Shapemaster, the world’s leading provider of power assisted exercise equipment, has rebranded as Innerva with a new logo, visual identity and website.

The new brand marks the next stage in the Honley-based company’s evolution and its ambitious plans for growth as it strengthens its focus on the active ageing market, a sector traditionally under-served by the health and fitness industry.

Innerva, formed from the words innovate and innerve (meaning: to invigorate), reflects the company’s heritage as a British designer and manufacturer of innovative exercise equipment and its ongoing commitment to research and development to provide unique solutions that help operators meet the needs of the UK’s growing ageing population.

For more than 30 years, the company’s power assisted exercise technology has provided a low impact, full-body workout circuit for older adults, people living with health conditions or recovering from injury as well as those turned off by traditional gyms. It’s renown circuit delivers a safe and sociable exercise solution, providing a viable new revenue stream for operators.

Jon Hymus, commercial director at Innerva, said: “This is much more than just a name change. Since our launch in 1989, both the company and the health and fitness industry has transformed beyond all recognition.

“What hasn’t changed is our focus on innovation and developing equipment that gives a ‘helping hand’ to those who benefit most from exercise.

“We are living in an ageing society, but as part of that people are also living longer with illness and disability. The rebrand reflects our position in the market as an innovator in exercise equipment for older adults and people with long-term health conditions, as well as a partner to operators looking to create age-friendly environments in their gyms and leisure centres.”

New power-assisted products for wheelchair users

Innerva is also launching the first two pieces of its new Access Range, which is designed to accommodate wheelchair users. Developed following robust research, the Rotary Torso and Tricep Dip give users a unique opportunity to exercise muscles weakened by repetitive wheelchair use and improve their strength and coordination, both vital for maintaining functional ability.

Used as part of an existing Innerva circuit or to supplement equipment on the gym floor, these reliable and durable new products allow operators to offer programmes that meet the needs of wheelchair users and improve their quality of life.

“Since our humble beginnings in the late 80s we’ve been passionate about developing equipment that allows more people to exercise and to do so in a social environment.

“Our new Access Range is another example of how we are democratising fitness, providing a motivating and engaging workout for wheelchair users and making it easier for them to positively impact their health,” said Mr Hymus.

New research on five key elements of active ageing

To coincide with the rebrand, Innerva has conducted research into active ageing, specifically exploring the impact of their power assisted equipment in combatting the natural effects of the ageing process.

Conducted by the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) at Sheffield Hallam University, a world-leading research centre dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of the population through innovations that help people move, the research assessed Innerva’s products against the five essential elements of healthy ageing, which are defined as:

  1. Aerobic fitness
  2. Muscular strength
  3. Balance
  4. Flexibility
  5. Social wellbeing

Rachel Young, research fellow at the AWRC and a specialist in neurological rehabilitation and exercise prescription, said regular use of Innerva products helped older adults of all fitness levels to maintain and improve the key elements that support healthy ageing. 

“The (5 elements of healthy ageing) research project generated robust evidence that Innerva equipment enables users to engage in a combined aerobic and strength training workout which incorporates whole body movement.

“The data indicated that high intensity aerobic and muscular efforts were interspersed with low intensity activity to gain the benefits of interval training and enable users to adjust their effort according to their fitness goals and ability.

“The multiple speed settings combined with multi-directional movement also maintain or improve balance performance.”

The full findings of the study will be published in academic journals later this year.