Freedom to move
A new piece of fitness equipment that claims to allow ‘unrestricted movement’ has been launched in the UK. David Pittman went along to try it out.
he FreeFORM board is an Australian invention that it is claimed opens up exercise to the whole body by allowing unrestricted movement. The product brochure describes this as ‘the ability to move from any body position to another without restriction’. It is a multifunctional, multidirectional piece of equipment that can be used during yoga, Pilates, for personal training or group exercises and as a physical therapy and rehabilitation tool. It can also be integrated with other equipment, such as stability balls and vibration plates.
The man behind the FreeFORM board Tony Susnjara, a fitness instructor, martial arts practitioner and remedial masseur, says the intention for the FreeFORM board is to take freedom of movement into the exercise environment.
Currently, moving from one exercise to another during traditional training is ‘restrictive’ by forcing the body into a single position or movement. Susnjara describes the FreeFORM board as a ‘blank canvas of movement’.
“When we move in everyday life, and even more so when we undertake strenuous activity, the body is in a state of dynamic flux,” he says. “It is designed to support the body through all movements, angles and variations to provide real-life movement. I like to say it replicates the outdoors indoors and provides liberation in the gym.” The FreeFORM board has been five years in the
making and went through five design concepts to reach the commercial product which has now been introduced to the UK fitness market. It features a low-profile industrial-grade, glass- reinforced nylon body which is mounted on eight polyurethane miniature inline skate wheels housed in custom designed low profile castor forks, each with a double race ball bearing.
The rotating top platform has a non-slip rubberised grip and is concave in shape to further increase purchase when in use.
A large internal deep groove ball bearing allows the top platform to rotate freely and silently, while a twist lock mechanism can be engaged to eliminate pivot on the top platform.
A FreeFORM dock can also be used to disengage the castors and wheels to turn the unit into a stable base, while an additional foam pad is provided for use in yoga, Pilates and other kneeling exercises. Susnjara says this design makes the FreeFORM board unique to the market. “The FreeFORM board allows you to cover every inch of the supporting surface. There are no directional or range of motion restrictions.
“The point of contact can transition during use which helps replicate natural movement and means users can transition from one movement to another seamlessly, which is unprecedented
“Allowing every joint complex to move at once is a new paradigm in functional training.”
‘In fashion’ sponsored by
We continue the build-up to London 2012
with a looking at some of the swimming hopefuls to keep an eye on.
Name: Sascha Kindred OBE Sport: Swimming
Birthplace: Münster, Germany Current club: Leominster Kingfisher Age: 33
Profile: Kindred is a decorated
Paralympic swimmer, having won a total of six Paralympic, eight World and 11 European Championship Gold medals, with a haul of 47 medals in total. He has represented Great Britain at four Paralympic Games.
Name: Jonathan Fox Sport: Swimming
Birthplace: St Stephen, St Austell Current club: Newquay Cormorants Age: 20
Profile: Fox has cerebral palsy and
competes in Paralympic swimming events. He won silver at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and has since won numerous medals at the European and World Championships, including gold.
Name: Gemma Spofforth Sport: Swimming
Birthplace: Shoreham-on-Sea Current club: Portsmouth Northsea Age: 23
Profile: Spofforth made her Olympic debut at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and has since set two British records and one world record.
Susnjara notes that the
FreeFORM board is primarily being targeted at fitness
clubs and membership organisations as it is a “high- end commercial product” but notes that there is a market for it among discerning fitness consumers. “It allows you to do the things you would normal need a number of different pieces of equipment to do.
“It is a long-term investment but is easy to store, carry and use, once understood.”
FreeFORM boards are being offered to the UK market through health and fitness equipment supplier Physical Company, which describes it as a ‘great addition to any personal trainer, group fitness instructor or fitness enthusiast’s toolbox’. It offers the board as a stand-alone product, with a workout DVD or as club pack, featuring 20 boards and workout DVD.
Susnjara adds that there are psychological benefits to the FreeFORM board alongside its various physiological applications.
“There is a fun factor to the device, which has been engineered in. It allows people who wouldn’t normally enjoy exercise to have fun with it. “And when used in group sessions, each user’s experience can be tailored to their ability, helping make exercise classes a more inclusive environment.”
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org www.trionz.co.uk
Name: Rebecca Adlington Sport: Swimming Birthplace: Mansfield Current club: Nova Centurion Age: 22
Profile: Adlington is Britain's first Olympic swimming champion since 1988 and the first British swimmer to win two Olympic gold medals since 1908. She is Great Britain's most successful Olympic swimmer in 100 years.
Name: Katie Skelton
Sport: Synchronised swimming Birthplace: Reading
Current club: Reading Royals Age: 23
Profile: Claims she found swimming boring but had an interest in dance and gymnastics so trialled synchronised swimming as it incorporates both and found she enjoyed it.
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