page for more Les Mill program reviews.
DAILY HEALTHY THOUGHT: It’s important to spend as much time relaxing as we do working hard.
Have you ever done a Body Balance class? What did you think of it?