Sprung for Sproing: SNEWS tests the ‘reinvention of the treadmill’

How do you improve on a classic? Sproing thinks it has the answer.

SNEWS tested what’s been dubbed the “reinvention of the treadmill” — the Sproing — at IHRSA yesterday and lived to tell the tale.

Amid a sea of black and gray products in Las Vegas was Sproing's little orange booth. It was tucked away at the northeast edge of the trade show floor, but the petite booth size and remote location didn’t seem to matter. During the Thursday morning workout, people were buzzing about, getting short personal training sessions on the product with NFL trainers.

“Are you ready to rock and roll?” asked Reggie Scott, head trainer for the St. Louis Rams. 

The SNEWS team is always ready to rock and roll. Scott told us to hop on the soft, air-filled surface, handed us a harness, then hooked the harness to the back of the Sproing via a bungee cord.

He told us to start marching in place and gradually increase to a running-in-place motion. Before we knew it, our stationary exercise (the platform doesn’t move on the Sproing, rather you lean forward and run in place, remaining upright thanks to the bungee cord) had us sweating like we do on our morning run. 

We then began to do lunges, side steps and running backwards. Scott adjusted the surface to be as soft as sand, and our muscles worked harder, so we started sweating a little bit more.

After just 12 minutes, we were sweating like we’d run our usual five miles. And we were quite pleased. 

Scott told us he’s had a few Sproing units in his facility for seven months and particularly likes the fact that his athletes can maintain their fitness even when they’re rehabilitating from an injury.

“There’s a much quicker acceleration of return to play,” Scott said. He added that his athletes, who are particuarly in tune with their bodies, are naturally skeptical of any new equipment he brings into the workout room, but were quick to embrace the Sproing after the first few workouts. 

Sproing’s CEO Paul Toback said it’s been a good show so far.

“We have been absolutely packed,” Toback said, taking a brief break from explaining the product to a visitor. 

Toback has dubbed his masterpiece, conceived by him and brought to life by his business partner and Chief Technology Officer Steve Lenz, the “reinvention of the treadmill.”

Even though the platform does not move, it allows runners to run leaning forward and get an aerobic workout without the impact of regular running. It also makes for a proper midfoot strike versus a heel strike, and decreases the likelihood of injury. 

The crew brought a prototype to IHRSA in 2011, but this is the real deal, Toback said. It comes equipped with two strength stations so users can do both a cardio and strength workout with two different sets of resistance bands.

The piece (list price $7,900) has two surfaces — the air-filled surface and the beach surface. The beach surface can be added to the unit for $600. The surfaces pop out like couch cushions to make switching simple. 

Its footprint is not much larger than a regular treadmill, which Toback said makes it ideal for clubs and facilities that have members who can’t run and need to replace a few treadmills.

“We think it has a lot of opportunity with sports teams and athletic rehabilitation facilities,” Toback said, adding that many NFL teams already have units in their workout rooms. Plus it’s good for facilities that cater to “seniors who want to run but, say, the belts move too fast. It’s good for everyone from the average member to elite athletes.”

--Ana Trujillo



Netpulse to make treadmills more interactive

Netpulse is looking to improve fitness technology with a recent $15.6 million investment. The San Francisco, Calif.-based media platform and data services company -- famous for its interactive outdoor landscape videos moving at the speed of the excercise equipment -- raised the ...read more

T610 Treadmill by SportsArt Fitness

The T610 Treadmill by SportsArt Fitness has a spacious 20" x 58" running surface • ActivZone Icon illustrates which muscle groups are being activated throughout the workout • Easy to use tilt & go transport wheels • Heart rate telemetery with CardioAdvisor™ and ...read more

TR21f Treadmill by SportsArt Fitness

TheTR21f by SportsArt Fitness features an easy Quikfold™ deck that pops up and out of the way when you are finished with your workout • Sturdy base and welded steel frame will make you swear you are running on a club treadmill • Breakthrough programming such as Glute ...read more

T620 Treadmill by SportsArt Fitness

The T620 by SportsArt Fitness is a perfect fit for any home gym or light commercial facility • Equipped with a visually stimulating dot matrix display • Large 22” x 62” running surface • 3.2 hp motor delivers powerful performance • MyFlex™ deck cushioning system ...read more


Life Fitness produces its 500,000th treadmill

Each time a treadmill comes off the line at Life Fitness’ Franklin Park, Ill. factory, a factory worker climbs on and make sure everything works smoothly. It's been standard practice since 1991. One day last week, though, Life Fitness President Chris Clawson took on the tester's ...read more

TR32 Treadmill by SportsArt Fitness

The Design, technology and style of the TR32 Treadmill by SportsArt Fitness converge to provide multiple premium features on this high-end treadmill • Complete with ACS™ manually adjustable deck cushion system • Multiple programs, and Personal Cardio Advisor™ to help ...read more


Consumer Reports ‘Recommended’ and ‘Best Buy’ treadmills, ellipticals sure to raise controversy

Out just in time for the kick-off of the New Year’s resolution season, Consumer Reports has released its equipment reviews in its annual health and fitness report in the February 2011 issue, featuring rankings of treadmills, ellipticals and heart-rate monitors. With the lack of ...read more

TR33 Treadmill by SportsArt Fitness

The TR33 Treadmill by SportsArt Fitness is a high performance treadmill and the pinnacle of technology, style and durability • ACS Adjustable Cushion System allows the user to electronically adjust the softness or firmness of their treadmill deck to meet their specific needs ...read more

TR31 Treadmill by SportsArt Fitness

The TR31 Treadmill by SportsArt Fitness is a high performance treadmill that is the pinnacle of technology, style and durability • Breakthrough programming such as Glute Trainer, Personal Trainer, Heart Rate ZoneTrainer™ and Personal CardioAdvisor™ ...read more