In January, typically the gym gets very busy with people that have made New Year’s resolutions to exercise and get in shape. Newbies may need direction on where to start, and learning new modalities right away is a good way to spike interest and motivation. For gym regulars, new exercisers mean that sometimes your favorite machines may be occupied. So this can be a great opportunity to mix up your routine and boost your motivation and results by trying something new.
If you’re a home exerciser, now also is a great time to supplement your home gym with a new machine that offers variety and different challenges. Consistent workouts are definitely valuable, but our bodies eventually adapt to the stresses we put on them. Therefore, you won’t continue making progress over time if you simply perform the same workouts day after day. Furthermore, repeating the identical routine over and over for months can lead to boredom or lack of motivation.
With the variety of equipment available today, and the multiple benefits these innovative machines confer, why not try some different ways to exercise? Below, we’ve highlighted a few of the most unique and newest machines that will keep you moving. Look for them at your health club or local fitness equipment retailer. Ask questions at the gym or in the store as to how to use them and how to capitalize on their best features.
It is recommended that you try a machine more than just one time. It may take more than one workout on a new modality to feel comfortable and confident, so don’t quit after one session if it wasn’t perfect. Use it at least one or two more times before deciding if you want to add this machine to your regimen. That may mean making a few trips to a retailer, but it’s worth it if you’re investing in your health and want a machine that you will use over the years.
Exercise equipment has come a long way, so it’s easier than ever to incorporate variety and cross train for the best results. Happy sweating!
Perhaps one of the coolest inventions in fitness, and definitely in running, in decades, the new Zero Runner from Octane Fitness is unlike anything available. Sometimes described as a hybrid between an elliptical and a treadmill, the Zero Runner is really in a category all its own. It uses independent hip and knee joints that enable you to walk, jog or run without any jarring impact.
Unlike an elliptical, the Zero Runner does not have a fixed stride, so you can determine your stride, up to 55 inches. Also, you are able to bend your knees and perform a heel kick on the Zero Runner, replicating natural running motion, and engaging the posterior muscles, just like you would outside.
Different from a treadmill, exercisers on the Zero Runner don’t have to keep up with a moving belt, but instead can maintain proper form, select their own pace, and change speed if preferred. In addition, even cushioned treadmills subject the body to significant repetitive pounding, which can lead to fatigue and compromises in form over time.
The Zero Runner also has live stride tracing, so you can analyze your stride and adjust accordingly to stay as strong on your last mile as the first. And with Octane’s trademark CROSS CiRCUIT program, you can conveniently cross train, alternating between running on the machine and doing strength and flexibility exercises for overall greater fitness.
Most cardio machines move in a forward to backward motion, including treadmills, stationary bikes, ellipticals, rowers and stair climbers. But our bodies also move side-to-side and rotate, so we should train in these directions as well. A unique variation of the traditional elliptical, the LateralX from Octane Fitness offers smooth, 3D movement that goes from a vertical stepping motion to an adjustable side-to-side motion for one-of-a-kind workouts.
The total-body machine utilizes 10 varying planes of motion to create muscle confusion for customized, functional exercise that builds stamina, muscular endurance and coordination. Research shows that users experience up to a 27% increase in caloric expenditure going from lateral width 1 to the maximum width of 10, and up to a 30% increase in hip abduction, hip adduction and knee extension over traditional ellipticals. The LateralX offers valuable work for the hips, glutes and inner and outer thighs.
Advanced routines like MMA and 30:30 Interval add extra challenge, while Lateral Interval and Dual Direction routines provide fun variety. Workout Boosters such as QuadPower, ThighToner and X-Mode offer convenient HIIT for every level exerciser for greater efficiency and effectiveness. And like on the Zero Runner, CROSS CiRCUIT facilitates valuable combined cardio and strength training.
The Bowflex Hybrid Velocity Trainer (HVT) is designed to give you a home cardio and strength blended workout that rivals what you can do in the gym. Using cables, 16 levels of resistance and high-speed training, the HVT increases your stamina and strength, with workouts customized in resistance, repetitions and pace to your fitness level. Performing combined exercises, you benefit from efficient calorie burning and muscle building, which contributes to fat loss and a higher metabolism. In fact, you can get an effective total-body workout with the HVT in under 20 minutes.
For workout guidance, the free HVT app features personal coaching to take you through every step of your workouts. You can choose from three pre-programmed workouts – Sprint (power, speed, recover), Circuit (strength, form, range of motion) and Builder (strength, endurance). Or create your own routine in Manual Mode and check out 50 trainer-led videos designed for every fitness level. There’s no guesswork, and it’s like having your own trainer with you every time you exercise! You can track your Total Power Score, see your progress and accomplish your goals.
Plus, you benefit from a compact machine that replaces cardio and strength equipment and fits easily into your home.
Bowflex Max Trainer
The Max Trainer is a home machine that looks like a combination stepper and elliptical that facilitates intense total-body, low-impact workouts. Its ultra-effective HIIT sessions are rigorous but can be completed in just 14 minutes, with a valuable increase in calories burned after workouts, which is known as the afterburn effect. In fact, research shows that exercisers on the Max Trainer burn 2.5 times as many calories as individuals at the same intensity level on treadmills, steppers and ellipticals.
The 14-minute workouts are designed to challenge you but not defeat you, with each interval consisting of 25 seconds of high intensity, followed by 80 seconds of low intensity (recovery); and intervals repeat seven times. The motivating BURN RATE display sets activity level targets throughout your workout and displays how many calories you’re burning every minute. That helps keep you pushing yourself for better results.
Plus, you can take advantage of streaming workouts for the Max Trainer, courtesy of Daily Burn. You get eight weeks for free, as well as access to all Daily Burn content, including more than 600 workout videos for HIIT, yoga, strength training and dance. And the free Max Trainer 2 app, which syncs with Apple Health, lets you track each workout and monitor your overall progress.