21/09/2010 08:14 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

I Tried It: Vew Do

Imagine standing on a board balanced on a rolling pin... And then once you've cracked that, throw in some press ups, squats and other exercises. Then you can do Vew Do.

Vew Do

Forget the dodgy jokes about sticking pins in dolls, the Vew Do balance board has to be one of the most challenging, fun and infuriating pieces of fitness equipment ever to hit a gym. Based on a 1940s toy and created to help snowboard students, the board fits on top of three 'rocks' – a cylindrical roller, a half-sphere wobble attachment and a rocker or flat block with a rounded top.

All of them will move and rock in various directions, so your challenge is to keep stable while you're carrying out the exercises. And as our instructor or Vew Do master (yes, really) demonstrated, once you've cracked it, you can start getting into more complicated routines using kettlebells or throwing and catching balls while staying balanced.

First step is actually managing to find your centre of balance with the board on the roller. Having done yoga for years, I know some of the tricks of staying stable, but usually the ground isn't trying to escape from under me.

At first, it's hard to balance for more than a millisecond, but the moment when suddenly you crack it and find the perfect level is all the sweeter – and slightly addictive, unleashing my competitive side as I was determined to do it again, better, longer.

Once you've got the hang of it, it's up to your Vew Do master to design a routine. The different attachments mean you can use it for lots of standard exercises, from lunges and press-ups to squats and plank, all of which are just that bit tougher than usual.

Because you're forever working with a completely unstable surface, it forces your body to employ various muscles which don't normally get used, so you get a full-body workout.

Throw in a few bits of cardio, with an exercise bike and jogging while the moves are explained, and I felt thoroughly exercised by the end of the 45 minutes. The class can be adapted for different fitness levels, but if you're looking for a lazy option, this isn't the one!

On the plus side, it burns up to 500 calories per hour. Available at selected gyms nationwide – visit for details or to buy one for use at home.