After many many years in this industry we know that this is the time of year when people will very shortly start asking us here at The Reinge Clinic , what pieces of home exercise equipment we recommend, ready to start their new year fitness drive🤗.
The most common of those questions revolves around the problem that the person can't fit very much into the spare room or garage so wants advice on the best all round cardio machine. Well, we have the perfect one for you 👏:
20 years ago I would have only recommended a rowing machine as it was the sole piece of equipment around that provided a decent and smooth resistance, worked the legs, trunk and arm all together. Most also fold up against the wall which is dead handy and as a bonus it utilises a pulling / retraction motion that helps keep the back strong and combats the modern issue of protracted neck and shoulders ('text neck' as some call it). So, would we still recommend it now?,......yes absolutely, but there is something better 😀!
A Cross / Elliptical Trainer! These were not common place until more recently, but wow 😄! What a well thought out bit of kit this is: It provides a decent smooth resistance (even in it least expensive forms), it usually folds up against the wall and it utilises the whole body! So why is it better than the rowing machine?.....It uses a reciprocal movement pattern. That's the same pattern we use to walk and run...arms and legs swinging reciprocally (opposite to one another) and involving a twist of the trunk. In other words it reproduces what we actually do as a human being and that makes it very very effective.
"But what about a treadmill?" I hear you say 🤔!... Sorry, not if you want all round work. Yes it utilises natural reciprocal movement and it folds against the wall. But if you want one that is smooth running and will reach a decent speed you are starting to look at £600 plus! Add to that the fact that the upper body gets no resistance work and we are down to leg work only and that's not representative a real running as we don't need to drive forward from the ground, we simply keep up with a moving belt that actually pulls our leg back for us. As part of an overall programme the treadmills great, but as a 'standalone one machine does it all'.....I am afraid not 😔.
So if you have a fitness mad member of the family who needs a useful piece of fitness equipment that won't cost the earth, have a serious look at the cross trainers available.