Fitness Equipment

Fitness Equipment Buying Guide

Our Fitness Equipment Buying Guide will make it much easier for you, when choosing the right fitness equipment to buy. Just click on a link below, to jump down to further information about the fitness equipment area you're interested in:

What's right for you?

Getting regular exercise will make you feel great. Not only will you have more energy but you'll feel more alert, tone up your body and lose weight. Gyms are expensive and you have to get there and back. Apart from the cost, there's all the time it takes.

We offer all the equipment you could need, designed with your fitness needs in mind, whether you want to lose weight, build up strength, improve your general fitness or even train for that crucial charity event or even the marathon. There's no membership to pay, no crowded gyms and no queues. you can exercise when you want for as long as you want - all in the privacy of your own home. And all our equipment can be delivered direct to your door!

Your safety is very important to us so you can be assured that our fitness and exercise equipment conforms to the latest British and European standard for Exercise equipment: EN957. They're rigorously tested and designed to give long life at a consistent performance.

Please note that our fitness exercise equipment is designed for use by competent adults only. Before beginning any exercise program, consult your family doctor. This is especially important for people over the age of 35, people with pre-existing health problems or those returning to exercise after some time. Read, understand and follow all instructions provided with the fitness equipment before using.

Our guide to the kind of equipment best suited to what you want to achieve:

What do you want to achieve What to look for
Get a little fitter without too much time or energy An Exercise Bike will give your heart, lungs and legs a great workout.
Improve overall fitness Combine an aerobic exercise on an Exercise Bike or Elliptical with one or two pieces from our Low Impact range.
Lose weight You need a Cardiovascular machine (we'll explain later) such as an Exercise Bike, Elliptical Cross Trainer or Treadmill for walking or jogging. Make sure you're working at the correct heart rate for maximum weight loss.
Tone up your body To tone up, you need some weight resistance, but not too much. A Multi Gym combined with a Rowing Machine will give a great all over workout and give specific toning to your muscles. An Elliptical Cross Trainer offers an all over workout that's great for toning . Also, never forget your core exercises - look at our Low Impact range for equipment aimed at helping you improve your core strength.
Build muscle volume and strength If you want to build muscles and strength, you need one of our Multi Gyms in combination with a Weight Bench and some weights. If space is tight, start with a Multi Gym as they offer a wide range of exercises.
Train for an event If you've committed to a charity event or even a marathon, a Motorised Treadmill is a must for running. Combine this with an Elliptical Cross Trainer for overall conditioning and a Multi Gym for core strength training. Depending on the event you're going to do, an Exercise Bike for the cycling and even a Rowing Machine for strength are also excellent.

The great thing about home fitness equipment is that you can do just a few minutes whenever you get the chance.

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Choosing the equipment that's right for you

Here's a summary of the different types of fitness products and what they offer:

Type of Equipment What the equipment offers, and how much space will it take up
Exercise Bike A great way to get back into exercise. Just sit on and pedal away while watching your favourite TV show. If you are already into fitness, use an Exercise Bike for a full-on aerobic workout. Bikes are a great way to push that heart rate session. Pedal at your pace for improved fitness. They take up little space.
Elliptical Cross Trainer Elliptical or Cross Trainers are the most recent machines to join the home fitness market. They offer an impact free whole body exercise. If you struggle with running but want to continue with something similar with less impact, use an Elliptical Cross Trainer. Machine size does vary, so check the dimensions will fit.
Rowing Machine Recognised as offering the best all-round body workouts. A rower can be used for overall body conditioning or really driving for that last extra bit of fitness. Rowers are aimed at overall fitness and strength in the arms, legs and back. Many rowing machines fold up.
Multi Gym Muscle toning or bodybuilding, a Multi Gym offers it all. Using a single stack of weights for a multitude of exercises can give total toning or even a muscle beach-ready look. Tone your body through to bodybuilding. Machines with far more exercises than the space they need.
Weight Bench Specifically designed for using dumbbells and barbells for weight training. Also ideal for general conditioning and core workouts.
Manual non-motorised Treadmill These are great value machines suited to walking or occasional jogging routines. They offer a good value way of exercising in the comfort of your home. Get a bit more active at home without the space or cost of a full size motorised treadmill.
Motorised Treadmill Some consider the motorised treadmill the pinnacle of gym equipment. These are super machines designed for gentle walking, through faster walking and jogging, up to running and even faster. Treadmills offer an all over body workout and a full aerobic session. Loose weight through to training for the big event.
Low Impact Equipment - mini stepper, mini trampoline All of these smaller pieces of home fitness equipment are a great way to keep active, from the mini-stepper (great for lower body workouts), to more advanced yoga and Pilates exercises using the gym balls. One of our most popular products is the mini trampoline, as all adults in your house can use it and it never needs adjusting. Tone up and keep your body active.

