Photo by Damon Palmer

Aquatics facilities are getting on board with a movement that has fitness buffs executing all sorts of ab-shredding maneuvers on floating fitness platforms.

At least three companies now supply inflatable exercise mats -- Boga, AquaPhysical and Glide -- along with certifications to qualify instructors to conduct buoyant body-blasting sessions.

The boards, a variation of the stand-up paddle board, offer a unique core body workout because they activate stabilizing muscles throughout the body. They can be used for yoga, Pilates and cross-training drills.

Amy Williams Kennedy, director of the Tupelo Aquatic Center in Tupelo, Miss., saw the platforms as an opportunity to diversify the facility’s slate of programming. Even though she hadn’t budgeted for them, last year she bought six Boga Fitmats with the advisory board’s blessing.

“I definitely did not want to wait until next year and miss out on the opportunity on setting the stage for such programs across the south,” said Williams Kennedy.

The certification process took a full day and included hands-on training in a pool setting and hours of classroom time learning about the benefits of exercising afloat.

The Tupelo Aquatic Center’s floating studios offer Bogayoga, Bogafit and Bogafit Fusion, which incorporates yoga poses and cardio. In addition to classes, patrons can rent the boards for solo workouts, and groups of three to five can schedule private lessons with a certified Boga instructor.

Just be sure to anchor the inflatable boards to the lane ropes so no one drifts away doing burpees.