Four good reasons to start using an elliptical machine
If you want to switch up your workouts, it's time to get to know the elliptical machine, also known as the cross trainer.
Cross trainers are suitable for a variety of audiences, making any type of exercise easy and comfortable. It is not only a joint-preserving machine, but also allows you to work out the whole body and burn a very large number of calories: its ease of use and the versatility of the exercises it allows (cardio, strength, resistance, HIIT) make it loved by a very large number of people. These machines are ideal for any type of user, from beginners to adults, to casual athletes. Cross-training machines are essential for the gym, but personal trainers often offer them as a good option for at-home fitness.
Cross trainer course
Not familiar with elliptical machines?
It's so named because the pedal components operate in elliptical - not circular - orbits, which makes the motion dynamics more natural.
Using the elliptical machine is pretty simple, but in case you're not used to it, here's a step-by-step guide for your first approach:
- Stand on the side where the pedal is at its lowest.
- Grab the center handles to elevate yourself and maintain stability throughout the course.
- Then you can change the position of your hands and stick to the moving handles.
- Take comfortable steps, moving your lower body and arms in sync with each other.
- Then you can start changing the resistance and speed using the buttons on the elliptical device display.
Since the primary function of the machine includes the need to move the pedals in synergy with the handlebars, training with elliptical trainers improves coordination and balance, while activating all the muscles in the body. On the other hand, in the event of injuries to the shoulders, hands, wrists or elbows, elliptical machines can also be used by working only on the pedals.
Throughout the exercise, keep your torso engaged, your back straight, and your gaze forward.
So, what are the advantages of this machine?
Little effect on joints and easy recovery
If you are recovering from an injury or want an exercise that doesn't put too much stress on your joints, the elliptical is for you! Cross trainers are very stimulating, but without affecting the joints, which is also why they are often offered to train older adults.
Do not put your feet on the ground when using the elliptical machine; Instead, the feet move in elliptical orbits in the air. Conversely, when running, every time the feet hit the ground, the ankles and knees feel the impact, which can lead to injury.
The elliptical is a full-body workout
Few machines can train the whole body. The elliptical machine engages the upper and lower muscles - as well as the core - as you move the handles back and forth.
In addition, the elliptical provides a workout for the heart and blood vessels, helping the heart and lungs to be more efficient. As mentioned, with low-impact training, it can be helpful in getting back in shape after an injury.
Cross trainers can offer resistance-based sessions
Adding resistance-based activities to your workouts is a great way to increase muscle mass and burn more calories, by boosting your metabolism. Plus, exercising your muscles can also contribute to bone density: Weak bones can lead to osteoporosis, a fairly common problem in women going through menopause, as hormonal changes can lead to weak bones.
Try to slowly increase the resistance each time you step on the cross trainer to work your legs, glutes, torso, and arms.
Burn a handful of calories
Depending on the resistance and speed chosen, you can expect to burn a lot more calories exercising on an elliptical machine. Usually, 30 minutes burns about 200 calories, but if you increase the speed and increase the resistance, you will burn a lot more. This makes it a great alternative to running and a great solution to help you lose weight and keep it under control.