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What does all the jargon mean?

Cardiovascular
This is exercise to improve your heart and your lungs. A healthy heart is better able to pump blood round your body, carrying oxygen and energy to your muscles as you exercise. Cardiovascular machines are the ones designed to make you breathe hard: Exercise Bikes, Elliptical Cross Trainer, Rowing Machine, Treadmill.
Strength Training
This is still fitness training, but aimed at building the strength of your muscles by using weights. Multi gyms and weight benches are excellent strength training tools, but overall fitness will need cardiovascular work too. Strength machines are the ones that build muscle: Multi Gym, Weight Bench, Weights, Rower.
Flexibility
This is how easily (or difficult!) you find it to bend down or to reach up. General exercise will help increase your flexibility, but the products in the Low Impact range target specific flexibility areas, notably core exercises.
Core exercises
These target the strength of your abdominal muscles. Usually, we think of the abdominals as the tummy area. This is true, but core exercises also specifically target the muscles below the waistline down to the pelvis. These muscles are key to maintaining flexibility and helping to prevent a sore back. Improving the strength and flexibility of your core muscles will take the strain off your lower back muscles and help to keep back pain away. Have a look in our Low Impact range.
Lactic Acid
When you are exercising very hard, you will start to feel pain in your muscles. This is due to a build-up of lactic acid and is quite normal. During high heart rate exercise, the glycogen stored in the muscle is predominantly used. One of the by-products of burning this glycogen is lactic acid. There is a point at which the body can no longer remove the lactic acid from the working muscles quickly enough. This is your anaerobic threshold (AT). Through the correct training, it is possible to delay the AT by increasing your ability to deal with the lactic acid for a longer period or by pushing the AT higher.
Heart Rate
The number of beats per minute your heart makes. A quick way to measure your heart rate is to feel your pulse at your wrist or your neck, and count how many beats it makes in six seconds. Multiply this by ten to give an approximate heart rate. Many pieces of fitness equipment come with a built-in heart rate monitor. These are metallic pads where you place your hands, other use an ear-pulse that you clip to your earlobe; the equipment displays your heart rate. The alternative and more accurate way is to use a heart rate monitor with a chest strap. The following table gives you a guide to calculate how fast your heart should beat, depending on what you want to achieve.

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Exercise Bike

Exercise bikes remain one of the most popular and affordable types of fitness equipment. Their good value comes from the relatively simple engineering required to design and make them, especially when compared to a motorised treadmill.

Stationary exercise bikes offer an excellent route into exercise. Most people can pedal a cycle, but here you can do it indoors, in the dry and away from traffic. You can watch TV while you exercise and everyone in the family can use the equipment with little adjustment. Exercise bikes are ideal for those who would struggle to balance a cycle on the roads, notably those with sight or other balance difficulties.

The cycling motion requires little coordination. A padded saddle supports your bodyweight. This weight-bearing nature makes cycling easy on the ankles, knees and hips. This is ideal for both beginners and experienced alike, as cycling can be used for gentle exercise right through to a full cardiovascular workout.

Here's a guide to the features of Exercise Bikes:

