The use of machines for the application of exercise and therapeutics is not new. However, the proper and systematized used was first employed by Dr. Gustave Zander in 1857. It was when the world was rapidly industrializing, and the people were moving to sedentary life. Dr. Zander incorporated machinery for therapeutic, and the people were suffering from injuries, deformities, and those who want to improve their health or lose weight. He designed nearly one hundred exercise machines, and his machine helped the patients and other people.
Zander’s machines used weights and levers to target specific muscles. The lever worked as an extension of the muscle group being exercised. Sliding the weight towards the end of the lever increased resistance, thus increasing muscle workload. Moving it closer created less resistance.
These machines were similar to the machines we use today in gym clubs, hospital therapy departments and other wellness centers. Dr. Zander established his wellness institute in Stockholm in 1865. He also exhibited his machines in Brussels and Philadelphia and wrote the book ‘Zander’s medico-mechanische Gymnastik’ in 1892. He also came to New York City to establish an institute near Central Park. Dr. Zander died in Stockholm in 1920. However, his revolutionary ideas are still receiving the attention and respect they deserve.