Total Gym InsideLatest Information about Total Gym

Nov
30

Trainer Harley Pasternak Uses ELEVATE Pull-Up

 

ELEVATE Pull-Up

The ELEVATE Pull-Up, designed on an adjustable incline, helps users perform the exercise.

With seven incline levels to select from, the ELEVATE Pull-Up rivals most lat machines. It allows users to lift anywhere from 35 percent to 65 percent of their own bodyweight.  Lifting only a portion of one’s own bodyweight helps a user perform an exercise they could not have previously performed. The adjustability of the unit strengthens the muscles gradually, allowing the user to progress and eventually perform the exercise without assistance.

The incline design of the ELEVATE Pull-Up also allows for plyometric or one-arm pull-ups and engages all the muscles of the upper body to efficiently and effectively enhance muscle definition and improve overall strength.

Harley Pasternak

Harley Pasternak

Toronto born, celebrity trainer and nutritionist Harley Pasternak, has been training his Hollywood clients with the ELEVATE Pull-Up, for some time now.  In an online article by Self.com, Harley breaks down the assisted pull-up, while working with actress Jordana Brewster.  Click here to read the article.

Pasternak is a bestselling author whose books have attained worldwide recognition and have been translated into 14 languages in over 25 countries around the globe.  His clients have included Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Halle Berry, Katy Perry, Megan Fox and Robert Downey Jr., to name but a few.   Harley has appeared on numerous TV shows such as,  The Oprah Winfrey Show, Dr. Oz, Access Hollywood and Extra.  He’s also been featured in The Washington Post, Shape, Men’s Health,  Elle,  Seventeen and Marie Claire.

Harley Pasternak holds a Master of Science in Exercise Physiology and Nutritional Sciences from the University of Toronto.   He has an Honors Degree in Kinesiology from University of Western Ontario. He is also certified by The American College of Sports Medicine and The Canadian Society of Exercise Physiology, and served as an exercise and nutrition scientist for Canada’s Department of National Defense.

With all that in mind, we’re thrilled, here at Total Gym, that Harley is training his celebrity clients with the ELEVATE Circuit and that they love his training.

For more information on the ELEVATE Pull-Up or ELEVATE Circuit, call 858 764 0034 or visit TotalGym.com

Jun
27

Total Gym Workouts – Perfect For Kids & Teens

IMG_5317

How to Motivate Underachieving Kids and Teens in Sports, with Total Gym Exercises

GRAVITY Sessions at Fitness Republic

GRAVITY Sessions at Fitness Republic

An interesting thing happened to me a few months back…

I am the type of person who is always planning new workouts, combinations, music,  and so much more, at my studio, Fitness Republic in Vero Beach, FL.  At the beginning of February, my 13 year old daughter told she had to run a mile for gym class.  In Florida, the state standard for a 13-year old girl to run a mile, is 8:13, which is a pretty good pace for many people.  My daughter came home with a “C” on her report card for gym.  Being that fitness consumes my world just about every day, I was shocked.  I asked what had happened, and she told me about the mile requirement. I asked her what her time was.  She said “18 minutes.”

“Excuse me?”  I said,  “Not on my watch.  Lace up your sneakers RIGHT NOW!”

We hit the pavement.  I told her that no matter what, we were not going to stop running that mile until we were done.  We came in at 13 minutes … not bad for a first attempt at progress.  I told her this was just the beginning and after we finished that first mile together, I asked her what her teacher does to help condition her class.

“Nothing,” she exclaimed disappointingly. He just tells us that he can run a mile in 6 minutes, and we have to try harder.   Have teachers lost their passion?

My daughter has two really good friends. Like many teenagers, they all have an element of laziness tucked in there, so I thought she’d need some buddies to help her on her new journey.  I told her to get them ready as well.

“For what?” she asked.

“Because we are going to flip this.”  I said.

For the next six weeks, the three of them met me twice a week for strength training.  I had them doing two workouts a week on the Total Gym GTS.  And they loved it.  My goal was to get their fast twitch muscles activated and enhanced.