Feature Benefit
Padded saddle Cushion your bum! If you are new to using an exercise bike, you will find your bum will be a little sore after the first few uses. Persevere and the padding will benefit you.
Saddle forward/back adjustment This allows the saddle to move forwards or backwards so you can find the most comfortable riding position.
Hand Pulse Small metal pads on the handgrips or an ear-pulse clip on some machines give a reading of your current heart rate. This is beneficial for making sure you are exercising at the optimum rate for what you want to achieve, whether that's general fitness or weight loss.
Adjustable tension Controlled by a large dial, the tension can suit how easy or hard you want to pedal. We recommend setting the tension just below where you are comfortable. That way, you will be able to enjoy the exercise bike for longer and will not over-strain your knees or thighs.
Transport wheels These are usually two small wheels at the front of the bike. Stand in front of the bike, tip it towards you and it will roll on the wheels. Useful if you need to store the bike away after exercise.
Flywheel In general, a heavier flywheel offers a greater resistance to starting pedalling and can offer a smoother pedalling action once you're on the go.
Power supply Most exercise bikes only require batteries to power the computer, but some plug into the mains. Typically, these are the programmable bikes and offer some degree of feedback depending on the amount of effort you are exerting.
Magnetic resistance This technology means you can adjust the resistance for easy or difficult pedalling whilst allowing the pedalling action to remain smooth. Increasing the resistance on a magnetic machine will not increase the amount of noise it makes.
Programmable Bikes These are the highest specification exercise bikes. The programme function sets the total distance or time of your workout. They need plugging in, so must be near to a wall socket. This powers the motor that controls the resistance level of the bike, as determined by the computer. Programmes make exercising more interesting, by offering different hill courses to follow. On some programmes, the machine is used in Heart Rate Control mode. This is where you tell the computer specific details about yourself (e.g. weight, height, age, gender), and it will set the resistance according to your heart rate. In practice that means if you want to exercise for weight loss, the resistance is altered according to how hard you are working. Exercising too hard will take you out of the weight loss zone and will not benefit you the way want.
Upright or Recumbent Bike Upright exercise bikes use the conventional upright cycling position, whereas recumbent exercise bikes place you in a more horizontal position and are easier to mount and dismount. They have a supportive seat with a back support. However, recumbent exercise bikes take up more room and are generally more costly for the same standard of bike.

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Elliptical Cross Trainer

Elliptical Cross trainers (Ellipticals) offer an upright exercise for the whole body, but without impact. The stresses and joint pain some people suffer from running or cycling are reduced using an Elliptical Trainer. In addition to the lower body exercise, Elliptical Trainers exercise the upper body by using the forwards/backwards handles, and benefit the core muscles. They require minimal coordination and use the lower body muscles in a well rounded all over way to promote aerobic fitness and fat burning exercise.

The difference between them is the physical size, the flywheel weight, the braking system, the computer and the resistance control. The larger machines offer a greater stride length, which can be more comfortable to use than the smaller stride length and up and down motion you'll experience with smaller models. Larger models do take up considerable floor space, though some of them can be folded away for storage.

Kevin the stride length is duplicated in the explanation and the guide, I'd suggest it appears in one or the other.

Here's a guide to the features of Elliptical Cross Trainers:

Feature Benefit
Physical dimensions The smaller models are cheaper and offer a shorter stride length combined with a more up and down motion. The larger models are engineered more heavily and offer a longer stride length combined with some up and down motion. Check the dimensions will fit your room.
No Size adjustment The advantage of an Elliptical Trainer is the whole family can just get on and start using without any adjustments being required.
Hand Pulse Small metal pads on the handgrips or an ear-pulse clip on some machines give a reading of your current heart rate. This is beneficial for making sure you are exercising at your optimum rate for what you want to achieve, whether that's general fitness or weight loss. Handgrips are usually positioned on the static handles and not on the moving handles.
Adjustable tension Controlled by a large dial, the tension can suit how easy or hard you want to use your Elliptical Trainer. We recommend setting the tension just below where you are comfortable. That way, you will be able to enjoy the equipment for longer and will not over-strain yourself.
Transport wheels These are usually two small wheels at the front of the Elliptical. Stand in front of the Elliptical, tip it towards you and it will roll on the wheels. Useful if you need to store the equipment away after exercise.
Flywheel In general, a heavier flywheel offers a greater resistance to starting pedalling and can offer a smoother pedalling action once you're on the go.
Power supply Elliptical Trainers require batteries to power the computer, but some plug into the mains. Typically, these are the programmable models and offer some degree of feedback depending on the amount of effort you are exerting.
Magnetic resistance This technology means you can adjust the action from easy to difficult, whilst allowing the action to remain smooth. Increasing the resistance on a magnetic machine will not increase the amount of noise it makes.
Programmable Elliptical Trainers These are the highest specification Elliptical Trainers, featuring a programme function used to set the total distance or time of your workout. They need plugging in, so must be sited near to a wall socket. This powers the motors that control the resistance level of the Elliptical, as determined by the computer. Programmes make exercising more interesting, by offering exercise routines. On some programmes, the machine is used in Heart Rate Control mode. This is where you tell the computer specific details about yourself (e.g. weight, height, age, gender), and it will set the resistance according to your heart rate. In practice this means that if you want to exercise for weight loss, the resistance is altered according to how hard you are working so you are always working at the optimum rate for losing weight. Exercising too hard will take you out of the weight loss zone and will not benefit you the way want.

