Elliptical machines are a great option for cross-training, overall fitness and recovery days.
An elliptical machine is a great cross-training and recovery tool. In comparison to a treadmill, the elliptical machine is more joint-friendly and targets multiple muscle groups while providing an uninterrupted, full-body workout. It’s also an excellent way to get in cardio without pounding on your joints or working against gravity like you would while running.
Elliptical machines are an ideal exercise choice for people with knee or hip injuries; they’re easier on your joints than other cardiovascular equipment such as treadmills and stationary bikes, which can put excessive pressure on the knees and hips.
And if you’re short on time but still want to get a good workout in? Interval training offers maximum efficiency. An interval workout is one that involves alternating between periods of high intensity work (such as sprinting) and lower intensity work (such as jogging). If you’re not sure how to do this, just hop on an elliptical machine, set it to manual mode at a resistance that allows you to run comfortably—but only jogging speeds—and then program the machine so that it alternates between intervals of 30 seconds running followed by 1 minute walking for about 20 minutes. This method has been proven effective for improving VO2 max and maintaining healthy heart function even when reduced exercise time is necessary.
Interval training can also help improve performance in endurance sports such as cycling—perhaps another reason why many cyclists use elliptical machines during their off-season.
Excellent cross-training exercise
Looking for a way to mix up your boring workout routine? The elliptical is an excellent cross-training exercise that can be used in place of running or cycling. Also known as the “cross trainer”, it’s a stationary machine with two foot pedals, two handles, and a screen that displays your workout stats. The user stands on the pedals and pushes them back and forth with their feet, while holding on to the handles for support. Ellipticals usually feature different levels of resistance so that you can adjust how hard your workout is.
While an elliptical may seem like just another gym machine, its benefits are much more than just burning calories: it’s also extremely well suited to people who have knee problems or injuries that prevent them from running or cycling. Since there is no impact on your lower body joints (no pounding), you’ll feel no pain while pushing yourself on an elliptical—this makes it a great option for those who suffer from arthritis or any other joint trouble. Plus, you can use the upper body handles to work out those arms!
Great for people with knee and hip injuries or joint issues
Because the elliptical is a low impact exercise machine, it can be beneficial to people who have injuries or joint issues. Here are some things to keep in mind about how an elliptical can be good for your health:
- If you’ve had knee or hip injuries, using this machine can be great because there’s minimal impact on those areas of your body.
- The gliding motion of the pedals is also useful for people with osteoarthritis because it helps avoid stress on their joints.
- It’s a great option for people with osteoporosis as well because this type of exercise strengthens muscles without putting too much pressure on bones.
- For those with rheumatoid arthritis, an elliptical is helpful because it offers both an aerobic and strength workout without requiring sudden changes in direction or high-impact moves.
Increases upper body mobility
The elliptical trainer can be a great choice for upper body exercise, and it can help those who struggle with their balance. When you’re using the machine, you have the option of using your arms or keeping them relaxed at your sides. Depending on what body part you’re targeting, you can choose to use different hand positions (underhand grip is good for shoulders, overhand grip is good for biceps). If you’re looking to get an upper body workout while still focusing on lower body fitness, try adjusting the resistance level so that it’s higher than usual. By increasing the resistance and reducing your speed—and if necessary, even lowering the incline of the machine—you’ll shift more focus to your upper body while still working out other key areas.
Variety of hand positions to reduce strain
However, the elliptical does not have to be a strain. You can take control of your body and reduce any pain you may be experiencing by utilizing different hand positions. Since the handles on an elliptical move in a fluid motion that is separate from the foot pedals, you can switch hand positions without disrupting your stride. This not only makes it easier on your hands and arms but can also help you engage different muscle groups as well.
You can also change up your workout routine by pedaling backwards or switching up resistance levels and programs. These options will help you make sure that you are working different muscle groups each time to maximize the benefits of using an elliptical trainer. Using variety is a great way to keep yourself engaged and motivated during workouts as well as lessening fatigue on certain parts of your body.
Has minimal impact, good for recovery days
- Another excellent benefit of the elliptical is that it’s great for recovery days. Your joints will thank you for using the elliptical instead of running when your body needs a break: the non-impact nature of the machine allows you to work without overstraining yourself.
- If you have knee, hip, or joint problems such as arthritis, an elliptical can be a good way to gently exercise with minimal discomfort.
- Similarly, if you’re overweight or pregnant, it’s best to choose low-impact workouts like those done on an elliptical machine.
- Older people also reap the benefits of this low-impact activity and can enjoy their fitness goals with decreased risk of injury or overexertion.
In conclusion, elliptical exercise is a low impact, full body workout that can be as easy or challenging as you want it to be. Plus, they’re great cross-training tools. Pick up an Elliptical trainer today if you’re looking to get in shape, or just looking to supplement an existing fitness regimen with a joint friendly workout plan.