Elliptical Trainers: Integrating into Group Fitness
Hannah Sperry, the marketing manager of Spirit Commercial Fitness, shares why your health club should add an elliptical to group fitness.
It’s no question that group exercise has come a long way. From its early years in aerobic and dance fitness to the high intensity circuit workouts you see today, it has been a staple in any large commercial gym or studio. And for nearly three decades now, the most common cardio machine used in a group fitness setting has been the indoor cycle. In more recent trends, new styles of cardio machinery has entered the group fitness scene, mostly in the form of circuit-style or CrossFit workouts.
One piece of cardio equipment that has yet to make its way formally into group fitness is the elliptical trainer. And while it may not be the first cardio machine to come to mind when planning a circuit workout, an elliptical can provide tough resistance with minimal impact, making it a perfect insert at a station or to a group class. Their nature of being a cardio and strength machine compliment any type of circuit workout, whether as a recovery station or a method to ramp up heart rate.
Another benefit of elliptical trainers are that they are excellent for split workouts, specifically upper and lower body strength training. A shift to the push and pull of the upper body dual handlebars create a strength workout that engages the chest, bicep, and back muscles while prompting the machine to seamlessly move. Then, coaching to dial up the resistance or incline activates the quads, glutes, hamstrings and calves for a lower body focus. Dropping the resistance or grade and encouraging students to speed up revs up their cardiovascular levels in what could be considered a “sprint” on an indoor bike. This alone makes an elliptical trainer much more than a simple cardio machine.
It’s time we look past the traditional indoor bikes or rowers for group fitness and introduce new machinery, like the elliptical trainer. Not only are they an excellent tool for low-impact or recovery, but a multi-purpose machine able to take group fitness to a new level.