When asked what I do for a living I start with, "I own a business in Burlington, VT called All Wellness. We offer physical therapy, rehabilitative Pilates, and I teach an awesome high intensity class on the Da Vinci BodyBoard that uses resistance bands to strength train." Everyone understands the owing a business and physical therapy part of my response, most people know about Pilates, but hardly anyone knows about the Da Vinci BodyBoard and our resistance band system.
The Da Vinci BodyBoard was developed by our friend, Floery Mahoney in 2011. Floery is a fellow Vermonter (now living in Santa Fe where her flagship studio is located) and was one of the first people to open a Pilates studio in Vermont. With a background in fitness, Floery wanted a way to exercise with resistance bands and tada (well, it took a little longer than that) the Da Vinci BodyBoard came to be.
When I heard about the BodyBoard I invited Floery to All Wellness for a demo. She showed up with 6 long wooden boards that had resistance bands attached to the top, bottom, and sides. After the demo I knew the system needed to be offered in a class format. All Wellness was the very first studio (ever!) to offer Da Vinci BodyBoard classes. The strength training system has spread across the country and all the way to Japan and Korea.
WHAT IS THE BODYBOARD?
The Da Vinci BodyBoard looks a little like a surf board. It's about 8 feet long and the width of a yoga mat. The board is made of wood and has holes cut into the top and bottom that allow resistance bands to be attached to it. There are resistance band tubes at the top with handles and velcro ankle straps at the bottom, as well as Theraband that runs along the length of the board. The bands are used in some combination during every exercise.
WHY RESISTANCE BANDS?
- They strengthen the neuromuscular system where it's weakest, at the end of the range of motion.
- Humans move in three planes of motion and resistance band bands allow us to train in all planes. Free weight can definitely create vertical loading and feedback, but muscles need to be strong and reactive in all vectors not just up and down.
- Resistance bands get harder the further a band is stretched, which teaches us how to accelerate when pushing or pulling and decelerate when releasing tension.
- Bands can be used to safely load movements such as running, jumping, hopping and kicking without altering the bio mechanics of those movements. It is difficult and sometime dangerous to run, jump or hop correctly with any type of free weight on the body.
- Unlike free weight training, resistance bands requires you to train through the full range of motion which, in turn, requires a great workout load.
If that's too much science for you, all you need to know is this: resistance bands are a safe, effective, and fun way to strength train.
Yes, so much more! Not only does All Wellness have the BodyBoard, we also have a resistance band suspension system that hangs from our ceiling (think stretchy TRX), resistance bands attached to our walls and loops secured to our ballet barres. Each class moves seamlessly from wall, to ceiling, to board - the end result is a high intensity class that gives you a full body workout plus cardio.