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SNEWS reports live from IHRSA on next-generation cardio, strength and accessories

SNEWS gives you a sneak peek at some of the cool stuff we found so far at IHRSA — with a does of Hollywood celeb sightings. It’s just a little taste, so come back soon for a full wrap-up of the new products.

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When we arrived in Los Angeles early Thursday morning, before the doors to the Convention Center were even open to the media, we sure were tired. It was a long trip to the airport and we were 10 minutes away from missing our flight.

But the sheer energy of the muscle-bound folks dressed in both suits and workout attire infused us with the boost needed to tackle the day. Before we knew it, we were getting sweaty!

While SNEWS will bring you more in-depth wrap-ups in the strength, cardio and accessories categories in the coming days, we wanted to give you a sneak peek of some of the stuff that caught our attention (including celebrities like Mark Wahlberg, photo, right).

Certainly, Octane’s LateralX lateral trainer (photo, below) is one of the great products here at IHRSA (which is on through Saturday, March 17). While the elliptical has been a gym and home staple for years, the LateralX, which made its debut to the industry on Wednesday night at a launch party, might be the next Big One. After only five minutes on the machine, our SNEWS reporter had worked up a sweat and she said her thighs and buns started to feel like steel.

In addition to going front-to-back in an elliptical motion, the trainer moves laterally, allowing exercisers to tone up for sports that rely heavily on the hips and thigh muscles like snowboarding or skiing. Plus, ladies, the hips and thighs (both inner and outer) got a great workout on this thing.

Vice President of Sales Ryan Simat said most sports require lateral motion, and the product is good for any fitness level because users can adjust the width of the elliptical motion (the narrower it is, the easier the workout).

“The LateralX has that ellipse pattern and the pedal comes back around and rewards you for your efforts,” Simat said. “It’s fun to do and the full adjustability gives variety. You can go five, 10 minutes, or you can go the 45 minutes and feel good about your workout.”

After leaving the Octane booth, we saw some beautiful, scantily clad men and women hopping around on Kangoo Jumps (photo, right), which look like a pair of slimmed down ski boots attached to football-shaped, elliptical stilts. They aren’t exactly new, but they are fun and just a little wild. These folks were hopping like they weren’t scared to break an ankle. Stay tuned to SNEWS for a closer look in our accessories wrap-up.

We all know the instability training trend is most likely here to stay. Physical therapist Bryce Taylor brought his Halo Trainer (photo, left) to IHRSA for the first time. It’s a device that fits over a stability ball, which one can use to secure the ball for doing push-ups and other exercises with more control.

“The idea is controlled instability,” Taylor told SNEWS. “Balls roll around, and they’re also squishy. [The Halo Trainer] does two things: It either takes out the rolling and maintains the squishy, or takes out the squishy and maintains the roll.”

Either way, it gives the user the benefits of the stability ball, with the solid foundation of a bar to do push-ups on that’s great for all fitness levels.

While we saw much more on our first day at IHRSA, including a few of the 50 new products from Life Fitness and a test drive of the revamped Arc Trainer from Cybex, this is just a taste of more to come.

Stay tuned!

–Ana Trujillo