When you consider the many ways to exercise today, the majority of them are horizontal. Walking, running, cycling, rowing, elliptical training, swimming and more all require the body to move forward (or backward) horizontally.
Much less common is vertical training, or moving the body up and down, which includes climbing on a VersaClimber, rock-climbing wall, rope climbing or stair climbing.
While all exercise ultimately is beneficial, vertical training has several advantages over horizontal physical activity. Among them:
- Total-body engagement. By its nature, vertical training requires the use of the lower body and upper body muscles, along with the core for stability. Unlike machines such as treadmills or stationary bikes, where you only work the lower body, vertical exercise provides a true full-body workout.
- Working against gravity. Gravitational forces pull us down, but vertical training demands upward motion, against this constant natural force. That creates greater challenge and higher intensity work – leading to better results, including enhanced cardiovascular capacity and increased strength and muscular endurance.
- High intensity, low impact. Many HIIT sessions incorporate high-impact exercises such as jumps, power lunges, burpees, jump rope and more – all of which are jarring to the joints and increase discomfort and risk of injury. Vertical climbing eliminates that repetitive pounding on the body so you can focus on driving the best results.
- Greater VO2 max. VO2 max is the amount of oxygen you consume while exercising as strenuously as possible. The higher the number, the better your fitness level and heart health. Exercising with the arms above the head is associated with greater increases in heart rate than exercise with arms at waist level. Research shows that exercise on the VersaClimber elicits significantly greater VO2 max and heart rate than a treadmill and rowing ergometer.
- Increased calorie burn. Taken together, the total-body nature of vertical climbing, along with working against gravity, results in a higher caloric expenditure. Studies show that you burn more calories in less time when using a VersaClimber over a treadmill, indoor cycling bike and elliptical.
- Boosted metabolism. With the higher demands of vertical climbing, along with the increased VO2 max and greater caloric expenditure, these workouts can result in an elevated metabolism after sessions known as excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) – resulting in even more calorie burning.
- Maximum ROI. Because vertical climbing is so effective, you don’t have to spend as long as you would with other modalities to see results. In fact, due to its total-body nature, VO2 max demands and calorie burn, using a VersaClimber is one of the most efficient workouts ever.
Add vertical climbing to your workout regimen to enhance your fitness and benefit from new challenges for your body.