Testing The Zero Runner

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I had a strange workout the other day; it was in a shop in full gym kit! Admittedly the shop was Fitness Superstore so it wasn’t like I was doing Crossfit in H&M or anything, but still, it was a bit strange. The reason I was doing this was that FS are the stockists of a new gym machine that aims to help runners keep up their fitness but with less impact on their joints. It’s called Zero Runner and it’s kind of like a cross trainer – but one that mimics the same gait as running.

It’s pretty easy to use – simply climb on and start moving your legs in a circular, almost cycling type of motion – so far so, some types of cross trainer – but what makes the Zero Runner slightly different is that you can then bend your knee enough to kick your leg up behind you just as you do when you run. This has the effect of creating an almost bean shaped movement, which by downloading their associated technology, you can then see illustrated on an ipad on in front of you. Your job is then to try and make all your beans look the same – if you don’t it’s a sign that your stride is starting to alter and you need to focus on your form a bit more.

Artist representation of the 'beany bit'

Artist representation of the ‘beany bit’

It was extremely easy to use – and unlike some cross trainers or ellipiticals I’ve tried it didn’t require super balance to feel stable on it – which would be good if you were using it for rehab purposes – nothing worse than attempting to stay fit while an injury heals and falling off the machine and twisting the other leg! Take it from someone who came back from a torn meniscus and was VERY nervous when getting on the cross trainer for a while.

You can just use it purely as a cardio machine – they have programs ranging up to half marathon (god save me from ever having to train for a half marathon on any kind of machine) but it also has timed interval type plans too that combine both cardio and strength training. How Helen I hear you ask – well….there’s two handles on the back of the machine which pull out to reveal cables that you can use for resistance work and, the machine happily counts you on and off. If you were looking for a machine to buy for home. and didn’t have room for a treadmill this would be a pretty good option – apparently it has the same size floor ‘footprint’ as an exercise bike. Admittedly at £2700 a pop, it’s a bit more expensive than an entry level treadmill, but if you love to run, but your knees don’t, it’s another option.

If you want to check it out it’s at Fitness Superstore stores now – which I’ve discovered is a brilliant way to get a free sneaky workout. You go in and test the machines and voila, instant cardio session – admittedly you can probably only do this, maybe twice, before they get suspicious!!!


  1. Noel Paine

    Very interesting! Last year I tried, tested and reviewed the Elliptigo (like running on a bike outside) and have used many elliptical machines —and this seems like another than may be worth investigating. Where did you test or did you buy one?

    1. healthehelen

      Didnt buy it no. Tried it in a branch of Fitness Superstore in the UK.


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