THE BASICS: Welcome to one of the only Kangoo Jumping classes in the whole of London- Suppajump with the lovely Carolina. Think a cross between an aerobics and a dance class, with the added twist of wearing boots with 8 inch springs on the bottom of them!
Trust me on this one- prepare yourself for an hour of springing around a dance studio like an over-excited flea, at one of THE MOST hysterical workouts you’re ever likely to attended.This review was written when the classes took place at Portabello Green Fitness Club. SuppaJump now has a site with up to date timetable data and prices- CLICK HERE to check it out!
THE BITCHES: Carly and Alix
THE CLASS: I’ve just started writing a weekly column for VoopySport, and founder Alix suggested we go and try a new class she’d discovered in W10. SuppaJump can be found at the top studio of Portabello Green Fitness Club- step out of Ladbroke Grove Station, turn left, and then across the road and it’s right directly after the Westway bridge, down Thorpe Close.
I had absolutely no idea what to expect from Kangoo Jumping- but Alix had some really good things to say about it and I was keen to see what she had been raving about. I do love a workout with novelty factor- my tiny brain needs constant stimulation to stop it getting bored. I am like a restless child when it comes to exercise!
A big gaggle of women poured into the class and it probably took us about 10 minutes to get all of the right sized boots handed out and strapped on. Alix and I picked a quiet corner to pop our boots on and get used to walking around in them without too much of an audience. We soon realised no one was looking at anyone else, because they were all going through their own “argh!” moment at standing up in their Kangoo Boots and getting used to walking in them.
It was a weird sensation, and reminded me of the first couple of minutes after putting on ice skates or roller blades. It was quick to get used to these boots though- they were very stable and made me feel so springy that I couldn’t resist the urge to start bounding around the place like a cheeky Tigger who refused to be caught.
I’d say it took me one lap of the studio before I proudly proclaimed that I was going to spend the rest of my life wearing these boots. Alix was getting used to her own new springy limbs whilst I darted around, and we were laughing before we even began. Just putting these boots on was enough to turn us into mischievous little kids!
The boots themselves are called Kangoo Jumps. According to the fountain of knowledge that is Wikipedia, they were designed to protect your joints from the impact of running. Additionally, due to the lengthening and contracting movements your muscles go through when wearing them, they are said to offer impressive toning results. That’s the science bit for the geeks among you (and what an informative, complex and well-cited science section it was).
Carolina put on a really good, fast paced pop mix (not a single dud track in the whole hour which is impressive for a dance/aerobics class. This girl clearly shares my impeccable music taste). We warmed up, about 25 of us in all in the big hall, getting used to the range of movements we could manage in the boots. The boots kind of made you jump into each step, and so you could feel quite quickly that this exaggerated way of walking was giving your legs a really good workout.
No one toppled over or seemed uncomfortably unbalanced. These boots really were a breeze to bounce about in once you gave it a few minutes! You could also feel how heavy they were on the end of your legs, meaning that you were effectively lifting a weight every time you took a step. Helloooooo long, lean thighs!
The majority of the class saw Carolina lead at the front of the studio like a springy little kangaroo, teaching us several nice simple, aerobics style dance routines that we combined together into a great little formation. The boots made a fantastic noise against the laminate floor, and the people in the gym below must have thought we were a load of soldiers marching around above them! We stopped for water a few times, but the intensity was kept high for this entire section of the class. Alix and I swapped both “oh my god I am sweaty” and “Bahahahaaaaa!” glances frequently.
The second, shorter section of the class saw us lie on mats, using the weight of the boots as resistance to tone our abs, bums and legs. Carolina made it look easy, the rest of us were so exhausted from the cardio section of the workout that we were rolling around on the floor, laughing uncontrollably like weeble wobbles. I reckon we managed equal amounts of laughter and toning exercises- it was thankfully the sort of class where spirits were high and it was totally acceptable to lie on the floor and giggle loudly. The atmosphere was really lovely!
There is a photo I want to put here of me trying to hold my legs up straight and failing miserably, instead lying in a somewhat unintentionally pornographic pose, crying with laughter. I just showed my (male) housemate and asked him if it was too much to put on the internet. Considering he now can’t look me in the eye, I’m taking that as a yes. Hopefully that gives an idea of the inhibitions you’ll get over whilst rolling about like a laughing kangaroo on a Tuesday night in Ladbroke Grove. (And thanks to Alix for taking a photo I definitely won’t be showing the grandkids).
The class had started about 10 minutes late, and Carolina made sure we got that extra 10 minutes at the end- it’s great when instructors do this, and illustrates a lot about their character and their dedication to those attending their classes.
As we ended and people reluctantly took off their new springy feet, I felt toned, sweaty and I think my endorphins may have had springy boots of their own on! The laughter in this class was as much a part of it as the workout- in fact, it sounds cliched but it honestly didn’t even feel like a workout! (Luckily, the muscle stiffness was on hand the next day to kindly show me otherwise).
THE VERDICT: Really really REALLY great class, down to earth and friendly crowd, hilarious concept that offers a proper workout, and Carolina clearly loves what she teaches. This class absolutely HAS to arrive centrally!! In the meantime, 20 mins on the Hammersmith and City Line is a very small inconvenience to endure when SuppaJump is waiting at the other end of it.
THE EXTRAS: Ok, ok, here’s the photo. Sorry grandkids.