Running is a natural human movement but the technology surrounding it has evolved dramatically. The increase in popularity over the past 10 years has created a huge industry of ancillary products to enhance running or walking.
Pronators, overpronators, heel strikers, toe planters, supinators are all relatively recent terms that create a variety of running styles. The wide range of reasons for running have resulted in several training techniques. To keep up with this increased demand for customization, running shoe manufacturers have developed a multitude of designs to accommodate different human mechanics, running styles, performance levels, and sport specific running
The Evolution of the Treadmill
Treadmill manufacturers have also made advancements that cater to the varying requirements of your members’ love for running.
Treadmills remain the number one choice for cardio endurance training in any type of fitness facility, whether it be for weight loss or rehabilitation or performance. Why? Because treadmills offer roughly the same natural energy expenditure and muscle activation that we get from walking, jogging or running.
The running experience has been thoroughly researched by fitness equipment manufacturers and some have developed unique designs offering variety to the most popular training modality.
The 5 Best Running Machines
National Fitness Products now offers 5 different types of commercial treadmills. Each one providing unique features and accommodating different running styles. With increased clubs now offering “Running Only”, it is important for fitness facilities to look at what they offer to their members and not just how many of the same treadmills are in your club.
- The Woodway 4 Front
The 4Front is the original slat-belt treadmill with unmatched performance. Woodway’s rubberized slat running surface absorbs shock at the point of impact. A Type A shore hardness of 38-43 was found by the Deutsche Sporthochschule in Cologne, Germany to be the ideal “softness” to eliminate the harmful shock to joints and connective tissues, while maintaining proper biomechanics. Even better? Woodway’s near frictionless ball bearing drive system was designed to last longer than conventional conveyor belt designs.
2. The Woodway Curve
The Curve is a motorless treadmill with slates designed for high-performance athletes, but it offers the same benefits for beginners. The Curve provides an intense exercise experience and burns 30% more calories than ordinary treadmills. The curve shape not only targets the legs but also the entire muscles of the hamstrings. The key to a good curved treadmill is its ball bearings or the ability to reduce the horizontal friction of the early part of foot strike thus lessening artificial changes to the firing pattern.
3. The StarTrac 10 TRx FreeRunner
The FreeRunner offers a revolutionary running experience with an aluminum deck supported by a hexagonal polymer suspension system. This Hex Deck system is like running on the soft Mondo Olympic track and provides freedom from the stresses of a normal treadmill. It absorbs energy providing comfort right up the spinal system allowing the body to relax and perform.
4. Star Trac 8 Series
8TRX series provides the traditional treadmill experience with a fully loaded Open Hub or basic club cardio treadmill. The Star Trac treadmill comes in light commercial, commercial, and heavy club commercial levels to accommodate a facility’s specific requirements.
5. Octane Zero Runner
The Zero Runner is a non-impact running machine that forces the most experienced runner to find their stride. It’s like running in a no-gravity environment: Lot’s of work, but worth it! The Zero Runner’s independent hip and knee joints facilitate complete freedom of movement with no fixed path, so exercisers can customize their motion and pace. On the Zero Runner, users can adopt the same strides as outdoors, while focusing on their glutes, hamstrings and heel kicks instead of a treadmill‘s moving belt. It’s not a total running system, but an excellent tool to enhance and strengthen a runner’s stride.
National Fitness Products was founded on the premise that today’s facilities want to provide their members with the absolute best and not settle for anything less. It’s one thing for a fitness facility to provide a full range of cardio products to meet individual preferences, but National can take that much further by providing a range of tools to cater to your member’s various running styles, training regimes, and limitations.
Wondering which treadmill or elliptical is right for your facility?