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Rowing Machine

Rowing is an excellent and safe activity to exercise all of your major muscles as well as being an ideal cardiovascular activity. The rowing motion makes it a low impact sport, safe for people of all ages and levels of fitness.

Rowing is completed in two stages. First, with arms extended, the legs push. Second, the arms are pulled towards the end of the leg extension. Ease the whole body forwards, extending the arms as you go before the next stroke. Rowing is perfectly safe and will not cause back pain, but some find the motion can aggravate a pre-existing condition. Rowing at a resistance level you can pull quite easily is best. Try not to pull with all your might, until you're confident your body can cope with that kind of load.

Rowing is second only to cross-country skiing in overall body exercise, using over 82% of the body's muscles. It also works most of the body's joints through a significant and beneficial range of movement with virtually no impact. It's one of the best forms of exercise for:

  • Those seeking weight loss, cardiovascular fitness or muscle tone

  • Those seeking flexibility, strength or endurance

  • Competitive athletes

  • People recovering from injuries

  • People of any age

Here's a guide to the features of Rowing Machines:

Feature Benefit
Physical dimensions All the Rowers are designed to be used by full sized adults.
No Size adjustment The advantage of a Rower is the whole family can just get on and start using without any adjustments being required.
Hand Pulse Small metal pads on the handgrips or an ear-pulse clip on some machines give a reading of your current heart rate. This is beneficial for making sure you are exercising at your optimum rate for what you want to achieve, whether that's general fitness or weight loss.
Adjustable tension Controlled by a large dial, the tension can suit how easy or hard you want to use your Rower. We recommend setting the tension just below where you are comfortable. That way, you will be able to enjoy the equipment for longer and won't over-strain yourself.
Transport wheels These are usually two small wheels at the front of the Rower. You usually need to fold the seat rail upright to use the wheels, but moving the Rower is an easy affair. Useful if you need to store the equipment away after exercise.
Folding Action The seat rail is designed for full size adults, so takes up a lot of space when being used. Being able to fold the seat rail upright makes the Rower really compact and easy to keep out of the way.
Flywheel In general, a heavier flywheel offers a greater resistance to starting Rowing and can offer a smoother action once you're on the go.
Air Rower This refers to the resistance method. Air Rowers use a fan, spun by your rowing action. The faster you try to row, the greater the resistance. This action simulates the real action of rowing on water. The fan does generate some noise, but it is never excessive.
Magnetic resistance This technology means the action can be made harder or easier, whilst allowing the action to remain smooth. Increasing the resistance on a magnetic machine will not increase the amount of noise it makes.
Power supply Rowers require batteries to power the computer, but some plug into the mains. Typically, these are the programmable models and offer some degree of feedback depending on the amount of effort you are exerting.

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Multi Gym

Multi Gyms consist of a stack of weights attached to a pulley system and a seat or bench for the user. Changing the amount you lift is easy, you just move a pin in the weight stack.

Ideal for those of you who don't like going to gyms and are put off by the hefty membership fees. - Multi Gyms offer something for everyone. - from those of you who want a healthy, toned body to potential body builders.

For a toned look without adding muscle bulk, use the Multi Gym daily, but with light weights only. If you want to tone and build a little, set the weights a little higher and exercise every other day in combination with other exercise. If your target is to build the largest muscles, set the weights high and use three times per week with at least one day rest between sessions.

The big advantage of a Multi Gym over 'free weights' like barbells or dumbbells is that they give you the correct lifting position, which reduces the chance of injury. As with all exercise, always warm up first and start slowly, and in particular always start with low weights. You can increase the weight load as your body becomes used to the exercise, but you need to get used to the equipment first. If you are new or returning to strength exercises, allow about one month of regular exercise using low weights before you start increasing the weight load.

