Body Juggling Level 1 Workout

Year Released: 2008

Categories: Balance/Medicine/Mini/Stability Ball

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SaTek describes Body Juggling as a combination of yoga, tai chi, and acrobatics. That makes sense for me: it combines the constant movement and balance of acrobatics with the mind-body elements of yoga, all on a stability ball.

The menu has a "Play All" button and a "Workout" button. By pressing Workout, you go straight to the workout, but there are several safety pointers including a 2:30 min "Safety Protocol" that teaches you how to safely roll off the ball if you lose balance. So, I did the Safety Protocol the first time. I didn't really have to use it, but I guess it's good to try. Next time, I will jump straight to the workout.

Overall Notes: SaTek is a good instructor. For most moves, there is an intro screen with the name of the move and then he moves into the move slowly. He carefully explains the moves describing details such as your left foot will move behind your right while your left hip rolls on the ball, or whatever. After doing the move slowly at "Level 1" he encourages you to increase speed or range of motion into a level 2 or 3 move. Although you can stay at Lvl. 1 if needed. The class is all facing each other in a circle which makes the filming a little odd. Sometimes you just see part of someone's head or something in the foreground while SaTek is in the background, but it's not too bad. During almost every move, they cut to an image of SaTek doing it by himself so you can see what it's really supposed to look like. The class members do great, but there is a lot of almost falls and not-quite-there moves, which is VERY reassuring! After the first time he describes it, I generally ended up moving at my own pace.

The workout is 35 minutes and has a couple chapters.
1. Opening Stretches (about 8 minutes) has head rolls, shoulder stretches, spinal situps, and a couple other active warm-up stretches. Core is definitely activated in some of these moves, but no hard balance challenges.
2. Basic Flow (about 8 mins) this has a lot of active moves that definitely challenge your core. For example you roll into and out of back extensions. Or you do a plank where you pivot your hips as you roll onto your left or right leg. There is a pike move. And some other moves that I can't describe.
3. Intermediate Flow (about 13 mins) has increasingly difficult active moves including swings where you roll quickly out and back into a position. I was really beginning to look silly at this point, but it was a lot of fun!
4. Stalls (about 6 mins) has moves where you slowly try to move into a position where you are supporting all your weight on the ball with neither your hands or feet touching the ground. You do this seated, lying on your stomach and on your knees. I managed to hold the knee stall in lvl. 1 much better than I expected (which is you're on top of the ball with your hands and two knees touching the ball). I couldn't even imagine going on to lvl. 2 though which is where you pick your hands up and just kneel with your knees on the ball.
5. There was a final seated on the ball meditation, eyes closed, of about 3 mins.

My opinions: I think this is a really fun way to challenge your balance, and a playful, yet challenging, workout. Personally for me, I enjoyed the balance challenge without having to experience the extreme wobbliness of my ankles, which is my weak link in most balance workouts. It definitely worked my core, and although I by no means was a superstar at these crazy moves, I did much better than I expected. I, honestly, attribute that to SaTek's instruction. I had assumed the instruction would be minimal because there are so many cuts of him showcasing his skills on the website that it seems like he's not as much of a teacher, but he did well with that.

Although I completely think this workout is safe for me, this is not a workout that will fit some people's style. For instance, if you see using the BOSU as inviting an ankle sprain, this is not the workout for you. On the other hand, SaTek does teach the lvl. 1 moves first which allow you to at least leave 1 hand or foot on the ground. But I don't think you want this video, unless you're willing to try and fall. That's what this workout is about. I like that I get to push my limits here.

Instructor Comments:
SaTek reminds me a little of Eoin Finn in how he encourages you to just be playful and work with your own body. There is a fair amount of mind-body discussion. SaTek is a careful instructor who combines specific instructions about which hand or foot with general instructions such as "enjoy the flow."

Catherine O'Neill