SUPERMODEL SURF SAFARI
MONIKA SCHNARRE TRIES T.O.’S WILD NEW WORKOUT
Monika Schnarre, is no stranger to fitness. She is a supermodel after all. So she’s dishing out the inside scoop on the city’s newest fitness trends. This month, she heads to Yonge and Eglinton to hit the waves at Surfset Toronto to find out if this surfboard workout really does whip you into shape.
Have you been surfing before?
Yes, I tried surfing while living in Australia (filming The Beastmaster). Unfortunately, I was not very successful. At six-foottwo, I am vertically challenged as far as balance is concerned.
How did it feel stepping onto the surfboard?
The surfboard rests on a contraption that simulates surf in the ocean. It looks much easier than it actually is! Stepping onto the board feels exactly like trying to stand on a real board in the ocean. Just try not to quiver back and forth at first — it’s impossible! However, eventually you find your sea legs.
How was the workout flow?
We started with slow movements to get the muscles moving and the joints ready. We then worked in intervals of high and low intensity, always incorporating core flexion and full-body work. After the workout we did a cool down, starting with slower movements to ease the heart rate and moving into deep stretching and calmed breathing.
Which part was most difficult?
Completing your workout while at the same time maintaining balance. Imagine doing your entire gym
routine on a board in the ocean.
What did you enjoy the most?
The challenge was the best part. I consider myself athletic, but this was really out of my comfort zone. I looked very uncool during most of the exercises … but that was OK! It was fun to try something new and get out of the gym. Keeping your workouts fresh and new is essential to enhancing your fitness level.
Where did you feel the burn?
Your core or abs are engaged throughout the entire workout, and that’s good because that’s where this post-baby body needs it the most! I also felt the burn in my quads as you are constantly trying to maintain balance.
Was your instructor helpful?
She was engaging, knowledgeable and supportive. She helped me achieve the correct positions without making me feel silly or awkward.
Were you on the surfboard for the entire workout?
We used a combination of on- and off-board movements, but we generally incorporated the board to provide the added challenge of instability in roughly 95 per cent of the movements. They also incorporate resistance ropes and dumbbells in Build and Blend classes and sometimes in Burn classes for an added challenge.
Was this like any other workout you’ve tried before?
It was unlike any workout I’ve done before. I have been paddle boarding at the cottage, but this was nothing at all like that except for the board.
Monika Schnarre (left) working out on a surfboard that simulates the ocean