It’s probably no surprise that treadmills are the most popular cardio machines today, and have been for years. It makes sense; the movement is intuitive and accessible to virtually everyone, you can choose your impact (walking or running), and the activity is weight-bearing, which can increase caloric expenditure.
But consider that the treadmill works only half the body. Aside from the arms pumping a bit, treadmill workouts focus on the legs, glutes and core. That’s it. Your upper body is not challenged or benefitting.
The same is true of stationary upright and recumbent cycles, spin bikes, stairclimbers and some ellipticals with fixed handlebars. The legs do all the of work, while the upper body essentially goes along for the ride.
It’s not that these machines are bad – they are not – but why would you choose to exercise only one-half of your body? You wouldn’t just strength train your legs and skip your upper body, right? While all exercise ultimately is beneficial, each one of your 600 muscles is important and should be worked for optimal functioning.
Total-body equipment, including rowers, ellipticals and vertical climbers like VersaClimber require use of the lower and upper body, engage many more muscles and treat the body as one unit—therefore delivering more effective workouts in terms of calorie burn and overall fitness.
Compare the muscles each modality works:
Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves and abdominals/core
Quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, calves, abdominals/core, back, chest, shoulders, biceps and triceps
Plus, with time at a premium, total-body machines are more efficient, which means you can get the same or better results in less time than you would on a treadmill or bike, for instance. That means 20- and 30-minute total-body sessions instead of 45- or 60-minute slog fests.
In addition to engaging more muscles and maximizing ROI, additional benefits of true total-body workouts like vertical climbing include:
- Greater caloric expenditure
- Higher fat burn
- More balanced muscular strength
- Improved coordination and balance
- Increased core stability
- Better overall fitness
While exercise variety and cross-training are important, don’t neglect total-body workouts in your regimen. Because they can deliver great results, sessions that keep all your muscles challenged can enhance your motivation and adherence – which then leads to even more results. It’s a win-win!
Take on one of the best total-body workouts available – total-body vertical climbing with VersaClimber. Your entire body – and your mind—will benefit.