Space - please take time to check the dimensions of the Multi Gym before you order, as many are large and tall so need both floor space and ceiling height. Generally, they are left fully assembled so are often best placed into a corner of a room. There's no problem locating your Multi Gym in your garage or shed, just make sure it is completely dry in there.

The more features a Multi Gym has, the more parts of your body can be exercised. More features allow a wider range of exercises before you need to reconfigure the machine i.e. re-connect cables to different parts in order to use the Multi Gym for different exercises. There are many terms used in Multi Gyms, such as lat bar, preacher pad, leg extension. But don't worry about these terms, if you see more features, the Multi Gym can offer you more.

Here's a guide to the features of Multi Gyms:

Feature Benefit
Lat Bar This exercises the back muscles across the shoulders. The lat bar is the wide bar at the top of the Multi Gym. You take hold of the bar and pull it down, and the pulleys will lift the weights in the stack. Ease the weights back for a controlled exercise.
Weight Stack The weight stack is generally at the rear of the Multi Gym. The large stack of individual weight blocks are connected by cable to the different exercise functions of the Multi Gym. You insert a pin under the weight you wish to lift, and the pin will lift all the weights above it. This makes it easy to change to amount you are lifting. All adults in your family can easily use a Multi Gym.
Safety All our Multi Gyms conform to EN957, the Safety Standard for fitness equipment. Please keep children away from Multi Gyms, whether or not they are being used, so they don't get caught in the cables or fingers trapped under the weights. Multi Gyms are suitable for use by adults only.
Butterfly arms Either side of the seat, at the end of the upside-down U shape are two pads. When seated at the Multi Gym, your arms squeeze the butterfly arms together against your selected weight and ease them back slowly for a controlled exercise.
Chest press This is like a seated push-up exercise. Many Multi Gyms use the Butterfly arms together, whilst the more highly featured ones use a separate Chest Press, often referred to a true chest press.
Preacher Pad Used for bicep curls. You sit at the Multi Gym and use the low handle. With the rear of your triceps supported on the Preacher Pad, curl the arms up against the weight load. Release slowly for a controlled exercise.
Leg Extension This is really the name of the exercise, and refers to the T-shaped bar by your feet, with the round pads in front of the Multi Gym seat. The user sits and uses the Leg Extensions to push or pull the legs against their selected weight.

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Weight Bench

The most fundamental piece of equipment in strength training, the weight bench is used for a huge range of exercises when combined with a set of free weights. Free weights are barbells and dumbbells. Even without weights, the Bench is used for sit-up and core exercises.

Some benches come with a bench press stand to the rear. You lie down, face up and press a barbell for one of the best chest and triceps exercises. Other benches are fitted with butterfly arms, used for exercising the biceps and chest. These butterfly arms are loaded with free weights, the amount depending on your choice.

It is important to remember that the advantage of a Weight Bench is you get to control the movement of the weights, which makes the exercise is more effective. However, if you do not perform the exercise correctly, there is a greater risk of injury when compared to a Multi Gym, whose exercises are more controlled.

Here's a guide to the features of Weights Benches:

Feature Benefit
Lat Bar This exercises the back muscles across the shoulders. The lat bar is the wide bar you pull down. The lat bar feature is an accessory that can be fitted to some weights benches. It consists of a vertical pole with a wide pull-down bar and a cable attached. You take hold of the bar and pull it down, and the pulleys will lift the weights you've placed on the Bench. Ease the weights back for a controlled exercise.
Weights In general, Weight Benches are not supplied with 'free weights', so you need to provide your own. Free Weights can be used in any exercise, hence the name, and can be stacked onto the Bench or used in free motion.
Safety All our Weight Benches conform to EN957, the Safety Standard for fitness equipment. Please keep children away from Weight Benches, whether or not they are being used, so they don't get fingers caught in the Bench or trapped under the weights. Weight Benches are suitable for use by adults only.
Butterfly arms Fitted to higher specification Weight Benches, these are the curved arms either side of the bench. When lying on your back with arms extended, the butterfly action exercises the biceps and the chest. Ease them back slowly for a controlled exercise.
Preacher Pad Some benches come with the Preacher Pad accessory. It is used for bicep curls. You sit on the bench with one arm resting on the Preacher Pad, barbell in hand(s). With the rear of your triceps supported on the Preacher Pad, curl the arm(s) up against the weight load. Release slowly for a controlled exercise.
Leg Extension This is really the name of the exercise, and refers to the T-shaped bar by your feet, with the round pads in front of the Weight Bench. The user sits and uses the Leg Extensions to push or pull the legs against the loaded weights.