This is what we did:

  • Plyo Alternating Leg Squats
  • Plyo Pull-ups
  • Plyo Shoulder Presses to get their big muscles firing.
  • Then, Cardio Pull to get their tickers up.
  • Static Equilibrium Chest Press,
  • Static Equilibrium Rows
  • Upright Supine Pull-downs.
  • Leg Cables finished the workout.
Total Gym workouts with family

Work out with your kids. Good for you and good for them!

We started off gently with lesser reps and time and slowly built up to about a 45-minute workout.  Over the 6 weeks, their incline levels increased slowly but surely.  Their stamina and muscle growth really improved, and their flexibility and range of motion was so much better. And, the best part of it all was that were having FUN in the process and really enjoying themselves.  Now, isn’t that what it is all about? Making gains and having a ball while doing it.  Maybe that’s not what it’s about for their gym teacher, but it certainly is for a Dad.

In addition to the workouts on the GTS, we ran four days a week.  And when it was time to run the race, she crossed the finish line in … wait for it … 8:02!  Fantastic! She laid it all out there on the track.  The gym teacher offered up a brief smile and said a meek “good job,” realizing that young woman had just cut her time in half and he didn’t have anything to do with it!

She came in 4th place out of 22 kids and was the first girl to cross the line in her class.  She couldn’t thank me enough for helping her, but any parent knows that we will stop at nothing to help our children.

So much can be achieved with the right motivation.  If we can just put the right people in the right places, we can ensure success.  For her, it is Dad, for me it is the knowledge that I have access to a great piece of fitness equipment.  The GTS.

And now, even thought the race is over, my daughter and her friends are still training on the GTS with me, because they enjoy it so much!   You can’t been quality time with your children while getting them fit!

To talk more about training on a Total Gym GTS contact 858 764 0055 or CLICK HERE.

About the Author

Jon D'AllesioJon D’Alessio has been a Certified Personal Trainer since 1995 and a GRAVITY Master Trainer since 2005. With his wife Brandie, together they own their own a private training studio, Fitness Republic, in Vero Beach, FL. Through a tailored approach of regular fitness activities, guided fitness programs and education, Jon helps his clients accomplish anything, no matter how big or how small. 

Jun
6

Spotlight – Total Gym in the South Pacific

Total Gym Down Under – Still Going Strong, 15 Years On

Greg Doherty - HQH

Greg Doherty – HQH

It may be a surprise to learn that people work out on Total Gym machines all over the world.  It’s not so surprising, though, when you learn that Total Gym is present in over 45 countries worldwide and spreading to more corners of the globe, daily.

Greg and Nancy Doherty of HQH Fitness in New Zealand are steadfast Total Gym fans and have been Total Gym distributors, down under, since 2002, just before GRAVITY, was first launched.

Native born Canadians, the Doherty travel bug led them to emigrate to New Zealand, with their two sons in 1983.  They didn’t just emigrate like you and I might, though.  They didn’t just hop on a plane and tah-dah, there they were.  No, Greg decided to follow his sailing passion and cruised his family across the oceans on their 38 ft. yacht!  They visited many different cultures and remote places throughout the Pacific basin for three years, before arriving in New Zealand.  Now that’s the way to move, right?

HQH on a Total Gym Tour in Australia

Watch the video of Greg on Tour

Greg pursued a career as a boat builder and Nancy trained as a professional kinesiologist.  After reconnecting with an old friend, Paul Chek of the C.H.E.K. Institute, they began helping Paul bring his knowledge to Australia and New Zealand.  This is where their introduction into the fitness industry began. Their fitness business acumen grew and in 1998 Greg and Nancy formed HQH (Highest Quality Health).

Chek was already working at that time with Total Gym and it is through Paul that Greg and Nancy were introduced to Total Gym, which was looking to bring GRAVITY into the South Pacific market.

Since then, Greg has combined his traveling passion with his love for improving the health, fitness and wellness of people everywhere.  He straps up a GTS in the back of his van and off he goes, on the road for months at a time.  He’ll take his GTS out into a field to demo it: you name it – he’s been there and done it – demos in the street, the park and the beach.  Check out the video of Greg on tour, above.

The Workshop Gym

The Workshop Gym – small group classes

Total Gym and HQH Fitness continue to build on a strong foundation year after year.  John Pemberton, of The Workshop Gym, a Total Gym studio in Auckland recently expanded his facility.  John, the Owner, purchased his Total Gym GTS units in 2012 and recently felt it was a good time to upgrade to the latest models.

