I love trying new fitness products and devices. In fact, I have yet to come across a product I won’t try at least once, no matter how silly I think I’ll feel using it. At least with The Firm’s “The Wave,” I got to try this funky and functional piece of plastic in the privacy of my own home. I was pleasantly surprised because I thought it would be a one-trick pony. I figured you’d just rock around on it and call it a workout, but it’s actually quite a flexible piece of equipment.
The Wave fun-pack comes with the device itself, a mat that keeps it in place, a three-pack of DVDs and a bonus ab workout. The first 10-minute video is strictly an instructional lesson. It shows how to get on and off the Wave without injuring yourself or others (which can be tricky if you have two left feet) and introduces you to some of the basic moves you’ll need for the workouts.
Speed Slimming Sculpt
This 30-minute workout starts you off with the Wave in the stable position, using it for basic step moves to get warm. You tap the crest of the Wave, doing knee-ups and L-steps to get you ready for action. As I’ve mentioned before, I’m no star in the step-world, but maybe having the Wave will get me one step closer (haha).
After the warm-up, you grab weights to do rows with the upper body while starting the many lunges you’ll do. This is probably one of my favorite parts about the Wave workout: double-duty upper- and lower-body combos. With many squat and lunge variations incorporating the Wave, your bum really gets burning.
Next, you flip the Wave over into the unstable position, where you really have to use your core to anchor it while squatting. Rocking side to side gets your thighs and buns burning while also getting your heart rate up. Lunges onto the Wave in this unsteady position makes the moves tougher and give you a balance challenge. Be warned: This amount of squats and lunges will make you sore.
The workout makes sure to hit the upper bod as well. I have two words for push-ups on the Wave: dear goodness. The rocking really makes you engage your core, and it’s definitely a tough and effective move. Unfortunately, the Wave wasn’t designed for cushy comfort in mind. My hands hurt from the pressure on the hard plastic and in the short ab portion, the Wave killed my ribs while doing oblique work.
This 40-minute workout starts with warm-up grapevines, and some additional steps up onto the Wave. The moves start to get a little more complicated with this segment, and because I have a problem with simple step-taps, I got lost several times.
This DVD alternates between strength and cardio segments for an effective all-over workout. The cardio segments are more step-oriented, so again, while it’s effective cardio, it had me circling and box-stepping my way into confusion on occasion. As long as you keep moving, you’ll catch on-ish and keep your heart rate up. While some of the moves are similar between the two main workouts, there is enough difference that you really get two varied workouts.
The workout incorporates weights, using the Wave in the step position for squats and squat knee-lifts. After some upper-body weights, you do side-walking push-ups off the Wave to hit your chest muscles at new and torturous angles. A speed-lunge lengthwise over the device works those glutes like crazy.
The ab section here was decent. The moves where you’re supposed to recline on the side of the slope didn’t work for me at all, and I couldn’t stop sliding. I don’t know what the heck kind of rubber pants these women were wearing that let them stick to the Wave at that angle.
Luckily, none of the sliding moves were included here. This 10-minute segment uses both standing moves on the Wave and floorwork to work the abs. While not the toughest ab workout I’ve ever done, it incorporates planks, standing twists and crunches, and enough regular crunches to give you a well-rounded ab set. I was happy to see lower-back exercises, but it took some adjusting to get comfortable because while lying face down over the crest, the Wave jabbed its hard plastic into my hip bones. Once I got situated, I found that the extra range of motion made the move highly effective.
My quick and dirty take on the Wave? Glad you asked.
The Wave Pros
- It’s totally different from any fitness accessories I’ve tried, and it’s fun to use.
- It has both cardio and strength benefits.
- Balance work is awesome!
- It doubles as a step.
- Express workouts trim the full-length versions to about 20 minutes.
- You need a pretty decent amount of floor space to adequately use it without having to move it constantly and readjust (like I did).
- Discomfort: With the rocking and all of the lunges and squats, I can see how this could bother someone with knee problems. The hard plastic isn’t exactly cushy to lie on, nor does it feel good on my hands or wrists when doing push-ups.
- Slippery/Instability: The instability is a huge bonus for core work, but you also need to pay attention to keep your feet from sliding when in the unstable position. Works out the mind and body!
FBG Rating (Out of 5):
Long-Term Likeability: ★★★★
Fun Factor: ★★★
Meets Expectations: ★★★★
Fit Bottom line: A fun, unique tool, the Wave will challenge your core and give you a full-body strength and cardio workout while improving your balance. —Erin