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A few years ago and having a body to die for... literally ... being several stones over weight, asthmatic, anaemic, and being the proud owner of my grandmothers knees, an untimely end was looming large.. I think it's the knees that will get me in the end, staying upright at crucial moments of perambulation can be a problem. I decided enough was enough and it was time I did something about it. Ok the asthma, knees and lack of metal in my blood were things that I couldn't do much about but the weight I reasoned was at least partially in my control. As you can probably tell from that statement my intention for using this machine was primarily weight loss, but the increased fitness would be a huge bonus. So come circa 2006 I girded my loins and thought here we go again.
I am concentrating on my piece of equipment but the DooYoo heading does not specify a brand of air glider, so what I have written is also general about how useful this type of exercise seemed to be for me, and those bits should be relevant to any machine of this ilk.
I had seen the air glider in various almost identical incarnations advertised on a few shopping channels, the one I opted for was the XL air glider from QVC as I checked the prices and functions offered elsewhere and it seemed to be a good buy. It cost me £79.99 at the time, it is still advertised on QVC America at $99 but I can't find it on the UK site, there are similar products available from as little as £49 at Amazon (reduced from about £79). Apparently the Carl Lewis Air Walker is the dogs bollocks of gliders, with the Tony Little Gazelle freestyle glider is seemingly quite good too (and of course these are more expensive), but as mentioned above this is not the one I have. At the time I bought elliptical gliders were the big thing touted as mimicking a skiing action giving a whole body workout, the glider was not quite as sophisticated as that but had a very similar action which worked the arms and upper body as well as legs and glutes (I am not a fitness expert so am not sure exactly which muscle groups this specifically targets). I think that my type of glider is slowly being replaced by more up to date models but I believe that you can still get this and similar if you look for it.
This and other similar gliders is foldable for storage, and is based on a large metal X-frame which is hinged so that it folds flat but still takes up several feet in length and width but is only about six inches deep. It is quite a svelte shape to store under beds but mine lives propped up against my living room wall as this is the room I use it in. This is a very heavy item which is a problem if you want to use it in one room and store it in another, as unless you are quite tall and freakishly strong there is no way you can carry it easily between rooms, there's no way I would get this baby upstairs without doing myself an injury. It is REALLY heavy; and the awkward shape makes it even more difficult to move. So I would recommend deciding where you will be using this and keep it there.
The glider comes boxed and is already 'folded' of course. Setting up and folding away are simple. You open up the X of metal, there are two strong thick plasticised wire cables which prevents the glider from opening too far. You should ensure that these are taught and the frame is completely open before using. The foot rests on which you stand clip to the frame with attached sturdy plastic 'thingies' when stored, when setting up you just unclip these and lower the rests so they are in the position for use. The back of the footrests is held by a taught strong flexible cable. I have had this item for 5 years and these cables are just as taught as they were when first purchased.
There are two hydraulic resistance pistons which are attached to the frame and the bar which runs from the handgrips to the front of the foot rests. These pistons make the action nice and smooth but give as the name clearly states.. resistance. The resistance can not be altered and the calories burned etc displayed on the monitor is adjusted by the amount of effort you put in the speed you reach and the distance travelled. If you are particularly unfit, or have physical problems (or apparently just want a cardio work out) then you don't attach the pistons. I would never use this machine without them as your feet just whizz back and forth and it seems to do nothing. My kids liked this without the pistons attached as they would sit on the foot rests and use it as a swing. When in storage these pistons must be detached from the moveable 'arms'. You will need to wait a few minutes after finishing your session before detaching these as they get quite hot with the friction. When you need to pop them back on for use next time it is quite easy; you just pull the pistons out slightly and with a wiggle they will pop on the slim metal protuberances designed to take them.
During the last year or so the left hand piston while it works perfectly and gives the same resistance as the right when you first hop on, within 10-15 minutes becomes less resistive, allowing the left leg to work less hard than the right, not wanting to be lopsided I took to turning my back on the hand grips and working that way to give both legs the same workout. When I first bought this glider I'm sure I read something about being able to top up the fluid which helps the piston work, or being able to replace a piston should it need it, unfortunately I have long since lost the instruction, perhaps I should look into it.
