What It Is: Fitness equipment that’s designed for balance training, resistance training, cardio and agility exercise. Durable enough to step or jump on, comfortable enough to sit or lean on, and long enough to lie on, you can use the Terra Core in a similar way to how you’d use a plyo box, step or bench in the weight-room.
What You Might Not Know: The Terra Core is meant to be used with either its air-filled side up (as pictured above) or flipped over (see photo below). There are two different sets of handles on the flat underside that are perfect for doing planks, mountain climbers and pushups.
Feelin‘ the Love: In addition to the obvious need for safety and effectiveness, I have standard criteria I use when recommending a fitness product: While it’s fine for small, inexpensive items to serve only one or two purposes, more substantial fitness equipment that requires a bit of an investment must fill a logical gap in the market, be multi-functional and demonstrate a clever design. The Terra Core easily checks all these boxes. It’s one of the more versatile pieces of exercise equipment I’ve come across for gym or at-home use.
Every time I work out with my Terra Core, I find new ways to target the same muscle groups. For the upper body, you can use it however you’d normally use a bench; for example, with or without weighted equipment like dumbbells or a medicine ball.
There are also multiple notches that run along the Terra Core’s curved base, creating perfect crevices for anchoring a resistance band while you hold the band’s handles. From there, you can rattle off reps as you balance—while standing, kneeling or lying—on the air-filled platform.
Stepping or jumping onto the Terra Core’s rounded surface leads to the kind of challenging instability that works the legs and core, more so than doing the same moves on the floor or a step. There’s increased balance and agility at play when using the Terra Core.
One day last week, I only had time for a 20-minute workout with the Terra Core, and that ended up being all I needed to achieve a sweaty, tiring full-body workout. (Intervals of high-intensity cardio mixed with resistance-band exercises did the trick.)
The Terra Core isn’t the only balance training device on the market. But it’s the best one I’ve tried. My reasoning? It’s more versatile than others like it, and the features mentioned above (i.e., handles for pushups, notches for resistance bands, bench-like oblong shape) are in line with how people in the fitness industry train these days. Terra Core feels as fresh as it is multi-purpose.
If I Could Change One Thing: While every Terra Core comes with a poster showing several dozen exercises you can do with the equipment, it’s really just an introduction. At first, I tried consulting the poster for inspiration as I exercised, but it’s quite large when unfolded and it became a nuisance. I suppose if you have a dedicated workout room in your home, which I don’t, you could tack it to the wall.
As a certified fitness instructor, I was able to devise my own plan for working out with the Terra Core, but it would probably be helpful for the average person to have a few routines just a click away on YouTube or Vicore’s website. I’m talking about an entire start-to-end workout, including a warmup at the beginning and stretch to finish.
Should You Buy It? At 35 pounds, the Terra Core is heavier than you might expect and it’s around 47 inches in length, so you need the square footage to use it and store it between workouts. It’s portable but heavy (depending on your definition of heavy—for me, it’s cumbersome to carry).
That said, if you own a gym or personal training studio, the Terra Core would be a smart way to maximize your equipment offerings with a piece that does
double triple quadruple duty as far as versatility goes. Same logic applies for home use if you’ve got the space. Now would be a good time to look into it for the holidays or your early 2017 fitness goals. Cost: $279 USD; vicorefitness.com.