WHAT IT IS
Indoor surfing, basically. While standing on an oval-shaped board placed atop either a roller or an inflatable cushion called an IndoFLO, you try to stay balanced. Surfer Hunter Joslin invented the Indo Board in 1975 as a way to practice his sport away from the water, but recently, Indo Boards have found their way into gym classes. "Indo Boarding transcends all other sports because it integrates core fitness and balance challenges," says Joslin.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Marc Santa Maria, a NYC-based Indo Boarding instructor, breaks his class into segments — two-legged balance exercises, one-legged moves, and upper-body movements. A typical class finishes with core-specific exercises. Most instructors use the IndoFLO cushion (it's easier than the roller) for beginner classes and may even add a body bar for additional balance (so even the less athletic get a good workout). "We try to create a full mind-body workout as opposed to isolating body parts," says Santa Maria.
Staying on top of the board during unilateral and multilateral movements jacks up your heart rate while simultaneously improving your balance, lower-body joint and muscle strength, and a sense of self in space (a key ingredient in injury prevention and rehab). According to Joslin, more time spent on the board could mean less time in the weight room — plus some shredded abs. Once you step on the board, your core muscles are engaged, and each wobble just makes them stronger, he says.