Bowflex LateralX Brings Side-to-Side Workouts to Your Home



Nautilus, the legendary fitness equipment manufacturer, recently launched a new at-home cardio machine called the Bowflex LateralX. As a personal trainer, I make it a point to incorporate lateral movements into my clients’ workouts because in everyday life, people often move side to side. I regularly program movements such as mini band lateral walks, side hops, side shuffles, side lunges and workouts on a lateral cardio machine. I’ve had a client with a torn meniscus in each knee use a lateral cardio machine and report no pain or discomfort. With the release of the Bowflex LateralX, the at-home fitness enthusiast can get a lower body workout like no other.

A traditional elliptical moves front and back and side-to-side, hitting the quadriceps (thigh) and gluteus maximus muscle but doesn’t target the hip abductors muscles, specifically the gluteus medius or gluteus minimus. The major gluteal muscle is the gluteus maximus which is responsible for externally rotating (turning toes away) and extending (squatting) the hip. There are two other lesser known gluteal muscles, both of which are responsible for moving the hips away from the body like when you sit in that hip machine and separate your legs against the two pads (hip abduction machine). Those are gluteus medius and gluteus minimus. According to Back Mechanic by Dr. Stuart McGill, the gluteus medius is the high and lateral muscle essential for running, walking and supporting the pelvis as a level platform for the spine. Aside from functional purposes, training the medius and minimus muscles can make your butt look better. Good news for physique competitors and fit moms alike.

LX3, LX5 and LX5+

The handlebars of the LX5 and LX5+.

The handlebars of the LX5 and LX5+.

The Bowflex LateralX is available in three models: the LX3 ($1,999), LX5 ($2,699), and LX5+ ($2,999). Keep in mind that Bowflex’s website often offers big discounts on these machines and you can finance the equipment like a car. All three models have a 7.5 inch backlit display, a media rack, cooling fan, are Bluetooth 4.0 compatible, sync with the free LateralX app, include FM radio and include heart rate monitoring hand contacts.

The main five differences between the LX3, LX5 and LX5+ are:
1)The LX3 has a fixed lateral range, meaning you can’t adjust just how far out to the side you go.
2) The LX5 and LX5+ go up to a resistance of 10 while the LX3 goes up to a resistance of 8.
3) The LX3 has two hand positions (below, close to the machine to torch the glutes) or the free moving arms. The LX5 and LX5+ have several more hand positions since the arms are designed with additional grip positions.
4) The LX5 and LX5+ include a heart rate monitor chest strap while the LX3 relies on the machine itself to monitor heart rate.
5) The LX5+ includes a built in Samsung Galaxy Tab E 9.6 inch tablet which is customized by Bowflex to include workouts and apps like Spotify and Netflix. The LX5+ also includes a mat to place underneath the machine or for your own workout needs.

There are other differences between the models but those are the ones that stand out. What really stands out about the LX3 vs. the other models is that the LX3 is actually constructed differently; it doesn’t have the extra handles on the arms. In an unprecedented move for Nautilus, the LX5+ includes a customized tablet. So, Nautilus designed the software, similar to how Flywheel Sports Fly Anywhere bike has an option for a built-in display or how Peloton’s bikes and treadmill come with a built-in touchscreen. This immersive, interactive experience is key to the at-home user experience.


The Bowflex LateralX LX3

The Bowflex LateralX LX3

As for the difference between the LateralX and commercial lateral machines, the Lateral X is more compact, providing a smaller total footprint. It also literally has smaller footplates. The footplates also pivot to a raised position, allowing for increased quadriceps activation. So I know what you’re thinking, “Why not just got to the gym and use their lateral trainer such as the Octane Fitness LateralX?” Well, the same reason people give to not purchase personal training at gyms: they don’t really want to go to the gym.

Some people are so busy between work and family life, they can’t get to a gym. Other people get anxiety/are nervous about entering a public gym. Or some athletes need the most convenient way possible to fit in their cardio workout, even if they are already members of a gym. So, a bodybuilder may wake up, do morning cardio, go to work, then hit the gym to lift weights. An endurance athlete may wake up, do 30 minutes on the machine, come home from work and spend another 30 minutes on the machine. Or, they may spend an hour on the machine when time allows.

Overall, the LateralX allows people to train in the sagittal plane of movement at home, that is, the plane that divides the body into right and left parts. When else do people actively train in a horizontal way at home? Not often or ever. The LateralX is a low-impact way to burn calories, increase muscular endurance, build aerobic capacity and prevent injuries. It’s perfect for people that can’t run, have knee issues, are struggling with obesity. It’s also perfect for elite athletes and executives looking to upgrade their home gym. Don’t forget to include lateral moves in your workouts to obtain optimal posture and lower body strength.

LateralX Man 1.jpg


For more information about the Bowflex LateralX, visit

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