March 22, 2006 Twelve months ago, we wrote up the Joba Horseriding machine and created a massive rod for our own back. You see, the incredibly clever machine (extensive article and images here), like so many products developed, refined and tested on the Japanese domestic market, was not available beyond Japan’s shores – and we got hundreds of emails asking where it could be purchased outside Japan. The good news is that the renamed and further developed Joba had its US commercial debut at the International Health, Racquet and Sports Club Association annual convention yesterday as the Panasonic Core Trainer. The Core Trainer maximizes the strength of the core body's abdominal, oblique and low back muscles while minimizing joint stress, impact and aerobic demand. The killer app though, is that it is best suited for those who normally hate strenuous physical exercise – the user just “rides” the Core Trainer and gets fit without actually having to do anything. The machine brings many core health benefits, with tests in Japan showing that users begin burning far more calories after just three months using the machine. Compared to walking or swimming, the riding machine causes less physical stress to knees and other parts of the lower body. Logically, the Core Trainer will quickly become an essential component of any fitness club or home gym.
"Panasonic's new Core Trainer not only delivers fitness benefits to users but allows health care professionals and fitness clubs to expand the range of equipment and services offered to members, especially those with exercise limitations" says Dan Silver, Group Manager, Health Care Products for Panasonic Consumer Electronics Company. "It's the perfect compliment to treadmills, bikes and elliptical trainers, targeting core body strength which many aerobic devices overlook."
Much like horseback riding, the movement of the Panasonic Core Trainer requires users to work various muscle groups to maintain balance. Employing innovative Counter Balance exercise technology, the new device not only builds core and thigh strength, but helps prevent knee and lower back pain as it burns calories and increases basal metabolism.
The Panasonic Core Trainer is especially effective in working the back, abdominals, obliques, quadriceps, gluteus maximus and thighs. The device's three program modes - Forward, Level and Backward - allow users to focus on the development of different sets of muscles. The Forward tilt program targets abs and thigh muscles, while the Backward tilt program concentrates on glutes and lower back muscles. The Side to Side program will generally work all core muscle groups equally. Initial testing has shown that muscle strength in the back, abdomen and thighs can increase between 20 - 60% after using the Core Trainer just 20 times for 15 minutes each time.
For seniors, diabetics and those with exercise limitations, the Core Trainer can help boost metabolism and glucose consumption. Preliminary data show that 30 minutes a day on the Core Trainer, three times a week for three months, increases glucose consumption from muscle metabolism during exercise and also increases resting metabolism 17%, from an average of 1,030 kCal to 1,200 kCal per day. Additionally, since the trainer involves low-impact/low-aerobic exercise routines, it is particularly suited for users who need to keep heart rate below target level, including those who have cardiac or pulmonary limitations.
The Panasonic Core Trainer features a 9-stage speed adjustment with 3 movement programs, adjustable footrests for comfort, slow-speed start systems for safety, and a 15-minute program timer. The Core Trainer is patented, and research on its user benefits is underway at the University of Texas at Austin.
The Panasonic Core Trainer is now available, with a manufacturers suggested retail price of US$2000