VR has a lot to offer, not just for aspiring athletes – as VR Fitness Insider has demonstrated – but for a whole host of others looking to improve and better themselves. This is the first of a new series of VR workouts I’m presenting that goes beyond the scope of VR gaming for cardiovascular benefits and delves into other skills and abilities that VR can foster. I call this VR Brain Training.

Today I’m looking at a VR workout to enhance your coordination and give your brain a workout, while of course still giving your body one too.

15 Min Audioshield

It wasn’t until playing Audioshield for the first time that I realized quite how uncoordinated my left and right hands were. In Audioshield the premise is pretty simple, you have two shields – blue and orange – that you match to the colors of streaming orbs that careen towards you to the beat of the music, as well as a purple shield you can spawn by holding both shields together. After dozens of failed attempts playing this game and mismatching the colors, I felt almost like giving up entirely. I had to really concentrate, even calling out the colors to myself until a switch finally went off in my brain and my hands finally figured it out. Even then, just a single mismatch would get my wires crossed and I’d have to stop and reset. Over time my brain has become increasingly accustomed to the mechanics, and it’s almost like it’s been rewired to better differentiate my left from my right hand. 20 Minutes of this will prepare you for the higher-level difficulty of Goalkeep VR’s Color Matching mode.

15 Min Goalkeep VR – Color Matching

GoalkeepVR’s Color Matching mode is similar in concept to Audioshield’s while offering another layer of complexity. Your right hand will represent both red and yellow colors, while your left hand is blue and green. The colors are cycled by pressing the thumbpad on your Vive wand. You will have 50 skittle colored targets per round to test your coordination and your patience.

15 Min Knockout League – Focus Mitts

Last up is the focus mitt training mode in Knockout League. There are some practice tutorials that you should definitely take advantage of to learn all of the commands. Your coach will call out a sequence of numbered and directional prompts instructing you how to punch and dodge.

It works like this:

1 – Left Jab

2 – Right Jab

3 – Left Hook

4 – Right Hook

5 – Left Uppercut

6 – Right Uppercut

Left – Duck and roll left

Right – Duck and roll left

Drill One drills are reserved solely for throwing punches and it’s recommended to master this phase before moving on to Drill Two. He’ll call out a number combination, for example, “one, one, four, five, six, five” and that translates to left jab – left jab – right hook – left uppercut – right uppercut – left uppercut. Knowing that odd numbers are your left hand, and even numbers are your right should help you get the swing of it. It’s a lot to keep track of, but your coach will start off easy with just two number combinations and add more in from there. Also, remember that all punches are thrown across, so, for example, your right glove will punch across to his right mitt.

Drill Two drills will start incorporating in the “left” and “right” duck-rolls, for example, “six, left, five, right” translates to right uppercut – duck – roll left – left uppercut – duck – roll right. Expect to see stars until you get the hang of it, youngblood.

Once you’ve progressed through the easy, medium, and hard drills, finally the “stamina” drill will unlock allowing you to spar for as long as you can, but make three mistakes, and it’s game over.

This 45-minute workout should have left your mind aching as much as your arms. What did you think? Leave your comments in the section below!

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Tim Donahey
Tim Donahey is an NASM certified personal trainer, former competitive powerlifter, VR fitness enthusiast, and CEO of VR Fit. After more than 10 years in the fitness industry, Tim discovered firsthand the profound impact of using virtual reality as a tool for athleticism and embarked on a 50 day experiment to test the benefits of a purely VR based fitness lifestyle. The overwhelmingly positive results of his experiment lead Tim to found VR Fit where he develops and implements VR fitness solutions for people from all walks of life.