Bodybalance™ is a group fitness program developed by Les Mills International. Though physically challenging, Bodybalance™ is the calmest of the choreographed group classes offered by the company. Participants concentrate on balance, strength, and flexibility. Throughout the 45-minute class, class members are taken through a routine that includes elements of Pilates, tai chi, and yoga.
Les Mills International is a New Zealand-based company founded by Olympian Les Mills’ son Phillip. As of 2010, Les Mills International offers eight varieties of classes. Each class has a different workout regimen and overall fitness goal. Additionally, course instructors change up the routine’s choreography and soundtrack every three months. The new soundtracks typically include current pop hits mixed with energetic beats.
Bodybalance™ is referred to as Bodyflow™ in North America. The classes are 45 minutes long each, and are all taught by a Les Mills International certified instructor. Instructors recommend visiting a class at least three times a week to experience maximized fitness benefits. The Bodybalance™ class, specifically, is done barefoot and with an optional yoga mat. Men and women of all fitness levels are encouraged to participate.
Routines may vary between fitness centers, though most generally stick to the recognized choreography. Class starts with a warm-up based on tai chi movements. The spine is to remain straight during these exercises, during which the arms are to reach and flow freely. A participant’s weight is shifted equally from side to side while exercising so that participants can feel the workout in all areas of the body.
After the tai chi-style warm up, the Bodybalance™ routine gets going with a variety of intensified yoga poses. Yoga is a practice that involves a combination of bodily and mental control and restraint. Les Mills International instructors take this practice seriously and combine it with a variety of up-tempo beats to keep the adrenalin flowing for what follows.
Posture is another main focus of Bodybalance™. During each routine, instructors teach participants to work on their strength and balance. As the muscles are challenged to find stability, the mind is challenged to stay in each position a bit longer. When class members repeatedly succeed in such strengthening routines, their joints and muscles are able to withstand even more. Each Bodybalance™ routine includes optional simplified and extra-challenging positions.
The class ends with Pilates exercises followed by a combination of abdominal, back, and leg exercises. An additional 10-minute cool down follows the routine. By the end of class, participants should feel a bit looser in their muscular areas. The first few times a class member joins a Bodybalance™, she may feel pain for a day or two after. Instructors maintain, however, that this pain is the body’s way of catching up with itself after a challenging workout.