MONTGOMERY, AL (WSFA) - It's not just treadmills and dumbbells any more! New science is leading to all sorts new of exercises. Research shows it's important to do both cardiovascular and strength training exercise. And that's where 'Gravity' classes comes in handy.
By pulling or pushing against your own gravity, you strengthen your muscles. And by changing exercises quickly, you also improve your heart health.
"It's one of the most popular forms of exercising right now," said Montgomery YMCA Wellness Director Mary Brocious.
Here's how it works -- by increasing the height of the tower, the force of gravity increases... and the more difficult it becomes to push or pull yourself up on the glide board.
With traditional weight equipment, you only work one muscle at a time and there's only one movement. That's what makes the gravity system so effective.
"I can move from working my chest, to working my triceps, my back. I can work multiple muscle groups all at the same time," Brocious explained.
I asked personal trainer Tangie Oliver to give me a lesson.
She showed me, by pushing up with my feet, I could work my legs. And by pulling up with my arms, I gave my upper body a work out.
There are all sorts of ways to push or pull your body weight -- pulleys, foot boards, handle bars, etc. And because the machine is so adjustable, it's good for any fitness level.
"Anybody who wants to get in shape, anybody who's already in shape, I love this machine and I've been in the gym 20 years," Oliver said.
Bart Harmon takes Oliver's class at least three times a week. He says it's tougher than it looks.
"You can hardly walk out here, you're so tight and shaking," Harmon told us.
The Total Gym - advertised by Christie Brinkley and Chuck Norris - is the home version of the Gravity training system. It's made by the same manufacturer.
But Harmon says don't discount the group dynamic. He says say it's not only the equipment itself, but the instruction and camaraderie of a class, that keep him coming back.
"What's nice about this is the group atmosphere, the motivation of the instructor," he said.
Right now, Gravity classes are only offered in Montgomery at the YMCA's 'Y's Up' neighborhood branches. You'll find a list of locations at the YMCA's web site.