Friday, October 12, 2007

Checking out Club Industry Fitness Trends

Andrea Metcalf, mbc FITNESS
This weekend is the largest Club Fitness Show in the Midwest with over 12,000 attendees--Club Indsutry 07 hit Chicago October 10-13th. Here are some new products to look for at your health clubs and coming to your fitness stores soon!

Product Trend: User Defined Motion and Ease of Entry/Exit and Use
Ones I liked:
PRECOR AMT - This new user defined Elliptical almost completely eliminates impact, has a low step in point ideal for seniors and anyone with knee injuries or a beginner to exercise, and moves to your own natural gait. Long strides, short strides high knee lift or low-- you make the movement pattern.
Matrix Hybrid Bike - This product puts the comfort and support for your spine in a hybrid version of a recumbent bike and upright. This means better movement on your lumbar spine keeping the hip flexors at a bender angle than a traditional recumbent bike. Ease of entry and set up is also key.
FREEMotion Rope Pull - This is not your ordinary cardio equipment! Rope climbing was never that cool if you are afraid of heights! Even better if your knees and hips are sore, this upper body workout will make your heart pound!

Product Trend - Play fitness and Video Interactive
Expresso Bike - Take a virtual tour with interactive gears and handlebars that follow the road in front of you! Ride in a race or find the dragon. This upright bike might keep you on the move longer while you ride, play and burn calories.

AB Solo - make fitness a game; this ab crunch incorporate a target to roll up and throw the ball into. Getting a six pack was never this much fun before and you can play all day too!

Cardio Theatre - The television can keep you working out longer too! So many pieces of cardiovascular equipment is now outfitted with your favorite pastime- well now that baseball is over it's watching TV! You no longer have to take the rap of being a couch potato and still get in shape.
My favorite: If you ever get a chance to try this, check out the Freedom Climber. It is a climbing wall that turns on a giant dial and moves along as you climb. it is smooth and fun. I loved this workout!

IT was a workout just viewing and tyring all the products at the show. And what is better than picking up a few workout outfits too-- I stopped in at BlueFish activewear out of Miami. Bright colors and neat stitching. I can't wait to get my new equipment. Watch for these products coming to a gym near you!

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

New Stretch Techniques Worked for ME

Andrea Metcalf, NBC 5 Fitness Team The first Wednesday of September I was driving downtown for my weekly fitness segment with NBC Chicago. On the way, I stopped quickly, while the car behind me didn't. The shock and excitement left me with some nagging neck pain and bruised bumper. As luck would have it and two massages later, I was looking into a new form of flexibility training called "Stretch Chi" with Carrie Collins for a news story. Carrie uses a technique called Meridian Flexibility Training. Although there are few practitioners, Dana Torres a 41 year old returning Swim Olympian uses these techniques as part of her dry land training.
Carrie worked with me for almost two hours. It was interesting, challenging and insightful. Her passion came from her own neck pain stemming from her career as a concert pianist. Playing long hours in that fixed position takes its toll on the musculature. What happened after I left is what surprised me the most. I sat in my car and moved my head side to side. It felt great. It realigned me like a Feldenkrais experience and although I was certainly fatigued to almost shaking, I felt great. If you have pain or are just interested in trying something new, this is a hit. Sessions typically last about 90 minutes and all moves are performed on the floor. No standing, sitting or running required!