Total Gym InsideLatest Information about Total Gym

Apr
27

Open and Closed Chain Exercises on Total Gym

When to Use Open or Closed Chain on Total Gym?

Simply put, open chain exercise is where one end is fixed while the other end is free. Raising the arm up overhead or knee extension are open chain exercises. A closed chain exercise is when both ends are fixed. For example, push-ups and squats are closed chain exercises. Open chain exercise is easier to implement when isolating a single joint. For example, the elbow joint is isolated with biceps curl and the knee is isolated with hamstring curls. In rehabilitation, when weight bearing, strength and range of motion are impaired or injury is acute, open chain exercises may be easier to implement. With that said, open chain exercises can place greater shear, stress, on a joint, making closed chain exercise more desirable.

Wide Rear Fly - Open Chain

Wide Rear Fly – Open Chain

Closed chain exercises increase joint stability, decrease acceleration forces, and increase muscular activity to help resist large forces. Due to nature of the exercise, closed chain exercises tend to incorporate more joints. For example, a squat involves movement at the ankle, knee and hip. A push up involves movements at the wrist, elbow and shoulder girdle. Due to increased muscular and joint activity in closed chain exercises, stability in a joint may be enhanced. Thus, in rehabilitation, closed chain exercise may be a more ideal exercise in clients with instability. Note instability may be present with swelling or post injury as in the case of a knee ligament tear.

If weight bearing is not restricted, squats may be an optimal way to help with stability and increase range of motion. In a fitness training, closed chain exercises are a great way to address a multitude of muscles in a small amount of time.

Lunge - Closed Chain

Basic Lunge – Closed Chain

Closed chain exercises can also provide a great way to increase weight bearing on to bones, which is important in the prevention of osteoporosis.

Understanding the Rationale

So when constructing your workout or rehab routine, what should you do more of…open chain exercise or closed chain exercise? Unfortunately, it is client dependent. However, if you can understand the why behind a philosophy then you can decide what exercises work for you. Note that most routines have a combination of open and closed chain exercise.  Here are some examples of exercises, general rationale and open or closed chain in nature.  To watch the exercises, click here.

Open.Closed Chain Exercises on Total Gym

About the Author

Elizabeth Leeds, DPTElizabeth Leeds, DPT, owner of Seaside Fitness and Wellness, combines her background in physical therapy, personal training and Pilates in her practice and teaching. As a pelvic floor physical therapist working at Comprehensive Therapy Services in San Diego, her passion for pregnancy and postpartum is seen in her mission to empower women with knowledge and understanding of their physical changes, and how to address them to prevent future issues. Additionally, Elizabeth is a Master Trainer and developer for Total Gym’s GRAVITY education.

Feb
24

5 Best Equipment Purchases for Your Gym or Studio

Top Exercise Platforms Your Club Should Have

by Mike Z. Robinson

As the owner, director, or manager of a fitness club, you constantly find it part of your daily duties to keep  costs down on purchases made for your facility and it’s no different when it comes to purchasing equipment. When you are looking at making an equipment purchase for your club, there are several things that you have to factor in before you make your investment such as the cost, how much space will it take up, how much use do you think your clientele will get out of it, will it create a buzz of intrigue with your clients, what is the return on investment, and how exactly can you create an additional stream of income by buying this equipment.  Wow, who knew that so many things would go into making a simple equipment purchase?

With so many things to factor in, it’s no wonder that so many owners, directors, and managers have such a difficult time trying to find the right pieces of equipment to purchase for their facility. But you’re in luck because you will not only find the top 5 pieces of equipment to purchase for your facility below, but you will also find the best ones to get the greatest amount of return on your investment.  These are not in any particular order.

Total Gym GTS – TTotal Gym GTS Bodyweight Inclinehis is a great piece of equipment because not only is the Total Gym GTS very convenient, affordable, and functional but it also can be an amazing additional stream of income as many facilities have created their own Total Gym workshops, 6-8-12 week training programs, or customized workout circuits to bring in more revenue. There are literally hundreds of exercises that you can perform on the Total Gym and your clients are guaranteed to like the variety that it provides to spice the workouts up and keep their muscles & minds engaged. Total Gym lives up to its name and provides full body workouts all within one location. Nothing on the market even compares.

TRX – A great piece of equipment that offers versatility and a huge return on your investment. You caTRXn purchase 20 of these for less than $5,000 and create in house monthly/quarterly TRX training programs that nets you a huge return on your investment and a healthy stream of income. TRX’s have become synonymous with gyms, clubs, and training facilities all over the world and members have come to expect to see them at their workout destination, so to say that you need one at your club would be an understatement.

