It’s no secret that the core is one of the most important thins you need to maintain a well-rounded level of physical fitness.
According to the Mayo Clinic, core exercises help muscles in your pelvis, lower back, hips and abdomen to be stronger, improving balance and stability for other athletic feats or daily activities.
SNEWS has written before about the explosion in products stability and functional training, and we’ve written separately on the outdoor side how people are looking for versatility in products – essentially something that gives them more bang for their buck.
“Functional training is picking up steam and being stressed over and over,” said Fit In Fitness Founder and CEO Jason Richard (pictured right on the Fit In Trainer). “To have exercise that imitates real life movement and strengthens the core at the same time has huge advantages for living and fitness.”
The SNEWS team came across this new product called the Fit In Trainer (MSRP $149-$169) that combines elements of balance, functional and resistance-band training. Though the company will not be exhibiting at IHRSA in a few weeks in Las Vegas, it will be launching in May.
Essentially the product, which the company refers to as a progressive workout system, is a combination stepper, rocker and wobble board – on which each workout is progressively more difficult.
On the board itself are T-shaped holes where resistance bands can be integrated.
“What those allow you to do is feed resistance bands up through the T,” Richard explained. “You can stand on top of this platform with resistance bands for a strength workout – all you have to do is slide your feet in or out to get more or less resistance.”
The board has been in development for the past three years, but the launch date was delayed due to a change in manufacturers, Richard said.
Richard was a personal trainer right after he got his degree in fitness management and business from the University of Kansas, and wanted a lightweight product that incorporated functional training and other types of core workouts. So he designed a prototype of the Fit In Trainer that was everything he was looking for.
After working on his own for a bit, he wanted to make the product the best it could be, so he hired a professional product development team and began manufacturing it. But with the launch date so close, in just a few months, Richard reflects that the endeavor wasn’t without its challenges.
“Main thing has been funding,” Richard admitted. Until very recently, the project was self-funded; but the challenge ahead lies in promoting the product itself.
“Right now the biggest challenge is raising awareness, getting the brand out there and letting fitness professionals see it and see the opportunities it provides,” Richard said.
The versatility trend has been creeping into smaller fitness products in the recent season. This past September at the Health and Fitness Business Expo in Las Vegas, World Sales Alliance, Inc., brought the Variable Height Platform Trainer (MSPR $400), a unit that incorporated a six-level plyo-box, dip rack, ab wheel, utility bench and massaging stick into one lightweight, foldable product.
Richard said these units are particularly good for personal trainers.
“Being able to switch up your workout and have the freedom to do other exercises, that’s when you achievement comes in fitness,” Richard said. “These more compact units have opened up so many options for personal trainers and fitness use all around.”
Currently the company is still working on its website, but its launch page, with a photo of the product, is up.
While right now the company is focused on products for health clubs, Richard said the unit is also good for home users.
“We hope to maybe do some DVDs in the future that will help in-home users,” Richard explained. “We’re definitely going to get some weekly workout videos up online when we launch and this is definitely going to be a great in-home product.”