The Icaros system shows how a VR workout can target many muscles at once. Credit: Icaros

The Icaros virtual flight simulator and fitness machine will begin transforming bodies at the YMCA in downtown Minneapolis this week on Friday. The machine’s horizontal design is built to support fitness rock stars and anyone looking to build up their core and balance.

Gym Opening

The Minneapolis YMCA prides itself on being a pillar of the communities they serve, with a mission “to serve the spirit, mind and body”. Introducing VR technology to YMCA gym visitors gives their clients a cutting edge workout that will be entertaining at the same time.

Ahead of the opening, YMCA Senior Vice President of Digital, Nathan Maehren proudly explained, “In the space now is an Icaros, a German-made virtual reality fitness machine that makes users feel like they are flying. The downtown YMCA is the first in the country to make it available for member use.”

How It Works

Gym visitors that want to try out the new Icaros machine should know that they will be laying down on the machine in a plank position with a Gear VR, Oculus, or Vive headset on. Once assisted onto the machine the person using it will hold onto the hand grips and rest their knees on the leg rests.

VR Fitness Benefits

Credit to: Icaros

During their simulated flight, people training on it will be flying and playing VR games in the plank position. One flying game will have you free falling from space to earth, dodging meteors and spaceships for a gamified workout.

The Icaros machine can be dialed into easy, medium, and hard difficulty levels to accommodate various fitness levels. Dodging helicopters and jets are going to be challenging work, but you’ll see results in the abdominals, obliques, chest, shoulders, trapezius, triceps, quads, and other muscles.

In an interview with Johannes Scholl, CEO of Icaros, tells exercisers what they can expect from the VR flight workout, “It is very intuitive and requires a lot of focus, good balance and reaction skills. We especially love the new shuffle mode: it randomly creates new courses that are infinite and constantly become more challenging – a great way to improve these skills. Of course, all Gravity modes exercise core and upper body muscles. A complete run in the Survive mode takes about three minutes and can become very strenuous.”

The Icaros website says that using their system will burn 30% more calories and activate the muscles 100% more than planking on a gym floor. Working the core and back muscles with Icaros is also notably helpful in the recovery of spinal surgery and back pain. The “pilot”/exercisers vertical movement and relaxed neck posture take away pressure and strain from the neck, zeroing in on the core and other major muscle groups for its source of power.

Where to Find Icaros

Credit to: Icaros

The new Icaros fitness machine can be found at Nicollet Mall at 6th Street on Friday January 26th in downtown Minneapolis. If you want to know more about purchasing their machine contact them via a contact form on their website. Icaros runs for around $9,200.

Good news: At CES 2018, Icaros announced that they will be looking to roll out an Icaros Home model at an unknown date and price point.

Follow Icaros on Twitter @Icarosflight to stay in the know, or keep checking back with us for more about this VR fitness flying machine.


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