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Sole Fitness Elliptical Trainers-Form Meets Function


    Sole Fitness Elliptical Trainers-Form Meets Function By Rich Rojas

    Sole Fitness touts their expertise in biomechanics and ergonomics as the driving factor that makes their treadmills and elliptical trainers stand above the competition. It's one thing to talk a good game, but how does that really come through in the product line? The good news is that Sole Fitness appears to "walk the talk".

    Sole Fitness has been in business for a little over 10 years. Not that long when compared to some of the big names in the fitness equipment industry, but they have quickly become recognized for producing quality treadmills. This recognition has been accelerated by the rental arrangement between Sole Fitness and the Hilton Hotel chain. Sole treadmills are provided for in-room fitness service at many Hilton hotels.

    Sole’s value proposition (at least to their customers) is to offer a durable piece of fitness equipment, manufactured with quality components, at an affordable price with a generous warranty. For investors and other stakeholders in Sole Fitness, the warranty part might have been their undoing. However, their engineers must know their stuff since the company hasn’t been run into bankruptcy due to excessive product returns.

    But what about Sole Fitness Elliptical Trainers – can they keep up with Sole treadmills?

    The little mentioned, but widespread biomechanical problem of numb feet while using an elliptical trainer has been gaining attention recently. This clearly is the dirty little secret of the fitness equipment industry and most manufacturers don't have a solution for it though all are well aware of it. Some have quietly attempted to address the problem by moving the foot pedals closer together, but this doesn't completely address the cause of numb feel on elliptical trainers.

    Sole engineers consulted with a prominent physical therapist and sports medicine expert in order to get a thorough understanding of the problem. It turns out that striding on an elliptical trainer throws the body's natural alignment off kilter. This occurs during the backward thrust of the leg. This is why you see many trainees swaying their hips from side-to-side. It's really not a result of them using bad form, but of poor foot pedal design.

    Some elliptical manufacturers have tried to deal with this problem by moving the foot pedals closer together. Sole realized that this solution was only a partial one and that to place the body back into a neutral alignment required angling the foot pedals in by 2 degrees. This almost imperceptible tweak resulted in a noticeable improvement in the discomfort many trainees experience in their ankles, knees, hips, and backs. To make things even better, Sole allows this angle to be adjusted on their top-end ellipticals such as the E95 since one size does not fit all.

    Sole makes 4 main models of ellipticals: the E25, E35, and the E55. Sole ellipticals are also re-branded under the Spirit name and are also re-branded in Australia and New Zealand under the HealthStream name. Oh yeah, and Sole Fitness elliptical trainers also come with a very generous warranty, just like their treadmill siblings!

    View our Sole Ellipticals


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