Editor Rachael Perrett tests her balance with a new workout on the water
What is it?
Float UAE is a new workout brought to our shores by Katie Blaymire. Inspired by Californian company BogaFit, she formulated Float UAE to offer a new type of workout that’s fun but packed with benefits.
An inflatable board acts as your mat for a 40-minute class that revolves around HIIT – high intensity interval training – concepts.
Katie explains, “It’s all of the activities you would do in a gym session like lunges, jumps and squats on the mat, so it’s mostly working around core, balance and coordination.
“A lot of people presume it’s just going to be a yoga workout but it’s not, it’s a HIIT workout, so it’s supposed to get your muscles aching and your heart beating fast.”
Sounds intense. Do I have to be super fit?
Not at all, though you do need to be water confident.
“In a session you will fall in at least two or three times. It’s supposed to be a fun workout and if you’re not a competent swimmer you might panic,” Katie says.
“It’s a very new activity; not everyone has had a go at it yet so a lot of the classes are for beginners. It’s very much based on your balance so people with bad balance might spend a few sessions just learning to stand up on the board. It’s one of those things you practise and then get really good at.
“My favourite move is the lunge. Obviously in the gym pretty much anybody can do a lunge, but it’s one of the hardest on the board to do. It’s guaranteed to make people fall in so I enjoy that part of the class.”
Oh dear, here we go…
Practise makes perfect…
So they say. Luckily, this class offers plenty of repetitive movements so you can quickly find your balance.
A row of firm, inflatable mats are tied to lane ropes at the front and back so you don’t float away or hit each other. After the instructor points out the centre of the board where we’ll be most stable, we start with a few simple exercises to find our balance on our hands and knees. We then move on to standing exercises like squats before adding in variations like jumps and even 180-degree turns. Being a HIIT workout, you’ll be doing short spurts of high intensity exercises followed by more low-key ones like sit-ups and planks. It’s great fun, even if you fall in, but there’s no doubt it’s a tough workout at the same time.
“I really like that most people think they won’t be able to do it but they overcome that and are really happy at the end of the class,” Katie says. “It’s quite an achievement when you can stay on the board and you feel like you’ve worked out but you’ve had fun with your friends too.”
How can I take part?
For now, Katie is classes on Saturdays and Sundays at Khalidiya Palace Rayhaan by Rotana, with an aim of spreading to other venues across the city soon. She’s also planning to introduce yoga, Pilates and kids’ versions in the near future.
All you need is gear you don’t mind
getting wet, a towel and a positive attitude. Prices and schedule to be confirmed.
To stay up to date or find out more, visit: email@example.com, floatuae.com