Saratoga: With treadmills, weights and resistance equipment already jamming health clubs, there might not be a need for yet another exercise machine.
Yet Gravity machines have found a niche at the YMCA in this resort town. On a recent weekday morning, a dozen women and men push, pull and grunt on the machines’ slanted glideboards. They push with their legs, then pull with their arms -- up and down diagonally.
“Keep those legs up!” trainer Yonka Perkins tells her straining students. “Keep those glutes nice and tight!”
The $17.6 billion (Rs72,493 crore) health club industry is always open to something new. The YMCA is one of roughly 30 health clubs in the United States to add Gravity machines since the start of the year. It is not clear if this relatively new device will lead to a hot new trend like Spinning, a popular indoor cycling programme, but so far it offers a glimpse into an industry always looking to entice exercisers with new ways to stay tone and trim.
“We’re always looking for ways to make exercise more effective, more fun, less time, more pop for your time,” said Brooke Correia of the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association.
Gyms have come a long way since the low-tech days of Indian clubs and medicine balls. Rudimentary machines like the motorized belts that jiggled users’ bellies have given way to sophisticated machines that keep tabs on cardiovascular activity and simulated distance.
Gravity equipment competes for precious floor space not only with standbys like StairMasters and Pilates equipment, but with newer machines that feature everything from video screens to vibrating bases.