The Elliptical Machine & Trainer

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The Many Benefits of Buying an Elliptical Machine

There are good days at the gym and then there are bad days. On a good day, you get to set an example for yourself because every exercise you put on your ‘to do list’ is done smoothly. On the bad days, however, that’s a completely different tale. When was the last time you faced an injury in the joints and couldn’t go to the gym? Most people tend to think that once they get a sprain, it is quite hard to exercise but that’s not all true. There are better machines being built that are making it easier for people with injuries to not stop their daily exercise.

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The Elliptical Machine (also known as a cross-trainer or Elliptical Trainer) simulates different forms of physical activity, including climbing the stairs, walking, and jogging, but without placing excess strain on your joints and muscles. This, therefore, decreases the risk of impact injuries and thus used by many with injuries to stay fit. Most elliptical trainers work the upper and lower bodies thereby making sure your everyday cardio is taken care of.

Benefits of an Elliptical Machine

Most people spend a lot of time on warm-ups and cardio related exercises. These exercises are mostly on the treadmill but ever since elliptical trainers came in the market, the trend has changed. These elliptical trainers provide many benefits to the user as the entire basis on which it is built is to ease the pressure on the joints. Old or lazy, this machine provides you with the right form of exercise and here are some benefits to it.

Improves Balance and Mobility

By helping you regain motion in the hip and abdomen section, the elliptical trainer increases your balance and mobility. Many hospitals recommend it, especially after an ACL surgery. However, this does not mean you exercise so much it opens up the surgery area. Always know your limit and then choose the exercise accordingly. While the elliptical trainer is easy on your body, it can get intense as you push forward.

Requires Minimal Space

Your passion for a daily workout is ever growing but the recent injury that you have only allows you to stay in the confines of your home. Even without an injury, there are people who feel more comfortable exercising at home. They, however, require the proper equipment and machines to exercise properly but sometimes might not have enough space in their apartment or home.

That’s why the elliptical trainer is perfect for you. Some elliptical machines, such as ‘Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer’, are designed to fit easily into the corner of a room so that you have ample walking space around your home. There is also the ‘FitDesk’ that fits, as the name suggests, right under your desk.

You Are Able To Multitask

With the current advances in technology, the elliptical trainers have also received a modification that many have personally approved of. This includes the small TV screen that is attached to the machine. If you ever feel the urge to watch a TV show or read a novel, elliptical trainers can now facilitate that. Furthermore, if your plan on spending a bit more, you can get the elliptical trainer that has a speaker in it which means you can play music while exercising and who doesn’t like ‘Eye of the Tiger’ playing in the background.

You Get a Full Body Workout

Mostly referred to as the ‘cross trainer’, the elliptical trainer gives you a full body workout by working on different muscles in your upper and lower torso. In addition, the elliptical trainer also works on the chest and back, not only helping you to tone your body but also helping you burn some fat. To perform an ideal elliptical workout, make sure the resistance is distributed evenly across your upper and lower torso. This inevitably gives you a sting in your legs and chest area for the first few days but helps in the long run.

Helps Monitor Heart Rate

These machines have really made life easy as you can keep a check on your body conditions now while exercising. The machine is equipped with a wireless heart rate monitor that helps keep a check on the intensity of our exercise and how much our limits have increased since we’ve started. Depending on your stamina, the best elliptical trainer adjusts the intensity of the exercise automatically depending on your heart rate and lets you exercise at a comfortable level.

Can Mimic Different Exercises

There are different elliptical machines available in the market and a bunch of them help in mimicking different forms and exercises that can help you all at once. For example, the ‘Schwinn 430’ allows you to mimic jogging, running, walking and climbing a staircase at different levels of resistance and intensity. Similarly, these elliptical machines can also help mountaineers or scouts to train to strengthen their thighs, legs and backbone areas thereby being able to have better resistance in any condition.

Weight Bearing Exercise Helps Bones

Since the exercises done on the elliptical are mostly weight bearing exercises that defy gravity, these exercises help to strengthen bones and allow muscles to have better resistance. The knees, ankles and hip joint movements go hand in hand with the movements of the machine. This is extremely beneficial for older folks as well as young people as it helps prevent osteoporosis.

This disease causes bones to become brittle, where the slightest movement can lead to an injury. There’s a reason why exercise keeps you healthy. Our ancestors used to walk a lot more than we do and hence they were fit as a fiddle. Unlike them, we live in cities but thanks to the elliptical, you can get all the exercise you need.

Some Ellitpical Workout Tips & Tricks

How Elliptical is Better than a Treadmill

The elliptical trainer is a machine with a universal role as it covers all the different exercises to keep the body in shape. Although termed as boring and not challenging enough, it actually depends on the person for the kind of experience he/she derives from the machine. This cardio machine is perfect for home use and for lazy people who do not go out often. How is it better than the classic treadmill? Let’s find out:

You Get an Upper Body Workout

Well, isn’t that nice because most of the treadmills mostly work on the lower body. By moving the handles (thus moving your legs), you get regular exercise for your biceps, triceps and arms. You can use dumbbells instead of grabbing on to the handles of the machines. You can do shoulder presses while working your legs on the machine. Just be careful you don’t lose your balance.

Easy On the Knees

Unlike the treadmill, the elliptical is designed to be easy on the joints. The gliding motion is mostly low impact, hence helping people of all ages to exercise easily.

You Don’t Need Tons of Energy

Some days are just plain lazy and those are exactly the days where you should hit the elliptical. Since you can adjust the intensity and it’s a low impact exercise, you do not need to drink 2 cans of Red Bull and a Gatorade to get through.