This glider has a monitor attached centrally on the top front cross bar so that you can see it easily when exercising. It require batteries which last for ages, I have only replaced them once in 5 years. The monitor tells you the miles per hour you are achieving, the distance you have 'travelled', your heart rate (which I never figured out how to use and how it monitored that because there is nothing to connect you with the monitor?), it also gives a reading of how many calories you have burned, obviously this is not precise as it is not hooked up to you at all but uses a calculation based on distance, miles per hour and speed.
The foot rests are big enough in length and width to take the most whopping feet, my husbands feet are a 12 and he had no trouble with the foot plates. They have a lip at the front to stop your feet shooting off, and quite deep grips on the surface. There is no lip at the back so if your feet are mahoosive then they should be able to protrude a little without too much problem. The rests aren't rubber (or if they are they are very hard rubber) so can be a bit slippery despite having a good pattern of deep grips, but most trainers should be fine. The grips are quite hard so don't wear down, on the couple of occasions that I enthusiastically hopped on for a quick 20 calorie sprint in bare feet, I had to hope off again sharpish, ouch. I also found that my feet would work their way quite quickly to the front of the rests and press sometimes uncomfortably against the toe guards....especially if I was exercising in my slippers.... Ok I know you're supposed to use suitable foot wear but I'd spent my last pennies on the infernal machine, and didn't own a pair of trainers.
The hand grips are very comfortable and angled slightly away from you, and are encased in thick black foam which gives a good grip. I loved this aspect of the glider as I felt it really did give a good workout and wasn't too focussed on lower body. However after I'd been using the machine for about a month I noticed a tendency for the clever little monitor to slip slowly around the bar towards me which was ok as long as it worked, but once it reached a certain degree of tilt it would stop racking up the calories burned. Now watching the calories, or miles (if I'm honest 'parts' of a mile) mount up was the only thing - apart from music blasting my eardrums to kingdom come that was keeping me motivated, so I simply wouldn't just accept that this was knackered. I tried tightening the screw which held it to the bar this seemed to work for a short time, but it would quickly work loose again, during the same exercise session that I had 'fixed' it in.
I pretty much gave up using the arm exercisers for quite a while as I had to keep twisting the damn monitor back into place. When I had been using the machine for some time I learnt approximately what pace and length of time would equate to the calorie burn I was looking for so started to use the arm pieces again. I should perhaps have returned the item, but I was seeing weight loss results and was firming up of my flabby butt, so did not want to have to fuss with returning it, waiting for a replacement and then getting one that would probably have the same problem anyway.
I bought my machine in 2006, but it looks identical to many being sold now, hopefully they may have sorted out this monitor slippage glitch by now, but if you can check this out before buying a glider I would. Perhaps I was unlucky and got a slightly faulty one, but to me it looked as if they'd 'spoiled the ship for a ha'porth of tar' as it did seem to be fitted quite poorly to the frame.
When I received the machine it required you to fit big plastic 'corner guards' to the frame where the cross bar met the 'X', this was to protect you from pinching should you rest your hand on this junction whilst the machine was in use, and also I presume to give a little more strength? They were fairly simple to fit; they came in two halves which screwed together. However with the vibration of the machine one did split and they needed tightening quite often. Also some of the bolts would work a little loose and needed tightening. They never came out though, and didn't seem to affect the functioning of the machine.
I'm sorry that I can't remember the exact weight bearing limit for this machine it's been a long time since I've seen the instructions (which were clear and easy to understand when I received the item). I think it is around the 17/18 stone mark, some machines go higher. I 'think' this could have some bearing on the reason that the corner guard split and sometimes the bolts would work loose - as between myself and my husband we really gave that machine one hell of a pounding. I used it (barring illness and days out) every single day for about 18 months, and a few times a week for some time after. Him indoors also used it a few times a week, neither of us were lightweights when we started, both of us being at the upper weight limit, actually one of us was about a stone over... ok it was me (hides head in shame), and this not so little machine took the punishment, and still works today. Yes it does now have a couple of gremlins (which to me gives it character) but it still works and I still feel that it could be of great benefit if I used it more regularly.
