Elliptical Trainer: Benefits and 5 Best Exercises

Elliptical trainer, also known as cross trainer, is built on the basic principle of saving the joints from the excessive pressure of running, jogging, stair-climbing and the likes. So, its a low impact and high reward trainer. Therefore, When it comes to effective and low-impact cardio workouts, cross trainer stands as a star among fitness equipment. Whether you’re a seasoned gym-goer or just starting your fitness journey, the elliptical machine offers a range of benefits that can help you achieve your health and wellness goals.

In this blog, we will understand the world of elliptical trainer, exploring their advantages and how to make the most of this fitness gem.

Understanding the Elliptical Trainer

The elliptical trainer, often referred to simply as cross-trainer, is a stationary exercise machine designed to mimic the movements of walking, running, and climbing stairs while minimizing impact on your joints. It’s characterized by its smooth, fluid motion and provides both upper and lower body workouts.

The Elliptical Trainer Machine

The elliptical workout machine is designed with user comfort and versatility in mind. It typically includes:

  • Pedals: These platforms provide a stable base for your feet. Some machines have articulating pedals that follow the natural motion of your ankles and feet, reducing stress on joints.
  • Handles: The machine features stationary and movable handles. The stationary handles provide balance support, while the movable handles enable an upper body workout by engaging your arms, chest, shoulders, and back.
  • Display Console: The console provides essential workout data, such as time, distance, speed, and calories burned. Advanced models may also include heart rate monitors and pre-programmed workouts.

Why Choose the Elliptical?

  1. Low-Impact Exercise: As stated earlier, one of the primary advantages of using this trainer is that it’s gentle on your joints. The gliding motion reduces the impact on your knees, hips, and lower back, making it an ideal choice for individuals with joint issues or those recovering from injuries.
  2. Full-Body Workout: Elliptical workouts engage both your upper and lower body. As you grasp the handles and stride, you activate your arms, chest, shoulders, and back, in addition to your leg muscles. This full-body engagement makes the elliptical a comprehensive workout solution.
  3. Cardiovascular Benefits: Elliptical training elevates your heart rate and promotes cardiovascular health. It’s an effective way to improve your endurance, strengthen your heart, and enhance your lung capacity.
  4. Calorie Burn: Whether you’re looking to shed some pounds or maintain your weight, the cross trainer can be your ally. It’s a calorie-burning powerhouse, with the potential to torch significant calories per session.
  5. Versatility: Most elliptical machines come with customizable resistance levels, incline options, and pre-programmed workouts. This versatility allows you to tailor your workout to your fitness level and goals.
  6. Low Learning Curve: The cross trainer is easy to use, making it accessible to beginners. The motion is intuitive, and you can adjust the settings to match your desired intensity.
  7. There are some Do’s and Don’ts of the Elliptical.

Examples of Elliptical Workouts

1. Interval Training

Alternate between high-intensity and low-intensity intervals. For instance, sprint at a high resistance for 30 seconds, followed by a 1-minute recovery period at a lower resistance.

2. Reverse Stride 

Change the direction of your stride to target different muscle groups. This variation can work your hamstrings, calves, and glutes more intensively.

3. Hill Climb 

Increase the incline setting on the cross trainer to mimic the challenge of climbing a steep hill. This engages your leg muscles and elevates your heart rate.

4. Cross-Training 

Use the elliptical for cross-training by integrating upper body movements with the movable handles. You can mimic a cross-country skiing motion to work your arms and chest.

5. Long-Distance Cardio 

Maintain a consistent pace for an extended period to build endurance. This steady-state cardio workout is perfect for improving your cardiovascular fitness. It is easy to perform long distance cardio on cross trainers because there is minimal pressure on joints. 

The range of exercises offered by the elliptical trainer and the minimal impact to joints make this a good choice for many. Incorporating the elliptical into your fitness routine can help you achieve your health and wellness objectives while minimizing stress on your joints. Whether you’re working towards weight loss, improved cardiovascular fitness, or a well-rounded workout, the elliptical trainer may prove an excellent choice. So, step onto the machine, find your rhythm, and embrace the world of low-impact, high-reward fitness.

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