Features Reviews Health Special Issue

Sandbox Fitness rocks the boat on traditional workouts

My simultaneous love for chocolate cake and working out is the reason why I’ve never had abs. I go to the gym in phases, but when I am in workout-mode, I will find myself swiping into the fitness center up to five times a day. This usually lasts for about a week and a half until I am back with my mistress, chocolate cake.

Going to the gym becomes routine and boring, which makes me want to give up. I have tried to battle this by throwing myself into various workout classes like Zumba, hot yoga, kickboxing, Crossfit, barre and have even switched up my gym just for the fun of it. I thought I had tried almost everything, until I heard about Sandbox Fitness.

The unique gym mixes balance with core strength, and gives participants a full body workout.

In the heart of Sherman Oaks, miles away from the ocean, I went surfing. Well, not actually surfing, because there was no water. Sandbox Fitness is exactly what it sounds like: a giant sandbox. In the sand, there are surfboards, each balancing on what looked like a few mini stability balls.

My first impression felt like it was going to be a lot of fun, and I was right. I took the beginner class, intro to surfset. When I walked into the studio, it was a fairly small room. There were only five surfboards set up, one of which was the instructor’s. It looked like they could fit at least double the people if it had been a busier class.

For one portion of the class, we did an entire full-body workout using only the surfboard and optional weights. We planked, squatted, jumped, planked some more and we also added in some mountain climbers.

The addition of the surfboard into these exercises is great for the core, since we needed to stay balanced at the same time. The instructor told us that the advanced classes use more than just the surfboard, which explained the Pilates-style ropes hanging from the ceiling.

My instructor had a really bubbly personality, which definitely made the 45 minutes go by more quickly.

The overall mood of the class was uplifting. There were women of all ages when I went, and we were all at different fitness levels, but we were able to go at our own pace and modify moves to fit those levels.

I rolled off the board and fell into the sand on my face at one point, which probably would have been embarrassing at a normal gym, but I ended up laughing at myself instead.

I was definitely not in the best shape when I signed up for this class, but I still had a really great time. I was sore almost immediately after we finished the workout, if that is possible. Needless to say, after this class I definitely deserved some chocolate cake.

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