Hydraulic fitness equipment are types of exercise machines used for strength training through resistance. Instead of adjustable weight increments or free weights, however, this kind of equipment is made with a hydraulic cylinder. The cylinder is meant to allow a user to work at various levels of exertion without having to make any adjustments to the machine. For this reason, hydraulic fitness equipment is often marketed toward women, seniors, and children who may feel intimidated by other types of equipment that utilize weights.
Hydraulic cylinders use oil or another type of fluid that is pressurized. By pushing on a padded bar or a flat surface connected to the cylinder, force is exerted on a piston inside the cylinder, allowing for movement on the machine. In this way, hydraulic fitness equipment that uses these cylinders rather than adjustable weights is said to create more resistance the harder one pushes. Those who are relatively weak may push slowly and still achieve a fruitful workout with minimal effort; those who have built up strength can perform faster movements to get a challenging session in as well.
Manufacturers of hydraulic fitness equipment generally focus their sales to women-only gyms or workout centers. Many state the belief that women are often too intimidated to use equipment at coed centers where strong or experienced gym-goers adjust the machines to use large amounts of weight. Senior citizens are also often cited as target customers for these machines for the same reason. Some people find these assumptions to be broad generalizations. Nonetheless, several ladies' gyms, which are growing in popularity, do use hydraulic fitness equipment.
Fitness specialists recommend starting with hydraulic machines because of its ease of use in a variety of aspects. Physical therapy patients may find hydraulic fitness equipment useful because injury from overexertion is less common. This is because no weights are used, and the force of one’s own movement dictates how much resistance the equipment provides.
While some types of fitness equipment require a few adjustments before being used, most hydraulic fitness equipment may require no adjustments or adjustments only for size but not for weight. Weight increments often must be added carefully to avoid the machine malfunctioning during use and possibly causing harm. Without the necessity of these steps, hydraulic machines should be safe even for children, who may not remember to make proper modifications to a machine or check that they have done so securely before engaging in exercise. Hydraulic fitness equipment may be found in many gyms and physical therapy offices and for sale online.