Elliptical Trainer Evaluation for Cardio Respiratory Fitness

In our elliptical trainer evaluation we constantly come across people who feel that elliptical machines are far superior to treadmills especially when considering they are fast becoming the preferred low impact alternative to running.

In order to provide a sound foundation for a cardio-respiratory fitness regime, elliptical trainers need to be evaluated in three areas: they should improve heart and respiratory rates, as well as improve overall muscle conditioning, and they should be varied and interesting enough to attract you to work out regularly.

Compared to Other Machines

Any good elliptical trainer evaluation needs to compare the effectiveness of elliptical machines with the other cardio trainers such as treadmills, stairclimbers, stationary and recumbent bikes, arc trainers, cross country ski machines, even rowing machines. The ideal cardio apparatus is the one that is the most effective, the highest calorie-burning activity, and the one that you can do in the least time and still have the most “fun” while doing it. The main criteria then should be this: the best cardio workout is the one you do. In this evaluation elliptical trainer workouts win hands down.

In order to get the best workout out of your home machine, here are a few tips for improving your cardio fitness level:

  • Use the incline ramp. At the lowest level, you are using the large leg muscles, including the calves, quads, and hamstrings. As you move to the highest levels of incline, the targeted muscles are the gluts and hamstrings. Evaluate using all levels of the elliptical trainer’s incline ramp to get the most complete workout.
  • Free your hands for balance. Most elliptical machines have moving handlebars to work the upper body but you should also consider doing a portion of your session with your hands free. This forces your body to constantly balance itself as you stride on the pedals. This additional work targets the core abdominal muscles as well as your back.
  • Add variety by using the programs. Mixing up your workouts by trying new things is good for your muscles (they love a challenge!) as well as your interest level. Variety is the spice of life and the programs on the machine will give you a full compliment of fat burning as well as endurance training.
  • If these three tips seem too taxing, then use the elliptical at your most comfortable level. Do your own self-directed elliptical trainer evaluation; your goal should be to have a smooth, easy workout that you can handle today. Challenge yourself only when you’re ready to step to the next level. Because the longer you stay on the machine, the better your overall conditioning will be.

If hitting the road for walking or running is not an option or just doesn’t appeal to you, then a cardio fitness workout on ellipticals is an excellent alternative.

When used correctly, (that is, by incorporating resistance, inclines, and programs all together, and using the machine at least 30 minutes a day three times a week) most trainers feel that ellipticals will give users the necessary cardio workout as well as work the muscles of the lower body and central core.

Read any elliptical trainer evaluation and you’ll see that these machines are highly regarded as far as calorie burning, low impact on the joints, and good for adding variety to the weekly exercise regime.

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