“Having a facility like The Workshop Gym, virtually in the heart of Auckland, showcases the complete Total Gym product line and allows an opportunity for equipment buyers to have a look at the kit in action,” says Doherty.

John also added to his studio, the new ELEVATE Circuit, a series of single-station units that work all muscle groups to give a full body workout in 30 minutes.   John has also been testing the ELEVATE Circuit on kids, as he finds it provides a really fun way to teach fitness to youngsters, ages 6 years and up.

The Workshop Gym - ELEVATE Circuit

The Workshop Gym – ELEVATE Circuit

“By utilizing the ELEVATE Circuit in conjunction with Bosu and skill-based games, we have developed the M.A.D (Mobility/Agility/Dynamic strength) program for kids. We are teaching them M.A.D skills and they can’t get enough!  Getting more kids moving in a non-competitive environment allows even the least confident to improve their strength and fitness,” says Pemberton.

With five GTS units at The Workshop Gym, they can also offer small group training sessions and GRAVITY Pilates. His members love the new units and this has resulted in improved attendance rates across the GRAVITY classes.

Greg, HQH and Total Gym continue to make a great team and as new products develop, the team will continue to keep customers and new clients at the forefront of this ever-changing industry.

For more information on GRAVITY and the ELEVATE Circuit, contact commercialfitness@totalgym.com or call 858-764-0078.

 

Mar
29

Re-imagining Total Gym at IHRSA 2017

ELEVATE Circuit - IHRSA 2017

Watch the video!

Total Gym debuted a new look and feel at IHRSA 2017 in March. It was the perfect time to launch the re-imagined ELEVATE Circuit and so with new graphics around a yellow center stage and sleek new matte black range of products, Total Gym master trainers rocked attendees with some killer workouts!  Watch the video above to see the highlights and if you are a winner of the brand new Elevate Circuit, or if you won a unit of your choice, or a Leg Trainer.

Total Gym Booth - IHRSA 2017

Total Gym Booth – IHRSA 2017

What is ELEVATE?

ELEVATE is the only adjustable functional bodyweight resistance circuit on the market that works against gravity on an incline.

Consisting of five single station units, each focusing on different muscle groups, ELEVATE is ideal as a self-serve circuit or for personal and small group training providing a full body workout in 30-minutes.  Joining the Jump, Press and Pull-Up are the updated Core and Row Trainers which now provide seven adjustment levels to challenge any seasoned athlete and really work that core!

By using gravity on an adjustable incline members use a percentage of their own bodyweight as resistance. This means that someone who could not previously do a Pull-up on their own, for example, will be able to safely and successfully progress to complete one.   All Total Gym products work in this way and so each machine can accommodate the most highly-spirited athlete and the de-conditioned person alike which ultimately provides driven results for all.

Group Rowing at IHRSA 2017

Group Rowing at IHRSA 2017

The circuit facilitates over 90 exercises, from basic to challenging, including plyometric exercises, so the member is fully engaged time after time and not only is it a fun workout that takes up only 220 square foot of floor space, it’s a challenging and innovative way to keep your members coming back.

And for the personal trainer? There is a huge advantage in being able to accommodate all fitness levels in the same session and take the guess-work out of complicated scheduling.

Did you say Group Rowing?

At IHRSA, people were almost lining up to take a Group Rowing workout on the new adjustable Row Trainer.  Just take several Row Trainers and you have yourself a small group rowing class! Why might that benefit your facility? Group Rowing is fast trending. At the XYZ (Xtreme YMCA Zone) over 500 Y members have tried out the Row Trainer since its inception about a month ago. In such a short time, it has become the most popular program with an average of 22 participants per session.

Total Gym Group Rowing at XYZ

Group Rowing at XYZ

Rowing on an incline is a fun workout that emulates a rowing pattern but with the added ability to incorporate multi-planar movement such as an alternating side-to-side row or a bicep curl.  It provides a full body cardio workout and who doesn’t want to be burning at least 600 calories an hour?

