“[Senior workout] programs have significantly reduced hospital and emergency room visits for members by using specific pneumatic resistance exercises to improve strength and gait, which prevents falls and other mishaps.”
-Dr Sheldon Zinberg
The Impact of Pneumatic Resistance Training Equipment on Senior Wellness
A tremendous amount of research accumulated over decades of studies, confirms that resistance training is an excellent way to counteract the age-related loss of muscle mass, improve strength, and convert fat to muscle. For most people, resistance training has a significant positive impact on our ability to perform the many daily activities that allow us to live an active, healthy, injury-free life. This is true whether you begin resistance training at the age of 40 or the age of 80.
Resistance training is so effective because it places demands on the body that help muscle fibers grow. Over time, when our muscles have to work to overcome resistance to muscular contraction, they adapt and become stronger.
But not all resistance training machines are created equal. Traditional machines rely on stacks of weights and a system of wires and pulleys to create resistance. In contrast, pneumatic resistance machines use an air compressor to create a controlled amount of resistance that can be easily adjusted by the user. Users lift against that resistance, eliminating the need for actual weights.
In most cases, pneumatic resistance machines are safer and more effective for users of all ages – but especially for older adults and those recovering from an injury.
5 Reasons Why Pneumatic Resistance is the Best
#1. Pneumatic Resistance = No Inertia.
Limiting inertia means that the user won’t swing backward or forwards while moving through an exercise. This allows the user to move smoothly through an exercise, without joint strain or jerky movements that can cause pain or injury.
The motion in pneumatic machines is the closest we can get to true isotonic exercise. Isotonic exercise is when a muscle is contracting against a constant load– a task that’s impossible to do with willpower and muscle control alone. Pneumatic machines control the movement and the resistance of the user, making isotonic exercise possible.
Moving a stack of weights might appear to accomplish the same thing, but inertia, acceleration, and friction can cause the amount of force on the body to change throughout the movement. On many machines, if you push the weight quickly through the first half of the move, momentum will cause the weights to become much lighter during the second half of the motion. With pneumatic equipment, the resistance stays the same – no matter how quickly you move through an exercise.
Not only does the advantage of limiting inertia reduce injury and strain, it makes every movement more effective because the user is never able to build up momentum and lift the dead weight.
#2. Pneumatic Machines = Real Control Over Resistance
With pneumatic machines, the stability of the resistance is maintained by the machines. This reduces the risk of slips and unexpected shifts in the level of resistance. Not only does the high level of control throughout the movement reduce the chance of injury, but it also eliminates the strain on joints and connective tissues.
This is one of the top reasons that pneumatic equipment is the first choice for rehabilitation centers, physical therapists, and wellness professionals working with a senior population.
#3. Pneumatic Technology = Safe Workouts for Any Age and Ability Level
Senior living communities are in the business of supporting wellness and go to great lengths to create wellness programs that will help their community members feeling good, and enjoy life to the fullest extent. This is the primary reason behind fall prevention programs and other measures designed to keep seniors safe, such as choosing to install pneumatic resistance machines in their fitness centers over traditional weight stacking machines.
Injuries in older adults can be the beginning of a dangerous cycle involving a loss of independence, a limited ability to engage in activities they enjoy, depression, social isolation, and further illness or injury. Not only does this decrease the quality of life for the injured, but it also puts additional strain on the community’s staffing requirements.
HUR Pneumatic resistance machines are the safest way to strength train because they don’t include moving stacks or wires, allow the user greater control of the movement, reduce the risk of overextension, and are equipped with zero starting load and ¼-pound increases in resistance.
#4. Pneumatic resistance training = Faster, More Effective Workouts
On pneumatic machines, the level of resistance is consistent throughout the move allowing muscles and joints to maintain a steady level of activity. Because muscles must remain engaged throughout the entire range of motion, pneumatic machines offer a more effective way to train.
This high level of consistency also allows users to safely move through a set of exercises at a faster pace.
#5. Pneumatic resistance machines = Independent training for seniors
Pneumatic resistance machines that include HUR SmartTouch technology automatically adjust machine settings for each user and guide them through their training program, increasing the level of resistance systematically so that seniors can train with complete independence.
The ability to work out independently has been shown to increase motivation, consistency, and commitment to a strength training program for seniors. It also greatly reduces the burden on staff members.