Elliptical fitness equipment was introduced in 1995, first in commercial gyms and health clubs. Exercisers who had grown accustomed to treadmills, stair climbers, and ski machines quickly embraced ellipticals for their effective fat burning and ease of use. It wasn’t long before elliptical fitness equipment began being produced for the home market and the trend continues now, into the late 2000’s. We spoke with Rick Allen, whose company MIdwest Commercial Fitness, sells remanufactured fitness equipment, why elliptical fitness equipment has become so popular.
Rick: The thing to understand is that the introduction of elliptical fitness equipment began a new era in the world of personal fitness equipment. Before ellipticals, exercise equipment, gym and home gym equipment – provided a certain kind of exercise experience that people were familiar with and that had been around for a long time. So when the elliptical exercise trainer came along, it was really something new and something that many exercisers and athletes came to prefer over other kinds of personal fitness equipment. What’s interesting is the reason people took to elliptical workout equipment so enthusiastically, which had everything to do with the way the new motion felt. People typically described the training, elliptical training, as a more natural way to use their bodies, but in fact the human body doesn’t really move in elliptical patterns.
So elliptical fitness training is not technically a natural movement. But what people did get and do get to this day, is a very smooth motion, and that’s key. Because with the best ellipticals, the ones that are well-engineered, people almost feel like they’re skating, a smooth, very pleasant sensation. That comfort and ease of use ultimately means that people end up exercising more. Which is definitely conducive to fat burning, healthy weight loss, and most people’s fitness success.
So for many gym and home gym exercisers, the elliptical fitness equipment trainer is as close as they’ve come to finding a magic pill. The best elliptical machines, the ones that really deliver on what elliptical sports can do, are easy to use, fun, and burn calories like crazy. They also utilize both upper and lower body movement, which will contribute to total fitness. Success under those circumstances can become much more attainable. Another benefit of elliptical fitness equipment was and is the shorter learning curve, particularly in the health club environment. People obviously don’t want to get on exercise equipment – gym equipment, and feel uncomfortable with it. And in that setting, they also don’t want people looking at them, seeing that they don’t know what they’re doing. Compared to exercise trainers like ski machines, which take some getting used to, elliptical fitness equipment wins hands-down. You get on an elliptical workout machine and you can begin to use it right away. And just to get an idea of how popular elliptical sports have become in the world of personal fitness equipment, do you remember when stair steppers first came out? Stair climbers like the Stair Master? They became an absolute phenomenon in the fitness industry- a very, very popular category of personal fitness equipment. But what’s happened since? Elliptical fitness equipment has almost replaced the stair climber – in the same way that the Bowflex Sport Home Gym has replaced the Soloflex. These days, when I do a health club layout, if I put in ten treadmills, which are still the most popular personal fitness equipment, I’ll almost always put in ten ellipticals, too. Which is to say that they’re extremely popular. Not quite a magic pill, but for many people looking for personal fitness equipment, the elliptical fitness trainer is the way to go.