More small group training options

GRAVITY is the program that partners with your GTS machine for small group training (soon to also be sold in matte black too).  Designed to invigorate, motivate and get results, GRAVITY boasts a full body workout in 45-minutes allowing the member the opportunity for a studio-quality workout without the typical high studio membership fees.

GRAVITY at IHRSA 2017

Black GTS at IHRSA

GRAVITY introduces total body transformation through dynamic, high intensity training for mind and body. The entire culture of GRAVITY is different and dynamic. The movement variables on the GTS change regularly so that clients are always motivated, challenged and surprised as they achieve more agility, balance, confidence and strength.

For more information on any of these products, contact Ralph at ralph@totalgym.com | 858 764 0078 | learn.totalgym.com/getelevate

Watch below to see more of Total Gym at IHRSA.

Total Gym Interview - IHRSA 2017

Total Gym ELEVATE Circuit

Dec
13

5 Ways to Strengthen Legs with a Bad Back

How to Strengthen Legs on a Total Gym with a Bad Back

Modern technology can be a total paradox. On one hand technology makes life easier, on the other hand it has caused us to become more sedentary by allowing us to push buttons for work instead of performing manual labor. The human body was made to move, not remain seated all day. In another paradox, too much time spent NOT moving could be a possible cause of low back pain.

Low back pain is no fun and can have a negative impact on the quality of life. If one experiences pain for more than a couple of days in a row it could be a sign of a serious injury and it is important to see a medical professional for a proper diagnosis and treatment. However, like many people, instead of ongoing low back pain one may experience occasional periods of discomfort. When these flare-ups do occur don’t let them interrupt a normal exercise program.

It can be difficult to identify the specific cause of lower back pain; it could be related to a lack of mobility in the hips, or overall strength in the legs. The structure of the lower back, the lumbar and sacral segments of the spine, where they meet the bones of the pelvis, is designed to provide stability. The hips, on the other hand, are designed to be mobile. One possible cause of low back pain is that sitting for too long can cause muscle imbalances in the hips which can significantly restrict the range-of-motion of the joints, changing how they move.

When the hips lose mobility, the muscles and joints of the lower back which sit above the hips, will try to create the necessary motion for many movements. Since the lower back is not designed to have an excessive amount of motion this can be a potential mechanism of injury. If leg muscles aren’t that strong when lifting an object off of the floor, one is more likely to use the back muscles. Improving mobility of the hips and strengthening the legs can help improve overall function and possibly reduce the risk of damaging the lower back.

If your Client’s back is bothersome it may be a little uncomfortable to strengthen the legs (NOTE: discomfort is okay–it means the muscles are working. STOP immediately if a feel sharp pain is felt) but strengthening the lower body could reduce the amount of discomfort. In an effort to help reduce the risk of developing lower back pain and improve the ability to enjoy one’s favorite activities here are 6 ways to use a Total Gym to strengthen legs and improve hip mobility.

When standing upright gravity pulls the upper body into the hips which can help reduce motion in the joints. To strengthen legs without harming the back or making any existing discomfort worse, it is important to remove the effects of gravity. We can’t just turn gravity off, although that might be fun if we could, but we can place our body in different positions to significantly reduce and minimize the impact of gravity. A primary benefit of the Total Gym is that moving on an inclined plane reduces the effects of gravity which can immediately help improve hip mobility.

Total Gym Squat

Squat

NOTE:  Total Gym helps keep the lumbar spine stable when lying on the back.  This allows your client to focus on the muscles responsible for moving the hips, knees and feet. The closer the Total Gym is to the ground, the less gravity will effect the body. If the back is currently bothering them, have them start with the glideboard as low as possible and increase the height of the glideboard as they feel stronger and more comfortable.

Stationary Squats: Have them lie on their back with their feet hip-to-shoulder width apart, so that their toes are close to the top edge of the squat stand. Have them lower their bottom down until their knees are about 90 degrees. They hold that for 30 seconds or until they fatigue. They then rest for 30 seconds and repeat 2-to-3 times.TIP: As they hold the squat, have them press their feet into the board and squeeze those thighs to engage the muscles.

Outer Thigh Lifts. Have them lie on their right side with their right leg straight and their right foot pressed into the squat stand.  Have them lift their left leg up in the air so that both legs are about 6-to-8 inches apart and hold for 3-to-5 seconds before slowly lowering  back down. Repeat for 10-to-12 reps and switch sides, rest 45 sec. after both sides, complete

Total Gym Sprinter Start

Sprinter Start

2-to-3 sets.