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Manual Non-Motorised Treadmill

A manual treadmill is a treadmill with no electric motor. The walking belt is inclined so when you walk, the belt is pushed back down the slope, creating the walking motion as you keep going. These quite basic machines offer excellent walking and slow jogging type exercise. They're great if you're looking for an impact exercise and you're on a tight budget. They are not suited for those looking to jog regularly or for running. You will need a motorised treadmill for this.

Manual or Non-Motorised treadmills are compact when folded and not too space hungry when in use. They are also relatively lightweight and hence easy to move around.

Non-motorised treadmills come with a computer showing the most useful information of time, distance, speed and often pulse.

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Motorised Treadmill

Very often regarded as the ultimate home gym equipment, Motorised Treadmills are a great way to exercise. These machines are a perfect substitute for an expensive gym membership, for those who don't want to go to the gym and great for when the weather is poor. A home treadmill can be used whenever you want, in the privacy and safety of your home. If you consider that gym membership costs from £30 to £50 per month per person, this makes Motorised Treadmills great value as you could save up to £360 to £600 per year on membership fees!

Walking and running are the most basic forms of exercise. The impact nature of the exercise is good for keeping joints moving, but the running decks are cushioned so it's easier on your joints if you suffer when walking or running outdoors. Treadmills can be set to go slowly at less than walking pace, all the way up to good running pace, so are suitable for all adult members of the family.

Treadmills are ideal for increasing your aerobic fitness, which means your heart and lungs become fitter. This will make you feel more energetic and give you a greater enthusiasm for life. You'll find walking and running will make you less out of breath and you'll be able to keep going for longer, useful in both work and in your own time.

Here's a guide to the features of Motorised Treadmills:

Feature Benefit
Motor Power The higher the power of the motor it will have a longer life and often run more quietly as it is not working so hard. The larger motors are able to operate at higher maximum speeds, and are designed to be used on a more regular basis, particularly good where more than one family member wants to use the treadmill. Look for continuous power to compare different treadmills, as the peak power rating can be misleading.
Speed Range This gives the lowest to the highest speed the treadmill can operate. The lowest number is good for those who struggle with walking especially on uneven pavements, or those recovering from injury. The highest speed is an indication of how well specified the machine is. Treadmills with a higher maximum speed are built to a higher specification.
Running Deck size Indicates the size of the running surface with the biggest treadmills having the largest running surfaces. These give you more space to stretch your stride length and more room to drift from side to side a little. All our motorised treadmills are large enough to allow full speed running, but the bigger ones do have a large running deck.
Motorised Incline This is a second motor that sets the angle of the running deck. The angle is set from flat to a hill. You can choose which angle or percentage of incline you want. Some treadmills with motorised incline include this function in the programmes, which means the treadmill will change hill steepness as you run.
Manual Incline Treadmills with manual incline allow you to change the angle of the running deck from flat to a hill. When you are off the treadmill and it is off, you can adjust the incline. The incline cannot be changed whilst you are using the treadmill.
Cushioned Deck The running belt slides over the treadmill deck. Some treadmills support the deck on a series of cushions, or small rubber blocks. These cushions allow the deck to flex, absorbing impact from your running. This makes walking and running more comfortable and easier on your joints. This is an ideal feature if you suffer with sore joints, but is generally beneficial to all users. We recommend placing the treadmill on cushioned high impact flooring which will further reduce the impact and transmitted noise.
Hand Pulse Located on the handgrips, the hand pulse sensors are shiny metal plates you place your hands on. The computer console displays your heart rate. Ideal for those wanting a heart rate exercise programme and essential for effective weight loss, as you'll know you're exercising the right amount.
Folding The running deck can be folded up and out of the way so the treadmill is not in the way. Many treadmills have a gas-lift to help raise and lower the deck. The deck will lock into place in the upright position. To fold the deck down ready for use, you need to release the lock.
Maximum user weight This is the maximum weight of any user that can safely use the treadmill.
Weight of the Treadmill Motorised treadmills are heavy. They are designed to be strong and to have a long life, hence the weight. Packed inside a large carton, they will need carrying by two or more people. Once assembled, you'll find moving them around on the transport wheels really easy.
Computer display The computer console will display a number of functions of the treadmill. The amount of information displayed varies from treadmill to treadmill. A typical console will display distance walked/run, time of the exercise, current speed of the running belt; calories burnt so far, your current pulse when your hands are placed on the sensors (or read from a chest strap for treadmills with this function).
Treadmill dimensions Check the dimensions so the Treadmill will fit into your house, and is safe in use. The dimensions will state the in-use size and the folded size.
Room size Treadmills can easily fit into most spare rooms. In general, you need to allow about the same space as a single bed would take. Check the treadmill dimensions, and make sure you have at least 1metre of clear space behind the running deck when being used. It's also best to have about a half metre space either side so you don't bang your elbows when running.
Handgrips The handgrips are there for your safety. If you are unsteady, you can hold onto one or both hand grips. If you want to run, you can grasp the handgrips if you stumble or, as you get tired and need a little extra support. The hand grips are designed to be able to support the maximum user weight.
Programmes Treadmills come with a series of programmes. You choose which programme you want, and the speed will automatically change to give you a varied workout. On treadmills with motorised incline, the slope or incline will also change. If you don't want to use the programmes, all treadmills can be used in manual mode where you set the speed and the incline which will then be constant.
Safety Key This is the key you attach to the computer console that is connected with a cord to a clip. You must attach the clip to your clothing, normally to the waistband, and the key into the computer. The treadmill will not operate unless the key in inserted/placed in position. You should always attach the clip to your clothing when using the treadmill. It is there for your safety. If you should stumble or become too tired and start to slip towards the back of the running belt, the cord will pull the key out and the treadmill will stop.

