Science behind: How does the KOMPAN Cross Trainer work?

The cross trainer is one of the most popular pieces of fitness equipment, and for good reason. It is low impact and involves most muscle groups in a natural movement pattern.

The elliptical motion

Cross trainers are also referred to as ellipticals because of the elliptical motion created by the feet. However – on many indoor cross trainers this elliptical motion is rarely optimized and sometimes even tends to be linear. 

On the KOMPAN Cross Trainer, the ellipse is carefully optimized towards the ability to use bodyweight and leg muscles in the work-producing phase of the ellipse (downwards – backwards). Together with a large flywheel and a large hand stroke, this maximizes the work that can be done and minimizes discomfort.

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Muscle involvement

From a simple biomechanical analysis, it can be deducted that in normal use all extensor muscles of the lower body are activated, rotating muscles of the torso and push / pull muscles of the arms.

The special sprint mode developed by KOMPAN is intended to increase activation of the glutes and quads. We measured this with electromyography in the laboratory facilities at the University of Southern Denmark. As can be seen from the figure below, sprint mode made it possible to dramatically increase muscle activation of the intended muscle groups.

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Oxygen uptake

The measured oxygen uptake is a direct measurement of how effective the workout is. During an incremental test, our female test subject reached a maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) of 3.3 L/min. This value was above 90% for what she was able to reach during a maximum test on a treadmill. In short, this means that the KOMPAN Cross Trainer is on par with the absolutely most effective aerobic exercises available.

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Summary

The KOMPAN Cross Trainer has an optimized movement pattern that allows for effective engagement of all major muscle groups. The specially developed sprint mode dramatically increases activation of the thighs and buttocks, documented by EMG measurements. The optimized movement pattern, together with the adjustable resistance, allows for training intensities from very low to very high, as verified in the lab with direct measurement of oxygen uptake.

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