Gym Equipments

Treadmills are the motorized equivalent of walking or running in place. You simply keep up with a belt that's moving under your feet. Treadmill workouts burn about the same number of calories as walking or running outdoors. The only exception seems to be running uphill. When you incline the treadmill to simulate running uphill, it;s somewhat easier than running up real-life hills of the same grade. But walking uphill on a treadmill is virtually the same as walking uphill outdoors.

Treadmills are among the easiest cardio machines to use. Still, treadmill users are not immune to poor posture. And if you're not paying attention, you can stumble. On occasion you may see someone slide off the treadmill like a can of beans on a supermarket conveyor belt. Here are some tips to make sure this doesn't happen to you:

  • Start slowly.
    Most treadmills have safety features that prevent them from starting out at breakneck speeds, but don't take any chances. Always place one foot on either side of the belt as you turn on the machine, and step on the belt only after you determine that it's moving at the slow set-up speed, usually between 1 and 2 miles per hour.
  • Don't rely on the handrails.
    Holding on for balance when you learn how to use the machine is okay, but let go as soon as you feel comfortable. You move more naturally if you swing your arms freely. You're working at too high a level if you have to imitate a water-skier - in other words, if you hold onto the front rails and lean back. This is a common phenomenon among people who incline the treadmill, and this position is bad news for your elbows and for the machine. Plus, you're burning far fewer calories than the readout indicates. However, if you have balance issues, grasp the handrails lightly so that you feel steady and secure.
  • Look straight ahead.
    Your feet tend to follow your eyes, so if you focus on what's in front of you, you usually walk straight ahead instead of veering off to the side. When you're in the middle of a workout and someone calls your name, don't turn around to answer. This piece of advice may seem obvious now, but wait until it happens to you.
  • Expect to feel disoriented.
    The first few times you use a treadmill, you may feel dizzy when you step off. Your body is just wondering why the ground suddenly stopped moving. Don't worry. Most people only experience this vertigo once or twice
  • Never go barefoot
    Always wear a good pair of walking or running shoes for your treadmill workout.
  • Don't read while on the treadmill.
    You risk losing your balance and stumbling off the side or back.
Exercise Bike
Stationary bicycles come in two varieties: upright and recumbent. Upright Bikes simulate a regular bike, only you don't go anywhere. Recumbent Bikes have bucket seats so you pedal out in front of you. Neither type is superior; it's a matter of preference.

Bikes are great for toning your thighs, and they give your knees a break while offering a terrific aerobic workout. Bikes also suit anyone who wants to read while working out. The recumbent offers more back support and may be more comfortable for people with lower-back pain. If you're new to exercise or heavyset, you may also find a recumbent bike more comfortable
Elliptical Trainer
The elliptical trainer is a cardio machine found in every gym. Ellipticals are popular because they are low impact and burn a high number of calories per hour. When used correctly and with proper exercise form, the elliptical trainer will tone your glutes (buttocks) and the abdominal muscles of your core. By burning calories and tightening your core, you should be well on your way to flattening your abs. Do not get lazy and slouch forward, though, or else the glute and ab muscles won't work to their maximum efficiency.

  • Step 1
    Step onto the foot rests as you hold onto the stationary hand rails. Stand up tall and look forward. Pull your abdominal muscles in toward your spine to activate your abs. Let your butt and lumbar spine remains in a neutral position but do not stick your buttocks out behind you. Squeeze your glutes slightly.
  • Step 2
    Warm up for five minutes at a slow speed, gradually increasing your speed and/or resistance level until you begin to sweat. Press into the pedals with your heels to activate your glutes.
  • Step 3
    Grab hold of the moving arms and increase your speed up to a moderate to vigorous intensity depending on your fitness level. Beginners should stick to a moderate intensity that allows for speaking with relative ease. Slide your feet as far back as you can while keeping your body upright with good posture to maximize hip extension and work your glutes. Push with your heels, not the balls of your feet as much as possible. Remain on the elliptical for 30 minutes.
  • Step 4
    Decrease your speed and grab hold of the stationary handles again for a cool down. Shorten your strides and gradually lower resistance level to 1. Cool down for five to 10 minutes until your breathing returns to normal or at least decreases significantly.
  • Step 5
    Use the elliptical trainer at least three times a week for flat abs, aiming to burn a minimum of 250 to 300 calories per workout. Enter your weight, duration and intensity into a calorie calculator to determine how many calories you actually burned and modify your duration or intensity if necessary. Do not include your warm up and cool down time because even though you will burn some calories, your intensity is too low to make a large difference.
Stair Stepper
If you've never tried a stair stepping machine (StairMaster, stair climber, etc.), you're missing out on a fantastic cardio exercise that strengthens your legs and lungs at the same time. A stair stepper is a moderate-intensity option that anyone can do.

Not all stair stepping machines are alike, but most offer workout variables based on three things: resistance, pace, and foot position

  • Resistance:
    Start with a low resistance and ramp up until you have to push in order to move the pedal back down. If the pedal's doing the work, resistance is too light. Don't lean on the side rails or handles; these are for balance only
  • Pace
    Most machines allow you to control how fast the pedals move, either manually or in a preprogrammed workout. Go fast enough so that during the peak of your workout, you can answer a question comfortably, but not carry on a conversation.
  • Foot Position
    Most of the time, you should start with your foot flat on the pedal, rising up onto your toes slightly as the pedal raises. But if you'd like to work your hamstrings or calves, you can scoot your feet back so your heels are off the pedal, pushing you up on your toes more fully and frequently.
  • Extra Tip:*
    Your body position should be upright at all times. Don't lean your weight into the handlebars or console. Leaning to the sides or front of the machine actually decreases your workload dramatically and increases your risk of injury due to improper form. Think about standing tall and letting your hands just lightly touch the handlebars for support
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