The elliptical exercise machine, also known as an elliptical trainer or elliptical machine, is one of the most sought after cardio machines at fitness centers. It is also a popular choice for home exercise equipment. Before we dig deeper, let us discuss first what is an elliptical machine.
What is an Elliptical Machine?
An elliptical machine is a stationary exercise machine that allows you to simulate a stair climb, walk, or run without putting too much strain on your joints, lowering your chance of injury. Elliptical machines provide a low-impact cardiovascular workout that can range from light to intense, depending on the user’s resistance selection and the speed of the exercise.
The majority of elliptical trainers work both the upper and lower body (although some models don’t have moving upper body components). Despite the fact that elliptical trainers are considered low-impact, they can offer a weight-bearing resistance exercise. They can run on user-generated motion or may need to be plugged in to power their electronic consoles and resistance systems.
Benefits of an Elliptical Machine
1. Boosts stamina and cardio capacity
Aerobic exercise, commonly known as cardio, is an essential component of a well-balanced workout. When you do aerobic exercise, the heart and lungs have to work harder to supply more blood and oxygen to the muscles.
By using an elliptical trainer, you can have a good aerobic workout, which can strengthen your heart, lungs, and muscles. As a result, your stamina and endurance may improve. You can do both high-intensity interval training and steady state cardio workouts on an elliptical machine.
2. Burns a lot of calories
Use an elliptical trainer if you want to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time. This aerobic equipment may burn 270 to 400 calories in 30 minutes, depending on your weight.
You can lose weight by burning more calories than the calories you consume. If you want to increase your caloric burn, consider raising the intensity of your elliptical workouts.
3. Puts less stress on joints
When you run or do other high-impact cardio exercises, your hips, knees, ankles, and other joints can take a beating. An elliptical machine provides a low-impact cardio workout because your feet never leave the pedals.
4. It works both your upper and lower body
An elliptical trainer with handlebars is one of the few types of cardio equipment that can give you both an upper and lower body exercise. To get the most out of your elliptical machine workouts, equally distribute your weight and resistance. Pump your arms at the same rate you are moving your legs.
The elliptical machine can work your glutes, quads, hamstrings, back, chest, biceps, triceps, and core muscles when used appropriately.
5. Burns body fat
Because the calorie burn associated with an elliptical trainer is higher than that of some other cardio machines (such as the stationary bike), it can help you lose body fat faster. This is especially true if you concentrate on interval training.
Focus on the intensity and duration of your workouts to maximize fat burning. Interval training with a 2 to 1 ratio (for example, 30 seconds of high-intensity followed by 15 seconds recovery, or 60 seconds of high-intensity followed by 30 seconds of recovery) can be added to your elliptical exercises.
During the recovery period, keep moving your legs. Continue to pedal, but at a slower pace.
6. Maintains fitness after an injury
Working out on an elliptical machine can be a wonderful approach to gain or maintain fitness if you’re recovering from an injury and can’t perform normal physical activities. The elliptical machine exerts less stress on your joints than high-impact workouts like running or jogging, because it is a low-impact activity.
Using an elliptical machine after an injury can help you restore full range of motion. It can also strengthen muscles and joints, while relieving pressure on the affected area.
How Long Should You Use an Elliptical Machine?
Your overall goals will determine how much time you should spend on the elliptical machine. In general, you should aim for 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per week, with 300 minutes being the upper limit.
To reach the 150-minute goal, do 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise 5 days a week. If you do not have 30 minutes to spare, increase the intensity and complete the workout in 20 minutes.
Things to Remember When Using an Elliptical Machine
When using an elliptical machine, be sure to maintain good posture to get the most out of your workout. Keep your head up, shoulders back, and abdominal muscles tight. Instead of looking down, look forward. And for the most intensity, make sure you keep your head level at all times and do not bounce. This requires you to bend your legs more and keep constant tension on them.
The elliptical machine may help you strengthen your heart, lungs and muscles, while also increasing your stamina, improving your balance, and burning a lot of calories. It’s also a good choice if you have joint problems or want to get back into shape after an injury.
Now that you know what is an elliptical machine, you may want to consider including this piece of equipment in planning your fitness routine. You can shop for elliptical machines here.