Over the past five years, the popularity of floating fitness programs has grown rapidly in the outdoor sector – workouts like stand up paddle board yoga have exploded onto the scene and created a unique and fun opportunity to explore fitness fundamentals on the unstable surface of the SUP. Though intriguing, the challenge of bringing ten foot paddle boards into most club environments has deterred some club managers from adding SUP programs to their pool schedules, for size and storage reasons.
In summer of 2016, a new product emerged in the water fitness world and made a big splash by going viral on Facebook – a square inflatable fitness float measuring just under eight feet long, designed to fit between Olympic lane lines, stable and buoyant enough to support all body types, and easy to use for yoga, pilates, high intensity interval training, or resistance band classes. On August 4, Glide SUP revealed the first U.S. release of this new product – the Glide FitFloat® – at Outdoor Retailer Show in Salt Lake City, and caught the attention of the fitness market.
“One cool thing about the FitFloat is it’s versatility – it enables you to bring functional training equipment like resistance bands or medicine balls into the pool environment, and get really creative with how you sequence classes. The instability of the board means you’re constantly training balance, but with slower, intentional movement that makes FitFloat classes safe for all fitness levels,” says Glide Yoga & Fitness director Amelia Travis. Travis is an E-RYT 500 yoga instructor and lifeguard who has been leading the way in paddle board yoga for five years through her company, Stoked Yogi, based in San Diego.
The Glide FitFloat comes with an education manual highlighting four separate classes for indoor or outdoor pool fitness – yoga, pilates, HIIT and resistance band sequences offer appeal to a broad client base, and are easily taught by experienced fitness professionals after learning just a few modifications for the floating mats. Also provided is a clear training video which explains how the floats attach to existing pool lanes, or can be arranged by linking to each other using a simple bungee system. When not being used, the FitFloats are easily deflated and stored until the next session.
“Ultimately, we want everyone to be able to see what the excitement is all about – by adapting our inflatable boards specifically to the pool, we’d be able to connect with way more people – any gym, club, recreation center, university, hotel or resort that has an aquatic fitness program can benefit from this product. So far, it’s been a huge hit – classes are packed, students are having a blast and clubs are seeing a quick return on their investment. Everyone from kids to soccer moms to grandparents are getting on board and enjoying the floating fitness practice.”