How to Get a Better Elliptical Workout

I was thinking of purchasing an elliptical trainer. Will this give me a good workout too?

Absolutely! An elliptical trainer is a great machine for an all-over body workout. And it’s one of my personal favorites.

An elliptical trainer is a combination of a stair climber and a cross-country ski machine. Your feet are on pedals which move in an oval-shaped motion, giving you a lower body workout; this can be done in a forward or backward motion. The oval-shaped motion is gentle on your joints and a fantastic weight bearing workout which helps to build strong bones.

Most ellipticals have moveable handlebars that give you an upper body workout too. The workout comes from the machine resisting the motion of your arms and legs.

One of the greatest benefits of the elliptical workout is the caloric burn.

If you put in a moderate to vigorous effort for 30 minutes, you can burn between 300-400 calories. To increase your caloric burn, increase your intensity and your incline every 2 minutes for 30 seconds to 1 minute; then bring it back down. Performing this cycle throughout your workout will not only burn more calories but train your body harder than you thought possible.

Another great option to up your caloric burn is to use more muscle (the more muscles used, the greater the burn) so take hold of a couple of hand weights and swing your arms.

When you go shopping for your elliptical trainer, here are several things to keep in mind. Elliptical machines designed for home-use provide resistance with a band around the flywheel’s rim. (Most gym ellipticals use magnetic resistance, which allows for smoother pedaling). Some of the less-expensive ellipticals don’t allow you to change the incline angle.

As with all cardio machines, you want to avoid the boredom factor. Changing direction on the elliptical activates different muscles (forward quads, backward hamstrings). This change not only allows you to mix up your routine, but also helps you work out longer. So put on your headphones, your cross-training shoes and go for it.

Author by Sarah Brown