Sprinter Start. Have them kneel on the glideboard on their hands and knees so that they are facing the top of the Total Gym and their feet are close to the squat stand.  Have them place their right foot on the squat stand and keep their left knee under their hip.  Have them tighten their abs as they push their right foot into the board to move you closer to the top and return to the bottom slowly.  10-to-12 reps and switch legs, rest 45 seconds and repeat 2-to-3 times.

Step-ups. Set the rails on the lowest level.  Have them stand facing the bottom of the Total Gym so that their one foot can step up on to the glideboard pressing their foot down to move the glildeboard closer to the bottom, which will help it remain stable during the exercise.  They can pause for 2-to-3 seconds before slowly lowering themselves down.  Repeat for 8-to-10 reps, switch sides to alternate legs, rest for 45 seconds after both legs and repeat for 2-to-3 sets.

Step Up

Step Up

Squats. Have them lie on the glideboard with their feet on the squat stand so that their toes are close to the top.  Have them squat down for a 3-count, pause for 1 sec. then push back to the top. Repeat for 12-to-15 reps, rest for 1 min. and complete 2-to-3 sets

If these exercises are done at least 2-to-3 times a week there is a good chance that you will see improvement in the strength of the legs and reduce risk of low back pain.

Here’s a final paradox; yes, exercising when the back is bothersome can be uncomfortable but not exercising can actually make the discomfort worse which can turn a minor problem into a major one. Even after almost twenty years of being a personal trainer and group fitness instructor I may not know what causes low-back pain, but I do know that improving strength and flexibility in the lower body can help reduce the risk of letting it impact quality of life.

About the Author

Pete McCallPete McCall is an educator, performance coach, personal trainer, author, consultant and host of the All About Fitness podcast. Based in San Diego, CA, Pete holds a master’s degree in exercise science and health promotion, completed a Fellowship in Applied Functional Science with the Gray Institute, is a Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist. Currently Pete is an adjunct faculty in exercise science at Mesa College, a master trainer for Core Health and Fitness, a blogger and content contributor for the American Council on Exercise (ACE) and online instructor for the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM).

Consulting with organizations like the World Bank, Reebok, 24-Hour Fitness, Core Health & Fitness, the Institute of Motion and Fit Pro, Pete has experience identifying needs and delivering solutions. Frequently quoted as a fitness expert in publications such as The New York Times, Washington Post, U-T San Diego, SELF, Glamour, and Shape Magazine and featured as a fitness expert for TV news outlets including WRC-NBC (DC), Fox News, Fox 5 San Diego, and NBC7 San Diego, Pete is a sought-after media resource for accurate, in-depth insight on how to get results from exercise. www.petemccallfitness.com

 

Nov
1

Trainers – How to Cue for Breathing

Cuing for breathing

Top Tips on Teaching When and How to Breathe.

Teaching class participants how and when to breathe during exercise can be one of the most challenging areas of our training sessions. I find that as a trainer myself, most people are very shallow breathers and sometimes if they focus too much on their technique they forget to breathe completely!

Effective ways to keep breathing

The one exception where the breathing pattern may change in weight lifting would be in the overhead press. Here it makes more sense to inhale: expand the diaphragm as you press the bar up.  Otherwise, try these breathing tips.

1. Breathing along WITH your clients/members helps tremendously.  They can hear your breath and follow along easily.

2. I do hear some trainers telling their clients to “blow out the candle” as they are forcing a movement which also works well.

3. It is standard with resistance training or weight lifting to exhale during the exertion phase. I always remind my clients to think of the letter “E” for Exertion and Exhalation.

4. In a functional setting (higher than 15 reps), it is best to just breathe naturally but I find that when a client has too much to focus on ie., breathing, technique and form etc., it can be overwhelming. I watch their lips and when I see them clamped shut, I literally say, “please open your mouth and B-R-E-A-T-H-E.”

