If you exercise at a traditional gym, you probably know your way around the treadmill, elliptical, stair stepper, and stationary bike pretty well. (Ever wonder if the calorie counters on those machines at the gym are (in)accurate? We found out.) But what about some of the new cutting-edge machines that are popping up in gyms everywhere? These under-the-radar machines are great for incorporating into your HIIT workouts, so step out of your elliptical-comfort zone and get to know this new equipment.
These machines are totally unplugged, so instead of electricity powering the belt you’ll harness the power from your own muscles to start it up and keep it going. “On the Woodway Curve, a curved, super ergonomic, non-motorized treadmill, you do all the work yourself, so everything you do is automatically 30 percent harder and more efficient since you’re burning more calories in a shorter amount of time,” says Xavier Quimbo, co-founder and expert trainer at Speedplay in Los Angeles, which uses them during his HIIT classes. It’s easy to let the belt get away from you if you’re not paying attention, and the higher up on the belt you are, the faster you’ll go, so the best way to control your speed is to stick to the center of the belt.
In order to do the full stroke properly on the rowing machine, 85 percent of your muscles must be activated. So it’s fair to say that the rower is an extremely effective full-body cardio machine, says Annie Mulgrew, director of programming at CityRow in New York City. “The most common mistake that people make on the rower is overcompensating with their upper body, focusing too much on pulling the handle bar into their body as opposed to focusing on using the push of their legs to initiate power,” says Mulgrew. The harder you push away from the foot pedals, the harder the muscles in your legs must work. Focus on keeping your shoulders down and bringing the handle bar to the bottom band of your sports bra.
Try it: Alternate intervals of rowing for 30 seconds at a recovery pace followed by 30 seconds at a harder pace, suggests Mulgrew. Keep your speed consistent, around 26 strokes per minute, and increase and decrease your split time. Do this for a few rounds until you can build up to 1 minute of hard work with a 30-second recovery for multiple rounds.