Pole position for keeping fit

Octayvia Nance

I MIGHT get a couple of stares this summer when using new fitness equipment called Bungy Pump but the poles are fun, easy to use and it will definitely be worth it when I start seeing the results. But is the set of two poles worth their price? I am not entirely sure.

The Swedish training equipment – which look like ski poles – is designed to achieve fitness, weight loss and strength at the same time.

Being very excited to try out the new poles – launched in South Africa at the Discovery Cape Times Big Walk just last month – I decided to surf the net and discovered that the poles can not only be used for walking or running but for indoor activities too.

I have been using them for just over a week and I can already feel the effect in my arms. Using these poles may make me look like a little odd but they work both my upper and lower body.

I now do wing presses, hip and thigh stretches, torso twists, crossed lunges, and even squats with the poles. Which, instead of just working my buttocks, legs and torso, it works my shoulders too.

Then when I feel really brave, I do eight to 10 vertical jumps – I have read that it too targets the buttocks, legs, torso and shoulders.

The poles are easy to use and can be adjusted to suit your height and, because I am pretty short, this is a huge bonus.

Although, like any other exercise equipment, one does not see immediate results, you can feel the muscles in both your lower and upper body working.

Walking along the beach, I have been met with mixed reactions – some people looked on with intrigue and others with amusement. I remember someone saying I was confused – that I mistook the sand for snow.

Using them is simple:

ýFirst you have to turn the pole upside down to adjust its length. Adjust the pole so that it feels comfortable between chest and armpit. Lock into position by holding the middle section and turning the lower section.

ý Adjust the handstrap by pulling on the lower strap. You need to keep the locking device open while you adjust the loop. Press the locking device and pull gently on the two upper straps to lock into position.

ýSlip your hand into the loop from below. Then grasp the handle of the pole. Hold the pole in a comfortable and relaxed way.

ýPlace the pole on the ground in line with the back of your foot or immediately behind your heel. Place the pole on the ground and then press downwards. Start walking and alternate using your left arm and right leg with your right arm and left leg and so on. Your arm should be slightly angled and the poles must always lean back at an angle. Hold until it is time for the next step.

Why I liked them:

  • They are easy to use;
  • They can be used outdoors as well as indoors;
  • The length is adjustable;
  • The grip comes with a strong strap;
  • It has rubber feet suitable for almost any surface;
  • Engages most of the muscles in my body, and
  • Soft and gentle on shoulders and elbows.

Their R899 price may put me off, although until tomorrow a set will retail for R699, and there are larger discounts on orders of two or more sets.

Further information from Rosemary Hare, 082-4596226, or go to www.bungypump.co.za

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