Personal trainer Andrea Lau wanted to find a niche with her studio in Witten. Her bungee fitness classes were a hit from the start.
At first glance, Andrea Lau’s gym looks like a playground for adults. Five swing-shaped constructions hang from the ceiling and invite you to take a seat. But beware, the first impression is misleading. When the personal trainer’s buttocks touch the seat, the two restraining ropes stretch like rubber bands and she slowly sinks deeper into the wooden floor. The sports equipment is not broken, but works as it should. The “4D-Pro Bungee Fitness” is aimed at the yo-yo effect and makes it easier for the course participants to do sports in the Witten “Trainbar”, at least initially.
“Tomorrow you will feel muscles that you have never felt before,” predicts Andrea Lau with a laugh. That’s because of the way you train. With squats, as the old squats are also known today, gravity usually makes it pretty easy for fitness freaks to get out. With the bungee frame strap under the bottom, athletes must push against the resistance of the ropes. On the way up, the ropes grab you under the arms or buttocks and give you a little push. “It’s a reactive workout. The body reacts to the pull of the band.”
Bungee fitness: balancing act just above the ground
However, elastic bands do not catapult athletes into the Olympus of fitness with minimal effort. “You shouldn’t just stand there like a bag of shells,” says Lau. If you try the seafood, you will trip. “Central control is important to maintain balance.” In plain language: our core muscles must constantly stabilize our midbody so that we don’t lean to one side. After all, the training device and the user are floating in space.
It quickly becomes clear how unstable the game is as the squatters continue to bring their legs together and take turns lifting one foot off the ground. As soon as the first athlete’s toes leave the ground, she is already rocking back and forth with her upper body for balance. She pauses for a moment, she focuses her gaze on a point in the room, regains her composure and continues with the power.
From office work to bungee cords
Why: Andrea Lau tirelessly motivates women while hanging on the ropes herself. “And it comes…in the background”, “three more, two more and one last time” the personal trainer shouts in a kind of hypnotic songbook. The 51-year-old doesn’t need a microphone. His voice penetrates to the last corner of the room. Trained is simply trained. “In fact, I come from a travel agency and then I worked as an entertainer for a while. After that, though, I was screwed by office jobs,” he says, shrugging with a smile.
Today, it doesn’t make travelers smile anymore, but course participants, even if it’s sometimes a little hard to tell. Especially when Andrea Lau asks him to lie on his stomach with the tip of his nose on the ground, like Tom Cruise in “Mission: Impossible.” It is not an “impossible mission”, the exercise only requires body tension and courage. “You have to dare and trust the ropes.” Women balance themselves in a concentrated way. Some people frown, others tilt the corner of their mouth – little grimaces are known to work wonders when it comes to concentration.
From the other end of the world to Witten
Done! However, this not all. Now the personal trainer allows them to jump like frogs. Fitness freaks get up off the ground on their hands and feet. After a few jumps, the tense facial features give way to a wide smile. “It’s a lot of fun. Especially the flying elements,” explains Steffi Heitbaum. The 45-year-old from Witten got to know bungee fitness on the other side of the world.
Upon his return from Australia, he did not want to give up the unusual sport and met Andrea Lau. “We have so many gyms in the city and when I started my own business four years ago, I wanted to find a niche,” she recalls. And this niche is even good for the whole body. “You make moves that you otherwise wouldn’t.”
“It’s just great”
In a workshop, the curious can learn exactly what is possible with the elastic sling trainer and how to use it safely. Because you can not only lie on the padded straps or sit on them, the straps can also be converted into other fitness equipment in an instant. As foot slings, they provide support for push-ups or lunges, for example. The handlebars allow biceps and triceps training. “The muscle finds particularly small exercises really stupid”, describes Andrea Lau and repeatedly pulls the handle against her body with quick movements.
You don’t need weight, the bands give you enough resistance. “Before I did a lot of sports and now I feel well used here. Everyone does what they can and is encouraged at their own level,” says Heike Glaubitz. The 57-year-old has been hanging on the ropes since she started the offer and she finds the right words for what she does with the bungee cords: “It’s just amazing.”
the 4D Pro Bungee Fitness Classes by Andrea Lau are very popular and places are rare. Test workshops take place, for example, on 8.1. (13:00-14:30) and 22.1. (13:00-14:30 and 15:00-16:30)
More information and more course offers on the Internet www.trainbar-witten.de.
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