A LATERAL MOVE TO UP YOUR MOBILITY
By Patrick Netter, the Gear Guru®
We all know that 76 million Baby Boomers represent a generation that did not go quietly into middle age. And don’t tell them they’re now smack in the middle of their golden years!
While tens of millions have stayed more active and enjoyed improved quality of life in later years than previous generations, eventually the risk of falling becomes a fact of life. But, does it have to?
Loss of function, strength, flexibility, and lateral stability are going to happen at some point. Obviously, the longer one can maintain vigorous exercise and activity (assuming it’s “safe”) the longer one can put off functional decline.
That said, everyone will eventually experience some degree of functional decline. Even those who exercise regularly in later life will eventually experience diminished lateral stability, which includes reduced balance. They must train in a specific way to enhance it. Traditional cardio fitness products typically only train in the sagittal “front-to-back” plane. They do little to nothing for improving lateral stability. That’s a potentially major problem.
The more deconditioned people become, the more they rely on non-weight bearing recumbent cardio products. These do virtually nothing for improving balance or lateral stability. Even someone who commits to consistent recumbent-based training will continue losing lateral stability. One of the main reasons for this is that the lower body muscle group, responsible for creating lateral stability, are the glutes.
There is now a piece of cardio equipment that addresses these concerns and the science seems to back up claims made by the manufacturer.
Helix Company, who created the world’s first cardio machine-based lateral trainers, partnered with SciFit, a leading supplier of medical and PT-based fitness products. They’ve developed a machine they call a Recumbent Lateral Trainer, “RLT.”
Ok, here are the uber nerd aspects to all this: It’s taken from the technical explanation provided by researcher Andy Baxter, MES PRCS, in his summation of the Recumbent Lateral Trainer:
“Research indicates that these RLT’s offer several and specific benefits. First, the RLT is a closed chain (meaning the feet are grounded), compound (displacing the load across two joint/muscle systems) movement that is also bi-directional for enhanced neuro-muscular adaptation (neurogenesis). Because of these properties, this movement is designed to safely and effectively integrate the movement of the joint arthrokinematics (joint surface and connecting tissue relationships) with the larger gross motor movement osteokinematics (large muscles of the leg and butt).”
In addition to creating glute activation throughout the entire range of motion, the RLT has additional benefits. It creates no hip adduction and actually helps strengthen the hip joint because it creates activation of the muscles and connective tissues surrounding the hip joint. Conversely, regarding abduction, the RLT allows the hip joint to open externally improving ROM, with all four muscle quadrants of the quads firing AND the medial glute fires throughout the entire rotation on the RLT.
In only slightly more layperson-friendly terms, I am not aware of other traditional recumbent exercise modalities that create the multi-planar stimulus delivered by the Helix RLT. The RLT focuses on engaging the Glute Medius, Glute Maximus, Vatsus Lateralis, and all quadrants of the Quadriceps. This glute engagement helps create power and speed in elite athletes. For this and other populations, it also contributes to stabilizing the knees and improves lateral stability.
For the average gym member, I see it producing training of the lower body and greater metabolic cost than other recumbent modalities. The idea of course, is the more muscle groups engaged and activated will lead to greater metabolic value.
Helix Introduces Fitness Industry’s Only Recumbent Lateral Trainer
The Helix HR3500 Recumbent Lateral Trainer Breaks New Ground In Cardio Equipment
(Boston, MA – March 6, 2017) The Helix Company, the world’s leading manufacturer of lateral training fitness equipment, today announced the introduction of the industry’s first & only recumbent lateral trainer, the HR3500. As a no-impact, non-weight bearing machine, the HR3500 opens up the enormous benefits of lateral cardio & lower body training to essentially all users – fitness neophytes, heavy/deconditioned users, rehabs from knee/hip/back injuries, seniors and, of course, mainstream fitness enthusiasts.
Helix, the creator of the cardio machine-based Lateral Training Category, provides both Commercial & Residential options which have, heretofore, offered only “upright” Lateral Trainers, where users stand on the pedals in a weight-bearing manner. By adapting the patented 360 degree motion of these upright Helix Lateral Trainers to a recumbent/sitting machine, the HR3500 offers distinct, and scientifically proven, advantages over traditional “linear”-based recumbent cardio products, e.g., recumbent bikes and steppers.
While all other traditional cardio products – upright or recumbent – train in the sagittal-plane, all Helix Lateral Trainers provide multi-planar activation, engaging both the sagittal and frontal planes of movement. This multi-plane engagement by Helix machines creates dramatically more muscle activation in approximately 2/3 of the body.
Specifically, when compared to the leading club elliptical trainer, upright Helix lateral trainers create 44% more activation of the obliques, 38% more activation in the gluteus maximums, 36% more activation of the gluteus medius, and 43% more activation of the inner/outer thigh. This dramatically increased muscle activation technology is incorporated into the HR3500 Recumbent, meaning the HR3500 will deliver similar benefits to users – real results such as greater calorie burn and muscle activation – in a shorter amount of time.
Importantly, the HR3500 Recumbent not only provides complete training of the lower body but also specifically targets the glutes, i.e., the primary focus of many athletes and female users. Aside from lateral strength/flexibility & body toning, however, this muscle group is most responsible for creating lateral stability, and therefore the HR3500 has the potential to deliver enhanced fall-prevention for both seniors and deconditioned users. Since the recumbent design is non weight-bearing, its benefits can be enjoyed by essentially all users regardless of conditioning or age.
IHRSA 2017 will be the official launch-site of the all-new HR3500 Commercial Recumbent Lateral Trainer. For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit IHRSA Booth 2106 March 9 and 10, 2017.
Headquartered in Boston, MA, Helix is the world’s leading manufacturer of lateral training fitness equipment. Established in 2006, the company’s revolutionary lateral fitness system has been awarded patents around the world, and its premiere fitness product, the Helix Lateral Trainer, has been installed in hundreds of diverse settings including health & fitness clubs, YMCAs, training studios, corporate gyms, rehabilitation facilities, multi-tenant fitness centers, colleges & universities, high-profile celebrities and multiple championship professional sports franchises. The Helix Lateral Trainer is widely recognized as a revolutionary breakthrough in cardio training and is the pioneer of an entirely new category of fitness equipment – the lateral trainer.
For more information, contact Scott Logan, VP Sales & Marketing, at email@example.com or (425)501-9966.