Importance of the diaphragm

If we want to truly help our class participants achieve overall health and function, we must take a look at the importance of the diaphragm. Most people, being shallow breathers, have never learned how to breathe effectively. Breathing with efficient oxygen saturation with full diaphragmatic involvement is the cornerstone of health and well-being. Whatever muscles we are strengthening, the ideal breathing motor patterns is crucial. The diaphragm must be the prime mover in the breathing process. Because of the lumbar spinal attachments of the diaphragm, stability and mobility in and around the thoracic and lumbar spine is vital.

Through naturopathy, I am able to help my clients understand the importance of breathing even more. I explain that the more oxygen you get into the body, the more carbon dioxide poison you will eliminate from the body. When oxygen replaces carbon dioxide, there will be greater purification of the blood, cells and organs of the body, for better health and stronger results from training efforts.

Have you ever experienced suffering from “a stitch” when warming up in a jog or a run? What a stitch really is, is a sign of unused lung air sacs trying to open and receive fresh air that you are pumping in. The sharp pain is due to the air forcing these cells apart. Continuing to breathe deeply will help and the distress will pass. At this point, the unused lung cells become reactivated. Teaching our older and beginner exercisers how to use their diaphragm to breathe deeply will help them avoid these discomforts and faulty movement patterns while training.

Diaphragmatic breathing has a tranquilizing rhythm, stimulates your circulation and helps rejuvenate the body. This type of breathing is a natural method designed for the body, yet if not taught how to use the diaphragm properly, many people have trouble. We commonly see too much chest breathing as opposed to breathing deep into the diaphragm.  I use the following exercise to help my clients use their diaphragm more efficiently.

Try this warm up breathing exercise

> Have your clients stand and locate their diaphragm by placing one hand at their waistline and the other hand up with their palm facing their mouth.

> Ask them to blow imaginary dust off their palm, feeling a strong muscular contraction at their waist when they blow. This helps locate the diaphragm.

> Then to warm up and direct the focus to the breath, I often start a workout with them walking around the room on their toes while reaching high over their head.

> I ask them to raise their diaphragm as high as their strength will allow while still breathing deeply. I ask them to feel the chest and stomach muscles as they breathe deeply.

> After this, we bend over, drop the head below the heart, arms reaching towards the floor, compressing out every bit of old toxic, carbon dioxide-laden air.

This is a great way to set the tone for breathing during the workout and is a super lung cleanser. I find it also helps to rid their mind of stress they may be bringing to the workout.

On the other hand, Yoga breathing is very different. It is nose breathing and there are different types.  On of them, the Ujjayi breathing technique is best explained here.

Focusing on the breath is the best way to connect with your body before a workout. As trainers, we all have our own unique way of getting our clients to connect with the breath. Whatever your preference is, my best advice is to include some breathing exercises in a warm up.

“Just by paying attention to breathing, you can access a level of relaxation and health that will benefit every area of your life.” Deepak Chopra 

About the Author

Frances Michaelson

Frances Michaelson is President of exercise equipment company Muscle Up Inc., a licensed Naturopath and a Personal Trainer. She is passionate about helping people attain optimal health through proper diet and exercise. A self-described health-o-holic, she motivates others to move well and eat well to keep their bodies’ cells dancing and singing.

Based in the West Island of Montreal, Frances is a frequent conference presenter, author of BYOB: Bring Your Own Band and Replenish, Regenerate and Rebuild Your Cells. She blogs for Total Gym and is a regular contributor to IHRSA’s “Ask an Industry Leader.” With her broad knowledge base and over three decades of experience, she is widely recognized as a leader in the health and fitness field. Frances is committed to helping others make positive lifestyle choices that create stronger bodies, healthier minds and more fulfilling lives.

Oct
25

How Total Gym & Pediatric Care Go Hand in Hand

Watch the video

The Total Gym GTS Helps Children with General Body Strengthening

Here at Cindy Miles and Associates, we are a private out-patient therapy practice specializing in pediatrics. We are dedicated to providing individual, high quality, hands on physical, occupational and speech therapy. One of our primary goals is to build on each individual’s strengths, allowing them to achieve their maximum potential.

