A national league footballer has ventured beyond the pitch to open a gym unlike any other in the country.

Eastleigh FC midfielder Nigel Atangana has swapped dribbling for dumbbells in what he describes as an exciting move in his career.

The 34-year-old was inspired after visiting his hometown of Paris last summer – and the rest was history.

‘Astrabody is a friend’s franchise that I opened in Chandler’s Ford in March’, he explained.

Daily Echo: Eastleigh FC footballer Nigel Atangana has opened an Astrabody gym in Chandler's Ford Eastleigh FC footballer Nigel Atangana has opened an Astrabody gym in Chandler's Ford (Image: Ricky Hart/Eastleigh FC)

Atangana was keen to maintain his fitness during his return home, but encountered difficulties due to the hot weather.

He said: “It is tough in the summer as you’re at higher risk of injury.

“Somebody suggested I visit Astrabody and I loved the machines.

“I told the owner I have never seen anything like this in England, so I offered to open a gym in Chandler’s Ford on March 1.

“I was really keen to open the gym down the road from where I play football.

“I couldn’t say no to this fabulous opportunity.”

Daily Echo: Astrabody in Chandler's FordAstrabody in Chandler's Ford (Image: Nigel Atangana)

Located in Hursley Road, the gym boasts ‘revolutionary and futuristic’ equipment, including an infrared bike and the suprasculpt.

The latter aims to ‘build muscle effortlessly and painlessly’ while the bike combines heat, infrared, and suction force for the ‘ultimate’ workout.

READ MORE: Opening date for new 24 hour gym revealed

One month in and the response has so far been amazing, according to Nigel.

He said: “I’ve welcomed over 20 new clients in under a month.

“The gym is for anyone from 16-years-old to 80 or even 90-years-old.

“At a normal gym, people find it hard to get results, but everyone can enjoy it here.

“One woman who visited us could do cardio for the first time in years by using one of our machines. She said it has changed her life.

“People love the concept.”

He added: “I did this because I need to find an alternative path after my football career, which I started in France aged 16.

“I needed to find a business venture and I knew Astrabody was going to be big.”