RopesTraining Ropes – Simply put, training ropes are awesome! They came to the mainstream out of nowhere a few years back and took the industry by storm. Although they look very simple and innocent, they come with a lot of functionality and excitement that members love and hate at the same time. Training ropes allow your members to explore and be creative in their workouts. Some people embrace the challenge of seeing what they can come up with during their workout and some people will shy away from it. However, the people who shy away from being creative (and risking injury) will provide your club the opportunity to offer private training and increase its Personal Training revenue as other members will definitely be intrigued by the Training Ropes especially when they see them in action. Some members will want to play with the Training Ropes but won’t want to risk getting injured which opens the door wide open for your Personal Trainers.

Lebert Bars – Lebert Bars are another piece of equipment that has become synonymous with workout facLebertilities mainly because of the affordability, the fact that it does not take up a lot of space, and you can do countless exercises on them. Lebert Bars are extremely light weight but are solid enough to be able to work with members of all sizes. Just like all of the pieces of equipment above, this too can be another stream of income that can be built by creating customized groups classes that focus solely on using and highlighting the Lebert Bars. They have become increasingly popular over the years and that doesn’t seem to be changing anytime soon.  

rowerWater Rower – Fun, fun, fun! The Water Rower is an old concept with a new twist. Regular rowers have been around for a while but the Water Rower is still fairly new and has been wildly appealing to members who have had the opportunity to use them especially those from the older population. They are very easy to use, no impact, and there seems to be something motivating about the aesthetics of watching yourself and seeing how much force you are generating in the water with every pull. Water rowers are extremely functional and you can do an incredible variety of exercises on them. To create income out of the Water Rowers, you can create competitions, tournaments, training programs, and contests.

If you look at the common denominator among all of the equipment choices listed above, you will see the trend that they are all pieces that focus on not only providing a lot of variety from its usage but also providing a great opportunity to create another stream of income and boost revenue. When you make your purchases for your club, always remember that you are making an investment and treat it like an investment. Confirm that you will not only be able to make your money back but that you will also be able to boost revenue simultaneously and immediately. There are obviously a lot of great pieces of equipment on the market and the list above simply should just help you on your quest to purchase new equipment. However, just remember that if you do want to get something that is not listed above, just make sure that you do factor in the cost, how much space will it take up, how much use do you think your clientele will get out of it, will it create a buzz of intrigue with your clients, what is the return on investment, and how exactly can you create an additional stream of income by buying this equipment.

About the Author

Mike Z. RobinsonMike Z. Robinson is the owner of the highly successful personal training facility, MZR Fitness as well as Mike Z. Robinson Enterprises which features & highlights a myriad of options to help fitness professionals grow their businesses and careers. Mike was the 2015 IDEA Personal Trainer of the Year, is the author of the E-Book: “Fitness Up, Everything Up”, and he is also a Media Spokesperson for both the American Council on Exercise & IDEA Health & Fitness Association.

Jan
22

How to Retain Gym Members with Circuit Training on Total Gym

Refresh your class in 2016 and retain members with circuit training

Every year, January starts with a great rush in the fitness industry as gym-goers burst with enthusiasm and New Year resolutions, but by mid March have they lost their interest?

A Total Gym/GRAVITY class is a  fresh way to keep your members engaged and interested.  The fun factor, rapid results and the health benefits of a half hour – 45 minute functional total body workout,  can maintain long-term loyalty and provide enjoyment that will keep members coming back through to next January.

Keeping a choreographed Total Gym/GRAVITY class exciting may sometimes be challenging.  Fun new exercises and workout tips keep your exercise repertoire stimulating and your members happier.  Here’s an easy circuit-style workout that new class participants or regular members will enjoy.  And it’s simple to implement!GTSinuse_300DPI

Set Up – What you Will Need:

Ideally, you will need eight GTS units (you can add more rounds if you don’t have enough units). Take a little bit of time to write or print out the exercises for each station and stick them to the tower on the unit. Even though you will likely demo the exercises before each round, by the time the participant gets to any given station they may have forgotten, so a visual cue will be very helpful.   To familiarize yourself with the exercises please refer to your Foundation Manual (that you received when you took the course).