You Can Multitask!

Really need to complete reading your book but need to work out as well? Well, it’s possible now with the elliptical trainer. Turning pages might trip you on the treadmill as it prevents concentration on either things but the elliptical is a safe option where you can do both.

You Can Even Go Backwards

A weird thing to do but a lot of people are always curious to try it. As it turns out, pedaling in reverse works the calves and hamstrings more than the forward motion. The elliptical trainer therefore allows you the chance to increase the effectiveness of your exercise.

You Can Reduce Your Recovery Time

Some doctors recommend treadmills but most would argue that they have the slight possibility of worsening the injury. Elliptical trainers, however, can help you restore your range of motion in the hip area. Plus, if you are dealing with sore joints, you can work out on the elliptical in a way that places minimal strain on the affected joints. Although treadmills are used more often, they have a narrow range of exercises making the elliptical trainer a better option for you if you are recovering from an injury.

How to Choose the Best Elliptical Machine

Ever since the 1900s, the elliptical trainer has gained considerable traction and many more people are purchasing it due to its benefits. However, the problem here is deciding which one to buy. Given the wide variety of options when it comes to elliptical trainers, it can be difficult to choose the right one. We are here to show you what kind of elliptical you need depending on your situation.

What Size Do You Need?

Some elliptical trainers are long and take up a lot more space than you might have. Always make sure you measure the space you have and then go into the market. This is an example of a lighter elliptical machine that is easily portable so make sure you research the size.

How Much You Weigh, Matters

Here’s the thing, most manufacturers have a weight limit to ensure the machine runs smoothly. Consider your goal and the goals of others at your home who wish to use the machine before you search for one. Check if the frame is sturdy, can support your weight and is corresponding to the weight limit the company has specified before you swipe that card and bring it home.

Operates Quietly

Living in a busy city, we all know how car horns and construction projects destroy our mental piece. At home, we mostly require peace and quiet and we guess the makers of this machine knew that. The exercise machine is designed in a way that it prevents any excess noise. That is a good thing when you consider its effects in the long run.

Imagine a small squeak each time the elliptical trainer spins round. The noise would grow on you as time passes. This may cause stress and that is not exactly the best thing as you exercise to relieve yourself of stress, not take more. Be sure to check the elliptical machine you buy before you bring it home.

Consider the Cost

According to your budget, decide on how much you wish to spend on the machine. We advise you to research a bit on the different types of elliptical machines available in the market. The features are categorized as basic, standard, home-use and elite. That makes it easier for you to target the correct price range you want.

If you are not into fancy features and require a simple training machine, the basic elliptical would be the best choice for you. However, if you are into bells and TV screens, speakers and other customizable features, consider the elite and standard elliptical trainer. These trainers are priced from $1,500 to $2,500. There is no point buying an expensive machine if you are not going to use it regularly.

Frame

Here’s the thing, the frame depends on two things and both of them are essential in helping you transport the machine around at home and how much it can withstand pressure and not break. How stationary the elliptical is and how portable it is, both make up for a good purchase. Generally, machines with sturdy frames are constructed from solid steel. These frames last longer and are more resistant to heavier weights so be sure to ask the salesman at the store to specify the material it is made from.

Adjustable Pedals

If more than one person is going to use the machine, be sure to purchase an elliptical trainer with adjustable pedals. Quality elliptical trainers allow you to adjust the foot pedals to match different feet sizes. Regardless of the heights of the people who are going to be using the machine, the adjustable pedals will give each exerciser the same workout experience. For instance, in the case of the Smooth CE, you can adjust the motion of the machine according to your height. This enables you to optimize your strides and make the most of your workout.

Adjustable Resistance

Variable resistance will allow you to challenge your capability. If you purchase an elliptical, make sure you check for adjustable magnetic resistance as the easy setting will help you get adjusted to the machine. The ‘medium’ and ‘hard’ settings, on the other hand, are designed to provide extra resistance, which is necessary if you want to tone your muscles.

The Right Power Source

Some advanced elliptical trainers require a power source for electronic magnetic resistance and control panel features. Other models generally operate on a battery. Do consider this factor when selecting a machine.

Check the Display and Control Panel

Good and expensive elliptical trainers offer the following feedback:

  • Calories
  • Strides
  • Resistance Levels
  • Heart Rate
  • Time

Quality elliptical trainers provide you the extra motivation through the feedback. It might not seem much right now but trust us, when the time comes and you’re sweating like an animal, you will know the importance.

Pre-Programmed Workouts

The quality elliptical trainers have some workouts that are carefully added as a feature. These workouts keep you motivated and focused on your goals. Using pre-programmed workouts adds a bit of variety and excitement in your workouts and that’s amazing when you’re about to give up. This is a helpful feature for first timers.

Test the Elliptical before Purchase

When you go to the store, try the elliptical before purchasing it. There is no shame in getting to know what you are buying. Try out all the resistance controls and even the pedals and if you were to find any kind of wobbles or unnecessary vibrations, that’s where you know you have to stay away from that machine. Move on to the next one and be sure to wear comfortable shoes and clothes on the day. This will help you better get acquainted to the elliptical as if it were your own. Take a good 15 to 20 minutes and when you feel like this is the one, go ahead and purchase it and let the training begin!

So, as you can see, elliptical trainers are handy exercise machines that enable you to work out at home. You can save the time you spend commuting to and from the gym and at the same time, get access to a wide range of exercises that enable you to target different muscle groups. However, do consider the factors mentioned above when out searching for the right elliptical trainer. Doing your homework will help you choose the best possible machine that will give you great value for your money.

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