Thursday, May 19, 2011

Affectionately known as the "runners bike"

After watching an episode of “the Doctors “on DSTV (Series channel); I was made aware of a relatively innovative piece of exercise equipment on the market called the ElliptiGO. It sparked a bit of interest in me and I made a point to read up more regarding this piece of equipment that brings exercise outdoors but without the high impact on the joints.
There is an interesting story behind its creation or conception and one I’m sure a few readers might be able to relate to. One of the designers Brian lost his ability to run for fitness due to hip and knee injuries as result of a life largely spent competing in endurance and contact sports. Being a former triathlete and Ironman he thought of cycling as the ideal way to stay fit and in shape. But as time went on realized that being in the saddle for long periods of time was painful and made exercising unpleasant. This prompted him to approach his mechanical engineer friend Brent who he pitched an idea to. His idea simply put was to create a mobile Elliptical that could be ridden outdoors. During 2005 after 6 months of hard work a prototype was developed and tested. However it was only after a few years of fine tuning that the first product was sold in late February 2010.
What training benefit does the ElliptiGO have? The ElliptiGO mimics the running motion and delivers a high intensity cardiovascular workout. Due to the fact that it’s a lot like the normal elliptical the gluteal and core muscles are activated when pushing through the mid-foot and heel. Although this action is different to the normal running toe-off it’s still beneficial to a runner’s performance. Improvements can occur in running stride as stabilizing muscles of the core and especially the glutes are developed. Also strong hips can translate to better running economy and reduced impact on the joints.

You might ask who is the ElliptiGO suited to? It’s suited to anyone wanting to get fit or maintain their active lifestyle. The product has a huge following of runners and ex-triathlete that are recovering from injury or wanting to find a pain-free alternative form of exercise with low impact. The ElliptiGO has been used in marathon races and some other endurance events. A number of professional athletes have come forward endorsing the product as an effective cross training option.
I think the ElliptiGO is an innovative piece of exercise equipment with a sleek design that’s easy on the eye. Its practicality is quite impressive as one can use it on nearly any surface and enjoy the outdoors instead of being confined to a gym or your living room.  It has gears that are useful when climbing hills. ElliptiGO is simply and suitable for the young and older among us. I think exercise equipment should continue to move in this direction of combing functionality and enjoyment to accommodate the recreational athlete along with the elite one.
Written by: Jade Davids

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