How Long the Workout Should Last:

  • 45 seconds per station,
  • 15 seconds transition time = 8 minutes per round.
  • 4 Rounds = 32 minute workout.
  • (Add warm-up and/or cool-down of 10 minutes = 42 minutes total)

How to Configure Your GTS Machine Stations:

  • Station 1: Set up for Squat – no pulley
  • Station 2: Set up for Biceps
  • Station 3: Set up for Torso Rotation – use Adjustable Glideboard
  • Station 4: Set up for Hamstring Curl
  • Station 5: Set up for Row
  • Station 6: Set up for Chest
  • Station 7: Set up for Triceps
  • Station 8: Set up for Overhead Press – with Press Bar

Round 1

Station 1: Regular Squats

Station 2: Bilateral Bicep Curls – Palms Facing Up

Station 3: Torso Rotation – Kneeling – Left side

Station 4: Bilateral Hamstring Curl

Station 5: Low Row – Palms Facing Each Other

Station 6: Chest Press – Palms Facing Down

Station 7: Tricep Press Down (Lying Supine)

Station 8: Overhead Press

Round 2

Station 1: Squat Jumps

Station 2: Bilateral Bicep Curls – Palms Facing Each Other (Hammer Curls)

Station 3: Torso Rotation – Kneeling – Right side

Station 4: Bilateral Hamstring Curl with Sit-up or Crunch

Station 5: High Row – Palms Facing Down

Station 6: Front Raise – Palms Facing Up

Station 7: Overhead Triceps Press (Lying Supine)

Station 8: Plyometric Overhead Press

Round 3

Station 1: Unilateral Squat Jumps (One Leg, Alternating)

Station 2: Biceps Static Equilibrium

Station 3: Torso Rotation Oblique Small Twists – Kneeling – Right Side

Station 4: Unilateral Hamstring Curl – Right Leg

Station 5: Surfer (Kneeling Optional)

Station 6: Chest Fly

Station 7: Overhead Pull Down – (Lying Supine)

Station 8: Unilateral Press – Right arm

Round 4

Station 1: Plié Squat Jumps

Station 2: Unilateral Switching Bicep Curls

Station 3: Torso Rotation Oblique Small Twists – Kneeling – Left side

Station 4: Unilateral Hamstring Curl – Left leg

Station 5: Row (cable unhooked from glideboard)

Station 6: Unilateral Chest Press – Static Equilibrium

Station 7: Lying Supine – Iron Cross

Station 8: Unilateral Press – Left arm

Hot Tips:

For a newer group, you may need to add more time to each station and reduce number of rounds as there is more necessary explanation and setup/help. So instead of 45 seconds with a 15-second rest, you can increase to one minute of exercise and 30 seconds of rest/transition.

Stay tuned for more exciting ideas for your classes.

 

Apr
21

GETTING BACK IN THE PILOT’S SEAT WITH GRAVITY

Mission Valley ymca images- GRAVITY- SMALLNancy Vaughan used to be a regular at the gym until she began experiencing constant hip pain and had to stop working out. A private pilot for 30 years, she could no longer get in and out of a plane; she couldn’t event go to Padres or Chargers games because she couldn’t walk the stadium stairs without pain.

Then Nancy had total hip replacement surgery, but her road to recovery only started there…

“After hip replacement surgery, your body mechanics are off – you have a foreign object in your leg – suddenly your bad leg is your good leg but you’re not sure how to move. You’re terrified of doing something wrong, so you don’t do anything.

I experienced severe muscle pain in my lower back after walking only a few steps.  I’d stopped working out prior to my surgery and had become deconditioned and I realized that I needed to get back into shape – I needed to take control of my pain”

So Nancy joined the Mission Valley YMCA

“I started aqua exercise classes with an instructor that specialized in pre and post-operative patients. Once I felt I could complete a workout in the gym, I joined the ‘Team Challenge’ where I got a free pass to try GRAVITY using the Total Gym GTS  – I pretty much stopped everything else after that first class. Now I attend GRAVITY classes as often as I can. I go four to five days a week; sometimes I even go every day. The instructors are all great and I love the variety of classes offered – some emphasize stretching, some posture and balance, others focus on building core strength and overall muscle – but they’re all fun – and it works!

Working out on the Total Gym GTS has helped me regain strength in my legs, strengthen my core and has greatly improved my posture. I feel like I’m standing taller and straighter than before.

Even though my physician had sent me to physical therapy, it was GRAVITY and working out with Total Gym equipment that saved my life.

Now I have the freedom to get up and go do whatever I want. I knew after my surgery, that once I was able to climb back into my airplane, I could fly it and GRAVITY helped me feel more confident about trying it.  And of course it helped me to have the energy to be able to do the physical things that go along with recreational flying, like pulling the plane out of the hangar, loading it up, putting fuel into it, and then putting it away and unloading it at the end of the day.

Part of the recovery process from any total joint replacement is getting people back to good conditioning – I believe if there had been a Total Gym machine available to me during my post-op physical therapy, I would have been six months ahead of the game. I personally don’t feel there is any reason physical therapy clinics can’t run their own GRAVITY classes – it’s the missing link!  Total Gym should be a part of any physical rehab program.”

Total Gym and GRAVITY allowed me to get back to my active lifestyle pain free with confidence!

