Every year, we in the fitness industry, review the year closing out and discuss, research and discover, what the fitness equipment trends may be for the coming year. This simplifies matters for us moving forward and for our clients as well. This week, six of these trends will be featured. Check these trends out to see if you, and your health club, are on the fitness equipment cutting edge. As always, prior to beginning any exercise program, please consult your physician.
Cardiovascular Equipment – such as treadmills, ellipticals (dozens of variations), bikes, stair climbers, and rowers are still utilized widely. While it is a good idea to vary your program rather than just running/walking on a treadmill for an hour, these pieces of cardio equipment are an important aspect of equipment offerings in most health clubs. We, as trainers, use this equipment to train our runners during the inclement weather months, warm-up our clients before their exercise program, and to create diversified cardio programs which incorporate all of these pieces of equipment, providing our clients with variety and challenge.
Selectorized Equipment – is still relevant! While there are many popular programs currently that do not utilize any selectorized equipment, the consumer needs to know that there are many benefits to this type of equipment. It is versatile, effective and, if the client has been well trained on the equipment, safe. The beauty of recently designed selectorized equipment is that you select the cable/pulley position permitting proper range of motion for each exercise, the load on the stack, the attachments and the body position providing an individualized/functional approach for each exerciser.
Small Resistance Equipment – such as dumbbells, barbells, medicine balls, kettlebells, resistive tubing, sandbags, etc., provide tremendous challenge and variety to our clientele’s exercise programs and, while there are derivations on this theme, which we use widely, we always return to these fundamental tools. And, while we like selectorized equipment, we also love our free weight options—so these tools are here to stay!
Body Leverage Equipment – such as TRX Suspension Systems have added another layer to training. Virtually dozens of exercises are possible with these tools, and a wide variety of fitness levels and age groups, may benefit from integrating use of these tools into their fitness programs.
Body Weight Rules – yes, we love our fitness tools, but body weight is hard to beat. It is always with you, requires no other equipment and provides significant challenge both in form, function and load. Often, when designing a program for a novice client, body weight is all we use; however, our fittest clients are significantly challenged with certain body weight exercises such as pushups and pull ups.
Skill/Drill and Stretching/Self-Myofascial Release Oriented Equipment – such as steps, BOSU Balance Trainers, Step Pro 360, push/pull up assistance devices, air/jump ropes, battling ropes, StrongBoards, bongo boards, lateral motion trainers, plyo boxes (within reasonable heights), stability balls, mini balls, Gliding Discs, ViPR, stretching straps, foam rollers, myotherapy balls, etc. are utilized widely in small group and large group exercise classes and with our personal training clientle.
And, while there are dozens of other types of fitness equipment available, which we may use, utilizing the equipment highlighted above within our science-based, professionally designed programs, may lead to optimal, lifetime fitness results.