When losing weight previously it has always been very hard work despite following a healthy balanced weight loss plan religiously I would find myself stalling way before I technically should have. I did go a bit doolally with my diet on this occasion as I cut right down, but I know my body and that simply eating healthily and sticking to a balanced diet will not have much effect, only drastic measures will work and then usually only slowly. So most of the credit for speeding up my weight loss must go to the glider.
If you have mobility problems or are quite unfit like me when I started out you can use this while holding on to the cross bar at the front instead of the hand grips. This gives you more support and of course is not quite as strenuous a work out - though you can get more speed up this way, so can be equally calorie consuming. I also used mine standing sideways with one hand on the cross bar to steady me and scissored my legs so that the inner thighs got some extra toning exercise, but I didn't do this for long periods as it was a little awkward and not particularly aerobic. Also of course this is very low impact exercise so is good if you have damaged joints or simply don't want to risk damaging your joints as there is little pressure put on your body in a jarring weight bearing capacity.
As previously mentioned I used the glider every day (well almost every day) starting with two sessions of just 10 minutes a day, but this quickly rose to between half an hour and an hour daily, with gradually increasing speed and vigour. By the time I'd lost a few stones my little legs were flying, and I was leaping off the glider hardly out of breath with a manic glint in my eye ready to take on the world (I believe this is known as an endorphin rush, and can be quite dangerous in the hands of someone as mental as myself). Over the course of about 9 months I lost 7 stones, and had the best shape to my legs and backside that I have ever had. My lower half has always been a horror story having child bearing hips, (no one tells you that you can have child bearing thighs and bum too!) and these problem areas had for the first time been very efficiently whittled down. Thanks largely to this product I felt healthier and more alive than I had since I was a teenager. I dropped from a size 28 to a small 14, (and if I'd been able to have the mummy stretched stomach hacked and restitched I reckon it would have been down to a size 12), I could run for the bus, and buy clothes in 'normal' shops. For a couple of years I had a life. Now I'm not for one second claiming that anyone who is over weight can't enjoy life to the full, but for me being fat had/has a profound depressive effect.
Despite some negatives I found this machine to be exceptionally effective. It was cheaper than most similar products, so I accepted it being a bit more cheaply put together than perhaps I should have; on the basis of you get what you pay for. However it was effective in what it was meant to achieve and didn't fall apart in the most important 'way' so I was very happy with the results.
I gradually used the glider less and less and some of the weight has crept back on (as it often does with 'dieteres') and lately I have been eyeing up my neglected glider and wondering if I could handle another assault on the flab or if I should just resign myself to dying ... well it's already too late to die young... but prematurely I could still manage. Anyone know of some diet pills that work?
The dimensions are given as 41-1/2"L x 27-1/2"W x 54-1/2"H (I presume this is when open)
3 stars for build quality
5 for results
The AirGlider is a non impact aerobic workout exercise machine. Built from steel tubing coated in white paint, and foam padded for good grip. Easy to follow guide to assemble and folds for easy storage. Also included are a digital readout and instruction video. The AirGlider is very stylish looking in white and grey and is very sturdy to use. The recommended 30 minute exercise workout will benefit body and health, it will help with weight loss, tone up the body, increase energy and can even help reduce stress. The AirGlider has a 100 kg maximum load so check weight first, it is recommended children do not use this exercise machine. Always check with a doctor if you have any health problems before using this exercise machine. The digital readout shows you the amount of time you have been exercising, the amount of strides done and calorie consumption. As you spend time on the AirGlider and get fitter you can turn the intensity level up for a harder workout, always warm-up for about 10 minutes before using exercise equipment. On the AirGlider you use both arms and legs as you workout so you have to have a good sense of balance while using, or you could just do leg exercises and hold onto a support bar I've been using the AirGlider for sometime and I can say its been a benefit to me. Its ideal for winter months when you don't want to go out running, and you can use it whenever you want. Disadvantages of this machine are the weight, which you might find makes it hard to move around, and the size, although it folds you might find it hard to store and get in and out of cupboards or under beds. I can recommend the AirGlider as a aerobic exercise machine, If you've never owned one before this one is a good starter.