Losing weight and getting fit are just two of the many elliptical results you might actually achieve when pedaling away on these comfortable, low impact cardio machines. Face it, spending hours sweating in a gym is no fun, but ellipticals can cut the time to reasonable sessions while still giving you enough huffy-puffy to burn calories and get a good workout.
The elliptical trainer (also known as a cross-trainer) was designed to simulate running, walking, stair climbing, and even cross-country skiing. The oval or elliptical motion of the pedals, combined with the pedal angles and narrow hip stance, all contribute to a low impact cardio exercise (one that lessens the chance of impact and repetition injuries), yet one that can offer highly effective results.
Ellipticals are fluid. They give the user the feel of a gliding motion, like exercising on air. Not only is this easier on the joints when compared to a treadmill, you also don’t have the butt sores that you get from an exercise bike.
All combined, elliptical workouts result in lower ratings of perceived exertion than other types of cardio machines. RPE is a Sports Medicine subjective measurement of a person’s self-report exertion during exercise.
The body believes the workout isn’t that strenuous when actually it is burning more calories than you think. You don’t feel like you are exerting as much energy as you really are.
Elliptical training is a cardiovascular workout that conditions the heart and lungs as well as exercises muscles.
Known for years as a lower body workout, most ellipticals sold today now offer moving handlebars giving it an upper body feature to work the muscles in the arms, shoulder, chest, and back. This is another reason cross-trainers are superior to treadmills, stationary bikes, steppers, and the rest.
Here are a few of the elliptical results you can expect from riding one of these cross-trainers three or more times a week in 20-minute sessions:
Most exercise machines strive to give you maximum results with comfort and in a minimal amount of time, but the elliptical trainer stands above the rest.
The trainers allow you to work at your own pace, using low or high intensity depending on your fitness ability, and on some machines you can take the workout to a new level by incorporating different incline levels and stride lengths.
Ultimately, the choice of a cardio machine is a personal one. Some people do like a stationary bike or a treadmill better, but for getting to a fitness goal in the least amount of time and with the most enjoyment and variety, you can’t beat a cross-trainer. You can achieve great elliptical results whether your goal is overall fitness, cardio training, weight loss, or all of the above.
UPDATE: New Year's Elliptical Sales are on!
Here is your chance to rant or rave about the elliptical you use at home or at the fitness center.