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Low Impact

Low Impact pieces of fitness equipment are designed to help you tone and exercise. There are many types of low impact equipment from hand weights and gym ball, through to mini steppers and the latest Vibration Trainers. These pieces of equipment offer a great way to exercise in general.

Here's a guide to the features and a brief explanation of Low Impact fitness equipment:

Feature Benefit
Vibration Trainers Also known as Vibro trainers or Vibro Plates, these are the latest type of exercise equipment. They are based on the principle of vibrating your muscles when they are tensed, making them perform very small movements. They offer virtually unlimited exercise possibilities, easily and safely, regardless of your fitness level. You can increase your fitness and wellbeing in less time than conventional exercise. Just 15 to 20 minutes a day, three times a week, all from the comfort of your home.
Hand Weights Hand weights are great for toning up your arms, and can also be used whilst walking to running to extend their use and improve your overall fitness.
Resistance Bands These are great for exercising and toning the arms and upper body. They are also used for legs exercises as well.
Gym Balls A great way to exercise your core muscles, from sit-up or crunch type exercise to push up and balance exercises. Many consider gym balls as fundamental to core exercising. Look for complete sets offering an exercise mat and resistance bands for a more complete set of exercises.
Mini Steppers Mini Steppers are a great way to exercise your legs and improve your general cardiovascular fitness - you or other members of your family can step away in front of your favourite TV programme. They're not noisy and require very little storage space.
Twist Steppers Twist steppers add an extra dimension over mini steppers. Some come with an upright handle, but they all offer both stepping and a side to side motion, better for a more comprehensive workout. Twist steppers are ideal for exercising whilst watching TV and take up little space when you need it out of the way.
Step, Mini Step Steps, Mini Steps. These are platforms you step up onto, and then back down. You repeat the exercise over and again. They work really well with many of the exercise DVDs. Most can be set to your preferred height. They are excellent for exercising the lower legs and target the buttocks for both weight loss and toning.
Mini Trampolines Mini trampolines are a super way to run, skip or bounce on the spot, but without the high impact of doing this on the floor. They're really good fun to use - we all like a bounce on a trampoline, but they're also safe to use as you don't bounce up and down like on a full size trampoline. You'll get a really full workout, mini trampolines will be harder work than you initially think. Combine up/down motion with twisting to exercise those core muscles.
Crunch Trainer or Ab-Roller These target the abdominal muscles, which you could do by yourself. The great advantage of a crunch trainer or ab-roller is that is places you in the correct position. This helps to prevent back pain, which is common if sit-ups are performed incorrectly. They target the stomach and core muscles.

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