This week, we invited Octane Fitness to contribute to our blog. Here Octane discusses the importance of handlebar technology for superior upper body fitness on their signature elliptical trainers.
Many exercisers prefer elliptical trainers because they provide effective, low-impact workouts for the lower and upper body. While people typically notice the lower-body motion – its smoothness, length and acceleration – not much attention seems to be paid to the handlebars.
However, Octane Fitness, considered by many to be among the best home ellipticals, has designed unique handlebars that add comfort, variety and effectiveness to the important upper-body movement in elliptical exercise.
Think about it: Most ellipticals have straight handlebars that simply move directly forward and backward, with some close together, which can be constricting for taller users, and others too wide for smaller exercisers. They also tend to have a high pivot point, which results in the legs doing the bulk of the work to facilitate the movement, thereby making it easier for the arms to simply go along for the ride.
Here’s what makes Octane unique:
1) Converging Path – Designed to replicate the natural arm motion when you walk, jog or run, these handlebars move inward slightly as you press forward and open up by the same amount on the backswing. Although the converging and diverging motion is subtle, it definitely feels more comfortable, allows for a greater range of motion (which taller individuals appreciate!) and provides open access to the console – making it easier to press buttons, grab your water bottle or read a magazine. Once you try these handlebars, you’ll really notice how awkward some of the others are.
2) Pivot Point – Based on human biomechanics, Octane handlebars use a low pivot point that is less stressful to the shoulders and wrists and transfers the workload more evenly to the upper body and core. Although you may not notice this immediately when using the elliptical, it makes a big difference in ensuring that workouts are truly total-body challenges.
3) MultiGrip – In the category of “Why doesn’t everyone do this?” Octane forgoes straight handles for MultiGrip, a one-of-a-kind shape that lets you take advantage of a variety of grips (overhand, underhand, vertical, horizontal, wide and narrow) to better facilitate pushing and pulling. This is an obvious advantage, and you quickly discover that with so many options, you move your hands around naturally during workouts – at various stride lengths, when going backwards, during different paces and more. You can even emphasize specific muscle groups just by changing your grip: a wide, overhand grip hits the chest and triceps; and a narrow, vertical grip emphasizes the back and biceps.
Once again, once you’ve had the best with MultiGrip, there’s just no going back to straight stick handles.
When evaluating ellipticals, be sure that the handlebars and upper-body motion are not an afterthought and that you can fully engage the upper-body to get the most benefit from your workouts.