Total Gym® Gets Hard Core

The Company that Introduced Incline Bodyweight Trainers Focuses on Abdominal Muscles with a New Single Station – the Core Trainer


Summary: Total Gym® launches first ever single station unit, the NEW Total Gym Core Trainer™ - designed to strengthen abdominals while engaging the entire core musculature.

Description: SAN DIEGO—March, 2013— Studies have shown that the best way to develop “six-pack” abs is to get to the core – muscles that is.

With the use of abdominal machines ranking among the top 10 health club activities in 2012, according to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), Total Gym, has entered into the growing abdominal strengthening market, with a new take on an “ab exercise” machine – train the entire core, not just the abs.

The Total Gym Core Trainer™, the company’s first muscle targeted training station works the core musculature as a whole to enhance abdominal muscle definition while improving overall stability of the trunk.

One of the top 10 trends for 2013, both the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and fitness professionals worldwide, have acknowledged core training to be an essential part of any strength and conditioning program. Undoubtedly, the most prescribed core strengthening exercise by personal trainers and physical therapists is the plank. Total Gym’s Core Trainer is designed to safely facilitate a proper plank with various options to increase or decrease difficulty based on a user’s strength and ability.

While most ab exercises concentrate on a crunch movement, requiring you to curl up, the primary function of the abdominals is not to flex the spine, but to work together with the back muscles to maintain erect posture and stabilize the spine. Meaning, the best exercises for abs are ones that engage the entire core in order to stabilize, balance, and support the spine for everyday activities and sports performance.

Merely focusing on the external muscles, known as the “abs,” while neglecting core musculature, can lead to an appearance of abdominal distension and potential injury. According to research by Dr. Stuart McGill, a world-renowned expert in back health, the load placed on a human spine during the isolated trunk flexion of a regular sit-up or crunch can actually damage the discs of the lumbar spine. The Core Trainer minimizes the force applied to the spine simply by placing the body on an incline.

While the abdominals do play a role in static trunk stabilization, it is the activation of the core musculature as a whole that results in “great abs,” and an overall stronger physique for enhanced performance and injury prevention.

The Core Trainer works to not only strengthen the abdominals, but to train the core muscles in your pelvis, back, hips, shoulders and abdomen to work in unison for better balance and stability. Strong core muscles make it easier to do everything from throwing a ball to bending down to tie your shoes. Weak core muscles leave you susceptible to poor posture, lower back pain and muscle injuries.

“When we looked around, we saw several pieces of equipment that targeted the abdominals, but virtually nothing that addressed the entire core,” said Jesse Campanaro, President of Total Gym Commercial. “As a company founded on the principles of functional training, we recognize the importance of building a strong core and not just isolating the abdominals – so that’s what we did – we created a machine that anyone at any fitness level can use to safely and effectively engage the core muscles without putting undue strain on their back.”

Unlike traditional abdominal exercise machines which only allow for spinal flexion movements, the Core Trainer offers two primary movements that facilitate a plank in different ways: the Dynamic Plank and SCRUNCH™. Built on an incline, the Core Trainer makes doing a plank attainable for even de-conditioned populations that may not be able to perform a plank on the floor. However, by changing body position or adding movement with the Core Trainer’s rolling glideboard, each exercise can be progressed to also challenge elite level athletes.

Dynamic Plank:
One of the most beneficial exercises, the plank, can be performed on Total Gym Core Trainer at varying intensities by simply altering your foot positioning and/or applying a moving force by rolling the glideboard with your arms, requiring the core muscles to engage and work harder to stabilize accordingly.

Similar in theory to the Ab Wheel, where the greater the distance between your extension and your base the more difficult the exercise, the Core Trainer is designed to be more practical for those whose shoulder and upper back strength are limited, and whose core abdominal muscles are not yet developed. While the Ab Wheel requires a certain amount of existing athleticism, the Core Trainer offers greater accessibility for a more diverse exercise population to reap its benefits because it is built on an incline, making the dynamic plank accessible for less conditioned people.


The SCRUNCH®, a move derived from abdominal workouts with the SCRUNCH accessory on a Total Gym incline bodyweight training unit, mimics a hanging leg raise or exercises on a Captain’s Chair. Contrary to most popular ab machines which work on the theory of bringing your chest towards your knees and applying force from above, the SCRUNCH motion works by bringing your knees to your chest – training your abdominal muscles with forces applied from below. Meanwhile, the upper body remains stabilized and strong on the arm rest, contributing to additional strengthening of the core.

The SCRUNCH can also easily be modified to either accommodate an individual’s fitness level or target distinct core muscle groups by simply adjusting your body position.

“One of the main goals of working out is to have great abs and a strong core,” says Campanaro, “unfortunately there are ab training devices out there which can limit results, or in some cases, increase the risk of injury. Our mission is to help millions of people get healthier and the new Total Gym Core Trainer is our latest product to support this mission.”

Editor’s note: For product images, please contact Jacqueline Edelman, jedelman@totalgym.com or (858) 586-6080 ext. 245.

About Total Gym

Total Gym® is the world’s leading privately-held manufacturer of functional and bodyweight training equipment. Founded in 1974, the San Diego-based company’s Total Gym products are used in physical therapy clinics, athletic training facilities, hospitals, universities, professional sports teams and health clubs, inspiring over 24 million workouts per year worldwide. Total Gym has a 18-year relationship with American Telecast Products, which launched the Total Gym bodyweight trainer into the consumer market with the longest running television infomercial in history, selling over four million units. Now with commercial partners in 23 countries, Total Gym continues to lead the industry with innovative functional training equipment and the award-winning GRAVITYSystem® commercial fitness program. For more information, visit www.totalgym.com or call (800) 541-4900.###