Specialist functional fitness equipment is allowing Brimhams Active to deliver health and wellness sessions to local people, including those with medical conditions, while undergoing its £45m facility investment programme.
To minimise disruption of delivery, the community health and wellbeing company invested in Total Gym equipment from Ethics Leisure, becoming the only organisation in the Harrogate district to offer the functional training solution.
Located at Fairfax Wellbeing Hub, the equipment is wheeled into place before each session to create the ideal active environment for users.
“Our demographic is not the typical gym user and when Harrogate Hydro closed we wanted something that would help us to keep our group exercise offer going so we could retain members, while serving clients with medical conditions and additional needs,” says Joanne Bogan, Brimhams Active’s Health & Wellbeing Manager.
“The Total Gym equipment is so effective and efficient. It has allowed us to retain existing members while the Hydro is being redeveloped, but because it’s something completely different for Harrogate we have also attracted new users.”
The low impact system works on an incline and relies on body weight resistance to strengthen muscles making it suitable for all abilities, including those living with long term conditions or needing rehabilitation.
The equipment allows for more than 250 exercises at multiple resistance levels enabling the operator to run targeted sessions that meet the needs of local people. The solution can be used for Pilates, yoga, strength and sculpt classes to prehab, rehab and physio sessions and more.
Brimhams Active runs Total Gym branded classes, dedicated sessions for teenagers and also integrates the equipment with existing referral and rehab programmes, such as stroke rehabilitation and neuroactive sessions.
“The machines control the user’s action and range of movement to protect their technique, so they can exercise safely whatever their ability. They allow people to perform exercises they wouldn’t be able to do on their own. For example, we have high functioning stroke patients who can join our Total Gym classes because they are supported by the kit. It negates a lot of their restrictions and they have made such good progress,” says Ian Salvin, Health and Wellbeing Development Manager
One stroke rehabilitation participant, Dave, is significantly affected down one side and had been unable to do any squat exercises because of lower limb weakness and muscular atrophy, despite these being the very exercises needed to improve his leg strength.
The Total Gym’s inclined glide board reduces the effective bodyweight load on Dave’s legs, allowing him to perform squats for the first time since his stroke, says Salvin.
“The look of excitement on his face was a picture. Dave can now do squats for more than 90 seconds and has recently started doing single-leg squats on his affected-side leg, which has had a huge impact on his leg stamina and strength, as well as his quality of life.”
The team now offer a specialist rehabilitation/exercise referral class catering for a small number of participants with a range of knee, shoulder and lumber spine musculoskeletal conditions.
Brimhams Active is offering extra classes to meet demand and will be investing in more equipment at other Brimhams Active facilities to create an estate wide Total Gym offer.
“The highly functional, inclusive and impactful properties of the Total Gym equipment makes it an ideal offering for Brimhams Active because we are committed to meeting the needs of all customers no matter their ability and health and wellbeing goals. The equipment is highly regarded by our instructors and customers alike, and is serving to successfully drive and retain participation,” says Mark Tweedie, Managing Director of Brimhams Active.