The popularity of elliptical machines, referred to as “crosstrainers” internationally, has been steadily growing in Germany. After the jump, one of our Germany distributors of Octane Fitness ellipticals discusses the growth.
AC Fitness is a preferred distributor of Octane Fitness elliptical machines in Germany. As a distributor of both our commercial and consumer machines, AC Fitness has their finger on the pulse of product sales throughout Germany. They have put together a wonderful blog post about the exciting growth of elliptical machines they are experiencing. See the original post in German by visiting their website or read the English translation below.
What is the standing of Crosstrainers in the German fitness market?
The most recent Crosstrainer test carried out by the magazine Fit For Fun in November 2013 says that Crosstrainers, as the most popular home-fitness machines, have a market share of 30%. The reason for this popularity is the high efficiency of the workout and the easy-to-use character of Crosstrainers. In addition to that, working out on a Crosstrainer protects joints because your feet do not hit the ground which would result in an impact of at least 3.5 times your bodyweight. Other than using Ergometers or Steppers, Crosstrainers give you a full-body-workout because your arms and therefore the whole upper body are part of the exercise and not only your legs. This means that the Crosstrainer activates more muscular mass making the workout much more effective. Especially in terms of fat reduction Crosstrainers offer the best results. The fact that Crosstrainers offer a guided movement everybody no matter what age or fitness level will find it easy to use and learn to use it.
In average most of the Crosstrainers sold in Germany are priced between 400 and 1000 EUR. Among these sales you can find Crosstrainers manufactured by for example Horizon Fitness, Bremshey or Kettler. But also sales of more expensive machines have been increasing lately. Next to price there are of course differences in quality. Most entry-level Crosstrainers are built with the flywheel in the rear which leads to the fact that the distance between the two pedals is wider and also the work angle is bigger. This means that the position of the feet is not ideal which could lead to problems. Higher quality Crosstrainers, also called Ellipticals or elliptical Crosstrainers, have the flywheel placed at the front end of the machine and the pedals are equipped with roles that run on rails. This construction method helps bringing the pedals closer together and reducing the work angle. In this context we also speak of the Q-Factor (distance between the pedals). The ideal distance between the pedals should not exceed 10 cm and also the angle between the pedals should not be too big. The more parallel the pedals are the more naturally the movement becomes. As always there is one exception – Life Fitness for example offers Crosstrainers that have the flywheel in the rear of the machine. In this case they use additional joints in order to achieve the ideal pedal position. Next to Life Fitness other manufacturers like Vision Fitness, Uno Fitness, Tunturi and Octane Fitness can be found among the higher quality Crosstrainers.
Octane Fitness is one of the newest brands specialized in manufacturing elliptical machines. In circles of experts like AC Fitness, Octane Fitness Crosstrainers are no longer an insiders’ secret. Nevertheless the level of awareness compared to brands like Kettler and Life Fitness is still much lower within Germany. Although more and more fitness clubs are equipped with Octane Fitness Crosstrainers customers for home fitness products do not really know Octane Fitness yet. But especially the Octane Fitness products offer an excellent combination of upper- and lower body exercise. The handlebars of the Octane Crosstrainers are positioned closer to the user which leads to a higher intensity of the upper body muscles. In addition to that Octane combines a cardiovascular training with strength training by including tubes and free weights. Among the Crosstrainers for home usage you can find machines that allow tubes to be attached directly to the Crosstrainer and among the professional products you can find brackets for free weights attached sideways. The Octane products always come with training manuals that show how to combine cardiovascular training and strength training the best way.
In the USA Octane Crosstrainers belong to the most popular Crosstrainers for quite a long time which is confirmed by several tests and surveys among customers and dealers. AC Fitness advises all customers that are looking for a Crosstrainer to consider Octane Fitness Crosstrainers as one of their options.