The Benefits of Running on a Treadmill and the Science Behind a Fitness Equipment Treadmill surface made by Cybex

Have you ever wondered if it was more beneficial to workout on an elliptical machine or run on a Treadmill?

Over the past 15 years the elliptical trainer has become the more popular workout of choice in the healthclub.  This is due to the misbelief amonst healthclub goers that nonimpact exercise is more effective and beneficial to your body.  Unfortunately, through scientific testing this is not the case. 

Research shows that running on a fitness equipment treadmill has the following benefits:

  • Higher Energy Expenditure during running, compared to walking or cycling
  • Increased beta-endorphin levls and mood enhancements
  • Increased Heart Rate and Fat Oxidation Rate
  • Higher Bone Mineral Densities in Runners when compared to Non-impact athletes

Recent Research also shows that the elliptical trainer can cause knee shearing forces in ellipticals with tilting foot plates.  This may be your number one reason why you should reintroduce running back in to your routine.

There are many manufacturers of fitness equipment out there however, very few manufacturers spend the time and resources researching the equipment they manufacture and how it will affect your body over time.  Cybex Intl. is a leading manufacturer of exercise equipment and has been a medically based company for over 60 years.  They have developed the Cybex Institute to conduct extensive research into all facets of human movement and with the results formulate a concept on how to design fitness equipment to achieve the ultimate result and to reduce future injury. 

When Cybex conducted research on creating a treadmill platform that was not only going to be comfortable but safe, they broke down the human gait into two principle phases.  One which was when the leg was in the air (also known as the swing) and the other during the time the leg is on the treadmill (also known as the “stance”).  Every aspect of the gait while running are important but the two phases mentioned are the most important when designing a treadmill. 

The body is under a significant amount of stress during running.  However; running on a treadmill can effectively reduce the amount of stress placed on the joints while demanding the energy and work needed to conduct the exercise.  This is the primary reason that Cybex has manufactured a more forgiving surface called a “flex deck”.  It may seem that the more flex you put into a exercse treadill deck the better.  This is not the case!  Studies show that no matter what you do ground reaction forces can not be reduced therefore the objective is to position flexibility in the deck to limit shock!

Cybex Institute has determined to fully understand the impact of a flexible surface they would have to reseach the kinematics of the rear foot, tibia and knee during the stance phase of running.  To understand how this reseach was conducted and the results please click here to read the entire study.

The conclusion of the research by the Cybex Institute has determined that the greatest amount of impact that takes place is with in the first few miliseconds of stance and the knee is initating high velcity, eccentrically controlled fexion while the subtalar joint undergoes rapid eversion.  Although it is provent that you can not reduce ground reaction force you may introduce a fogriving running surface by placing the flex point at the front of the fitness treadmill.  This results in the normal alignment of the joints.  The Cybex IS3 treadmill design posesses all of these characteristics which will create a safe, comfortable running surface and delivering the maximum benefits.

– The Staff at  

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