Fitness Equipment Reviews

Lateral Trainer Reviews: Octane LX8000 vs Technogym Crossover vs Cardiowave vs Helix Lateral Trainer

When it comes to working the lower body, cardio machines have traditionally followed a forward and backward path of motion. With the introduction of the lateral trainer, a whole new element of training possibility opens up. Now you can truly train in a functional way, working the often neglected gluteus medius muscles and enhancing your lateral agility and functional fitness. It also helps you train more effectively perform sports specific training programs.
The lateral trainer market has established a strong foothold in the market in recent years. In this review, we’ll compare four of the most popular models:
  • The Octane LX8000
  • The Technogym Crossover
  • The Technogym Cardiowave
  • The Helix Lateral Trainer

Octane LX8000

If you walked into a gym and saw the Octane LX8000, it would look like any other elliptical trainer. This unit is unique, however, in that its lower body movement is lateral rather than back and forth. This allows you to engage more of the integral muscles around your hips while also improving functional agility and lower body and core strength.
The Octane LX8000 doesn’t just work your lower body. The moveable arms also bring your upper body into play. In fact there are two sets of handles on this machine. One set is fixed to the base and immovable. You grab onto these handles when you are wanting to focus on lower body training. Then there are the larger moveable arms which allow you to work the muscles of your upper back, arm and shoulders. These handlebars follow a converging path that works the muscles of the upper body through a more complete range of motion than if you were using a standard back and forth action.
The Octane LX8000 comes with 30 different resistance levels, a convenient quick start feature, 13 targeted programs, and a 3-speed cooling fan. The maximum user weight is an impressive 400 pounds.

Technogym Crossover

The Technogym Crossover lateral trainer combines lateral lower body movement with convergent upper body movement by way of the movable arms. The lateral movement of the lower body involves extension, abduction and external rotation. By allowing for a 360 range of motion, this provides greater muscle activation than the conventional back and forth motion of an elliptical.
The rotational movement that the Crossover machine allows provides you with a superior core workout. The constant rotational action of the core along with the instability of the motion forces the abs, obliques and spinal erectors to come into play.
The Technogym features fast track controls right on the handlebars so you can adjust the resistance level without any hand displacement. The console is also Bluetooth enabled allowing you to transfer your training diagnostics via the cloud to the Technogym MyWellness app. The onscreen display provides a running readout of your time, speed distance, calorie burned heart rate and resistance level.
This machine features an adjustable step length and allows for both forward and backward motion.

Technogym Cardio Wave

The Cardio Wave from Technogym may look like a run of the mill elliptical, but is anything but. Rather than operating through a single plane of motion, the Cardio Wave involves three planes. The foot movement is lateral from side to side rather than front to back as with a conventional elliptical. This type of movement involves your glutes, abductor and rotator muscles far more effectively than if you were working on an elliptical. It also leads to a greater amount of calorie burn.
Technogym out out the following 5 models of the Cardio Wave:
  • 500iSP
  • 500i
  • 700i
  • 700iSP
  • 700iE
The actual performance features on all five machines are quite similar, with the main differences coming in the entertainment features that are built into the console. Each model comes with 15 inbuilt workout programs, along with six personal profile templates and a custom workout. They each also have 25 levels of adjustable resistance.
There is no doubt that the Cardio Wave provides an excellent lower body workout while also burning through a lot of calories. However, there is no upper body functionality with any of the Cardio Wave machines, with the machine having no moveable arms.

Helix Lateral Trainer

Using the Helix Lateral Trainer has been described as akin to riding an exercise bike sideways. The lateral motion has you moving down and diagonally to activate the muscles of the inner thighs, glutes and hamstrings that usually get passed over with the conventional back and forth of a standard elliptical. This particular machine uses a figure 8 motion to deliver a 360 degree range of motion that works you through multiple planes of motion.
The unique downwards sideways motion of the Helix Lateral Trainer also challenges your proprioception, balance and coordination. Most people will not be familiar with the unique movement pattern of this machine. However, it is easily adapted to and will quickly feel quite natural (though you will be sore in places you never knew you had muscles).
Compared to ellipticals, and other lateral trainers, the Helix was impressively compact with a floor print of just 3’ x 4’. That makes it a good choice for people who have workout space at home such as apartment dwellers. Another benefit for apartment dwellers is that it is an impressively quiet machine to operate. What’s more, this is a self powered machine, so you are not bound to the vicinity of a power source.
There are 8 levels of resistance in the Helix Lateral Trainer, and the machine has a max user weight of 300 pounds. The console is pretty basic, providing you with a basic readout of your time, calories, RPM, speed and distance.
The Helix Lateral Trainer is another lateral trainer that does not allow you to work your upper body.

So, Which is Best?

The Best of the four lateral trainers we’ve just put under the microscope is the Octane LX8000. It is the most complete in terms of both upper and lower body functionality and provides a very smooth, natural, ergonomically ideal movement arc. The Octane also has the highest user weight and greatest range of resistance levels. As a bonus, we’ve found that the Octane LX8000 has the most easily sourced parts and that it is the most reliable of the four models.

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