wellness

ROAD TEST: 'I'm a Pilates Instructor, and here's what I thought of Nintendo's Ring Fit Adventure.'

Nintendo
Thanks to our brand partner, Nintendo

If there’s one thing I understand, it’s the human body. As a physiotherapist, master Pilates instructor and founder of online Pilates studio Go Chlo Pilates, it’s my job to guide others through movement and understand the effect different exercises have on the body.     

When it comes to the best ways to move your body, of course I’m on team Pilates. 

But I'm always trialing new workouts to shake up my own movement practice, to learn and grow as an instructor. 

I take movement very seriously! Especially with my physiotherapist brain, I can't help but analyse the effect that any given workout has on my body’s strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness and mobility. 

I was very excited to put Ring Fit Adventure, a fitness game for Nintendo Switch to the test. What kind of workout could I get from it?

I'm no avid gamer, but it’s one that I've kept hearing about. It combines real life exercises tracked through the game, to move through an adventure world and defeat enemies on your TV screen.

All from your living room. Exactly where I like to work out: in the comfort of home.

I was keen to try the modes that allow players to choose specific exercises or sets to target specific muscle groups like legs, shoulders, lower body or core (and even build your own sets of exercises).

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So, with my physio and Pilates hat on, I unboxed Ring Fit Adventure and got playing. 

We begin.

Image: Supplied. 

I’m not a hugely tech-savvy person, but the magical animated Nintendo person who appeared on my screen when I turned the game on (thankfully) showed me how to do everything.

Relief. We're off to a solid start.

Before starting, I grabbed my two Nintendo Joy-Con controllers, and unboxed a Leg Strap and Ring-Con from the Ring Fit Adventure box. One controller just slid into the Leg Strap that got attached to my left thigh, and the other controller attached to the Ring-Con. 

(This hand-held Ring-Con actually looks a lot like a Pilates magic circle, if you’ve ever used one). 

The cool thing was, that once I was strapped in and ready, the motion sensors could tell if I was in the right position. Perfect. 

The game then told me that to avoid injury, a dynamic stretch and warm up was advised. 

So, while it tracked my movements, I was taken through a warm up consisting of high knees, lunges and overhead reaches. 

This definitely got the physio tick of approval from me.

Image: Supplied. 

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It also tested my abilities before we began to ensure the exercises were pitched at the correct level for me. Love this – very important before any new movements to gauge this.

This involved running on the spot as fast as I could and pushing in the ring to measure my upper body strength. 

I was asked how hard I wanted to work – it was a Saturday so I opted for the gentler session. (It's a judgement-free zone here).

Image: Supplied. 

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Adventure time.

My avatar was in the first animated world and ready to go. To move forward in the game, I had to walk or run on the spot. 

When I stopped moving, my purple eyed avatar stopped moving. When I slowed down, my avatar slowed down. So, I ran. 

Before I even noticed it, my heart rate was elevated and I was working hard, running on the spot to propel myself through this adventure land.

When stairs appeared up ahead, I was instructed to move into high knee running. This was like a HIIT interval and let’s just say... ouch. Very solid workout here.

Along the way, I was instructed to perform different movements like pull or push on the ring (which was a great upper body workout) to get coins or jump over giant holes. 

Then it got spicy.

Up next were the challenges. First was a squat challenge where I had to hold a deep squat and stand about 20 times. Hello quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. 

I felt the burn.

Next came arms overhead, pulling outwards on the ring, which strengthened my lats and shoulders. 

Image: Supplied. 

Finally, I was laying on my back drawing my knees to my chest and extending the legs away from me, much like a Pilates leg extension. If anyone's ever tried that one before, it’s all core and abdominals!

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These are movements that I often teach in my Go Chlo Pilates classes and are personal favourites. Because each movement was measured, I was told if I stood from the squat too early, or didn’t pull on the ring hard enough. I love this intermittent feedback: it was helpful, visual and kept me accountable the entire way.

Such an awesome feature of the game for everyone from beginners to those more advanced, and everyone in between wanting to better their technique.

I found you can even track your performance with some estimated stats by using the Joy-Con's built-in IR Motion Camera, like your heart rate and the amount of calories burned from your workout (if you're into measuring this). 

A super handy way for players to track and hit any goals you're setting for yourself.

Image: Supplied. 

Safety first.

There were some great safety features built in too with Ring Fit Adventure. The Switch game told me when to take regular water breaks, asked how I was feeling at intervals and even measured my heart rate to ensure I was working out in a safe range for my body. 

How good is that? Snaps for Nintendo Switch.

It definitely felt tailored to me as the user each session I used it, made me feel like they really had my back. (That was before this huge dragon showed up. Not an easy one to defeat, and took some sweat). 

Image: Supplied. 

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The verdict.

Big call: would I recommend the Ring Fit Adventure as a Pilates instructor and physiotherapist? 

I actually would! Big tick of approval from me, and I especially recommend it for other women wanting a fun way to move at home in their own time, and in their own way.

It's the perfect entry point for those wanting to start casually exercising, or continue exercising more regularly.

It's a guided game format, so you don't feel like you're left to your own devices without knowing what exercise to do (or whether you're even doing it 'right'). As it's tracking your specific movements, it tells you in real time how to adjust. 

Plus it combines all the important features of an effective workout: cardio, upper and lower body strength, core strength, mobility and most importantly, keep it fun and fresh. That's what I love about Pilates, and what I truly enjoyed about this Ring Fit Adventure game.

I really think that exercise needs to be enjoyable. To make it a recurring habit, you should really find a way to exercise that you love and looking forward to doing. And this might just be your solution.

Plus if you're into Pilates of any skill level, I know you'd love this workout too.

If you’re looking for a way to get back into exercise, all from the comfort of your home, I recommend giving this a try. And if you’re competitive like me, you’ll feel incredible when you finally beat that bloody dragon. 

Feature Image: Supplied.

Nintendo
Work out how you want, when you want. Busy schedule? No problem! Work out at home with real-life exercises in Ring Fit Adventure, a game that keeps you moving!