Mar
20

EVERYONE’S JUMPING LIKE JORDAN

basketballTonight San Diego State University takes on St. Johns University in the NCAA Tournament. While I’m torn on who to cheer for – the Aztec’s who have become my local team over the past 10 years or the Red Storm who I grew up with (literally just a few blocks away from the University) – I’m excited to watch some of the finest college basketball players in the country go head-to-head as they try to advance to the next round.

And while, personally, I’m more interested in who can make the 3-point jump shot, I can’t deny the drama and awe that comes with the infamous “slam dunk.”

Propelling themselves to heights of 44”, 45” and even 46”, players like Sam “Slam” Thompson (Sr. Forward, Ohio State), Michael Qualls (Jr. Guard, Arkansas) and  Keifer Sykes (Sr. Guard, Green Bay) all seemingly defy gravity as they explode into the air, ball in hand, to make the glorious dunk shot.

But how are they able to do it?

Generally, people who can jump so high are born with a high percentage of fast-twitch muscles, which gives them explosive speed.  However, those that aren’t as genetically blessed can still increase their vertical leap with plyometric training.

Traditionally, basketball players perform various squats and box jumps to work their “vert” and develop their leg muscles for increased strength and power.  Popular exercises like the depth jump and barbell squat jumps have proven to add inches but also tend to leave athletes at risk for possible injury if not performed properly.

And for those who are not quite at the level of the pros or likely soon-to-be pros… jumping, while highly beneficial, is not as easy as it looks.

Luckily, here at Total Gym, we’ve just launched the NEW Jump Trainer09_Jump Squat_B small

Since full weight-bearing plyometric exercises, even at low intensities, can expose joints to considerable forces and substantial speeds of movement, the Jump Trainer acts as a transitional piece of equipment, allowing users to gradually progress by incrementally unloading their bodyweight.

Providing a safe and fun environment to perform squats and squat jumps, the Jump Trainer features a large, ergonomic glideboard that fully supports the spine during movements so that users can comfortably control the descending and ascending phases while exercising.

Not to say that the likes of Lebron James and Zach LaVine wouldn’t benefit from jumping aboard the Jump Trainer.

Its unique design allows EVERYONE –  from the mom or dad that just had their hip replaced to professional athletes who want to work on their “hang time” –  to develop all the major muscles of the lower body, from the intrinsic muscles of the foot to the glutes (and everything in between needed fto jump like Jordan).

How can one machine accommodate so many different users of so many different abilities? It’s all in the engineering.

Like all Total Gym products, the Jump Trainer uses incline body weight resistance, allowing users to train using anywhere between 20-80 percent of their own bodyweight. There’s plenty of room to progress from basic squats to complex plyometric movements that challenge a user’s proprioception while using maximal force and resistance.

And for the first time, Total Gym has incorporated optional variable band resistance (VBR) into the Jump Trainer. Four resistance bands offer an additional 10 -70 pounds of resistance in 10 pound increments, allowing for a maximum resistance of up to 150 percent of a user’s bodyweight when all four bands are engaged.

Leveraging band resistance allows users the unique opportunity to train the eccentric contraction of a squat or squat jump. Not only do the bands intensify the force needed to accelerate upwards, they also provide accelerated eccentric force that requires users to control the down phase – therefore training muscle deceleration which helps strengthen and protect ligaments and joints while developing fast-twitch muscles fibers and explosive power for improved athleticism and of course… an increased vertical.

So whilJacquie Jumping in Heelse I’m watching tonight’s game with my fingers crossed (Go Red Storm!!!), tomorrow, I’ll be back testing my jumping tenacity on the Jump Trainer (in heels no less ). I’ll keep you posted on any impressive leaps…

Jun
12

IT’S TIME TO ELEVATE YOUR WORKOUTS

Oct
1

READY, SET, SQUAT!

The Total Gym team is taking the 30 Day Squat Challenge!
Challenge

The benefits of squats are numerous. This one simple move doesn’t just develop the muscles of the lower body (legs, glutes, abs and lower back),  but provides a complete cardio workout.

According to Dr. Mercola’s Peak Fitness, squats are an essential total-body exercise. They’re one of the best functional exercises that anyone can do, whether standing on the floor or laying on a Total Gym.

squatAnd aside from getting stronger, sexier “stems”, squats  help build endurance and improve flexibility while promoting balance, mobility, fat burning, and body-wide muscle development.

So how does the 30 Day Squat Challenge work?

It’s easy!

On day one, do 50 squats consecutively. After that, each day you do squats, increase the number of repetitions by 5 and then rest (do NO leg exercises) every fourth day. The day after each rest-day, you should add 10 more reps than the last day you did your squats. The final 8 days of exercise, increase reps by 20 instead of 10.

So join us for the next month and by November you’ll be boasting about the benefits of squatting too!

 

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