Sometimes when trainers want you to engage your core they say things like, "Brace for a punch!" And sometimes that makes you want to tell them to brace for a punch too. In the face. Imagine AXIUS is your new core trainer. But it doesn't tell you to brace. Or tighten. Or muscle it in. It doesn't tell you to do anything. It just tilts and rotates and rolls around. Silently making your belly unleash a river of burn.
AXIUS is one of the coolest new pieces of fitness equipment I've used in a long time. Yep, I tried it. It made me empathize with Santa Claus. Only I wasn't laughing--or deliberately moving any muscle whatsoever--when my stomach started shaking like a bowl full of jelly.
Former USA National Rugby Player Brian Doyle developed the concept and design for AXIUS following his post-op rehab from an injury. After he learned the hard way how integral core strength and stability are to athletes', fitness junkies', and even the average dude who spends a lot of hours sitting in a chair's health and wellness. Using 3 types of movements, tilt, rotation, and roll, AXIUS challenges the core both directly during targeted exercises, such as planks and pushups, as well as indirectly during moves for the rest of the muscular chain--squats, bridges, up dogs--as it forces your center to provide balance and stability.
In addition to strength, AXIUS aims to improve joint mobility and hone proprioception, your brain's awareness of your body in space. If you're an athlete or an active person, spatial awareness and 3-dimensional balance are crucial to your performance. They also come in handy when you misjudge the number of steps you're going down or step on LEGO brick barefoot.
The AXIUS apparatus is a 15-pound octagonal plate with a sphere in the center. One side of the sphere is a static dome for tilt and rotation movements, the other a 360-degree rolling ball for any combination of tilt, rotation, and rolling movements. AXIUS surfaces have parallel panels of non-slip pads for forearm and feet exercises, plus 2 sets of handles, one parallel on the ends, and one angled inward closer to the center, for gripping exercises--palm planks and rollouts, pushups, and movements that incorporate the AXIUS as a simple weight plate, such as lunging and Russian twists.
AXIUS sets also come with a resistance band that secures in its side notches for use in standing upper body moves, and a small inflated inner tube / stability ring that removes the rotation and rolling elements of the equipment during use.
To see the AXIUS in action, check out the above video, as well as supplemental videos and GIFS on its Kickstarter campaign page. The master of the core seeks crowdfunding through August 12, 2016.