You probably have seen a machine with two long handles at the cardio section. Some people call this machine as Elliptical Exercise Machine or Elliptical Bike. Some call it Cross-Trainer. So, what exactly are Elliptical Trainer or the so called Cross-Trainer?
It is an exercise equipment that combine the movements of the stair climber, treadmill, and the exercise bike into one. It combines the movements and benefits of hiking, cross country skiing, and biking. With elliptical exercise equipment, your legs travel in an elongated circular motion. It is as if you are standing on a cross country ski machine but instead of your feet moving back and forth, the machine forces them to move around in an oval pattern (hence elliptical).
Here are the major benefits of elliptical exercise machines:
- The most important aspect of using an elliptical trainer is the reduction of impact. It provides the similar type of workout as jogging but without the wear and tear on your joints. Because of your weight, jogging actually places a great deal of stress on the back and joints. If you have ever jogged a lot and without a good pair of jogging shoes, jogging can be hard on your knees, ankles, shins, and back. With elliptical bike, because your limbs remain in continuous contact with the machine, its operation limits the impact to your joints. That’s why most fitness experts recommend the elliptical trainer to people who have a hard time exercising because of physical ailments such as bad joints and arthritis.
- Depending on the intensity, you may burn more calorieswith the elliptical trainer compared with the treadmill or the exercise bike. The actual workout feels like a brisk walk even though you are exerting as much effort as a good run. Elliptical trainers burn the between 8 and 12 calories per minute. Not too bad.
- If you choose an elliptical trainer with dual action handle bars, you can actually get a true cross training workout that uses your whole body, including your upper body. But, for me, I prefer not to hold the bar because I tend to move slower. Without holding the bar, I feel that my abs will actually work slightly harder in stabilizing my body.
- For those who want to work out your lower legs, the elliptical trainer uses all of the muscles of the lower leg. Therefore, you will strengthen and build your lower legs.
- Another great thing about the elliptical trainer is that you can move at a comfortable speed while allowing for the occasional burst of high intensities.
- Safe to use.When you stop, the machine stops. The amount of resistance on an elliptical trainer will determine how much effort it will take for you to keep your feet moving. The speed will be determined by your own movement.
- For those who is looking for a home gym cardio equipment, consider this machine. Elliptical machine uses very little electricity and is economical to operate. Because of lesser impact, there is less wear and tear of the machine, making the maintenance quite low compared with treadmill.
For those who are overweight or who has chronic knee problem, I highly recommend cross trainer. It does less harm to your knees and I am sure you will like it.I have been using this machine since two years ago and I have no complaint about it so far. Once you use one, you will be hooked. The machine at my fitness club actually has a LCD screen showing few cable TV programs (ESPN, MTV and Star Movie). I never like doing cardio, but now, you know why I like this machine so much.
If you have already tried elliptical machine, but have doubt whether you get the most out from it, check out this article – 5 Tips in Using Elliptical Machine More Effectively
If you want to shop for one, check out the review of some of the Elliptical Trainers at Amazon. Few of the highly recommended machines are:
- Entry level: Elliptical Cross Trainer with Computer
- Mid level: Schwinn 460 Variable Stride Elliptical Trainer
- High end: Precor EFX 5.25 Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer
Category: Fitness Gadget/Equipment
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