Total Gym treats patients with spina bifida

Improving Muscle Strength

No matter what their ability, age, or genetic make-up, individuals make important progress with the Total Gym and have fun doing it. Our primary focus is on the pediatric population, from birth through to young adult, including young athletes with sports injuries. We strive to build on strength to allow them to achieve their maximum ability and provide accessible equipment where individuals can work on their physical performance; including muscle strength, cardiovascular endurance, functional ability and mobility. This allows each individual to be the best they can be! For us and the children, Total Gym is a huge part of that process.

We upgraded to the Total Gym GTS about 8 years ago and we made sure to purchase the extra wide Squat Stand.  The GTS is great for loading lower extremities to get the glutes to work.  We even use the GTS for babies as young as 6 months old for strengthening as they love to jump.  For the orthopedic kids that we treat with Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida and Autism we put anti-skid pieces across the glideboard so their feet don’t fall and that gives them a different sensory input.

Total Gym helps children with Cerebal Palsy

Lower Body Strengthening

We treat several different needs:

> Brachial plexus injuries

> Cerebral Palsy: Hemiplegia, Diplegia

> Spina Bifida

> Hypotonia

> Hypertonia

> Developmental Delay

> Down Syndrome

> Children with autism who need deep pressure

> Young athletes with sports injuries

We can treat patients for a year or an ongoing basis, dependent on their type of disorder.  For children with Cerebral Palsy we might see them one or two times per week or more. If they have had surgery they are going to visit more.   We have individuals who are patients from birth through to their 30s – these cases keep making progress so we continue to see them especially in their formative years.

Here are some examples of exercises/activities we use on the Total Gym.

Prone

> Hands on “uprights” with squat stand removed with nose close to hands to complete push-ups moving into elbow extension.

> Prone to pull down on triangle bars into shoulder and elbow extension.

> Prone pull ups at horizontal bar with hands pronated or supinated.

Total Gym helping children with Spina Bifida

Hands on “Uprights”

Seated/Seated lateral

> Level glideboard working on static sitting so clients can touch the floor.

> Pull across trunk, holding both triangle bars.

> Holding triangle bar pull down using shoulder adduction/abduction.

> Seated rowing, using triangle bars.

> Sitting with both legs over same edge and triangle handles held together, keeping elbows extended and rotating trunk and bringing hands together to one side to work on core activation.

Supine

> Pull down over head, holding triangle bars return.

> Total knee extensions, progress to jumps.

> Work on squat to stand with support.

> Post op – prop one leg while the unaffected leg works on strengthening.

> Introduce jumping to clients who lack the strength to tolerate full body weight jumping.

> Bilateral LE jumps, unilateral jumps, jumps while playing catch.

Kneeling

> Kneeling to perform bicep curls and seated rows.

> Tall kneel: and work on scapular retraction or shoulder extension while keeping abdominals contracted to maintain balance.

Standing Upright

> Standing next to unit, with foot on platform and lunging forward to push glideboard up incline.

> Small toddlers use the glideboard to learn to walk up the incline.

The GTS is a great adjunct to any child’s program.  I teach a two-day course around the country and I tell everybody that Total Gym is one of the most important pieces of equipment that you can buy because of its versatility.

Pediatric clients love Total Gym and Pediatric Physical & Occupational Therapists love the versatility for all ages and abilities use it in their daily treatments. Pediatric therapists can do what they do best:  invent games, diversions and make therapy fun!

About the Author

Cindy MilesHaving served the pediatric population since 1977, Cindy Miles, PT, PhD. PCS, CNDT established her pediatric private practice in 1981. Dr. Miles is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, School of Health Related Professionals and East Stroudsburg University with a Master of Education in exercise physiology. She also holds a PhD in Pediatric Science from the Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions. Her doctoral research was on potential risk factors related to the diagnosis of Torticollis. She is Board Certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties as a Pediatric Clinical Specialist, specializing in treating children from birth through to young adults. Dr. Miles held the title of  SOP Treasurer and Treasurer Elect and is presently the Co-Chair and Meeting Planner for the Academy of Pediatrics Physical Therapy Annual Conference (APPTAC). She presents nationally on the pediatric private practice and reimbursement as well as nationally and internationally on Torticollis, Plagiocephaly, and Fitness for All Abilities. She has published in peer review journals and written books on topics related to pediatric physical therapy.

www.cindymiles.com or www.traintotriumph.com

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