An elliptical trainer or cross trainer is a stationary exercise machine used to simulate stair climbing, walking, or running without causing excessive pressure to the joints, hence decreasing the risk of impact injuries. Elliptical trainers offer a non-impact cardiovascular workout that can vary from light to high intensity based on the speed of the exercise and the resistance preference set by the user.
Elliptical trainers exercise your upper and lower body, including legs, back, shoulders, chest, biceps, and triceps. Most elliptical trainers allow you to reverse the motion, thereby exercising even more muscles. You are able to burn more calories in less time because you exercise more muscle groups. Because of the efficiency of the dual action workout, there seems to be a lower perceived level of exertion. In other words, you are working harder and burning more calories at a lower but not noticing the exertion as much. They reinforce the lower parts of your body with a good cardio workout, and because their little impact, smaller than walking, can be executed by those who have problems with their knees too. One great advantage is that elliptical trainer offers a full aerobic workout, creating the illusion that we have worked less than we work on a regular workout.
A properly designed elliptical trainer mimics your body’s natural stride – the way your foot moves elliptically when walking, running, or jogging. You stand upright striding in a forward or reverse motion. Because of this, impact is basically eliminated and there is much less overall stress on your knees, hips and back, joints and back. Many elliptical trainers offer moveable upper body arm bars. By working both legs and arms, your heart rate elevates more quickly which encourages your body to burn calories faster and more efficiently. By offering upper body arms, an elliptical trainer workout also helps you tone your arms, shoulders and back. It gives you an overall body workout that burns extra calories and gives you an extra efficient workout.
These machines are now the most popular piece of equipment in the gym, having taken over from the treadmill. Elliptical machines work many, muscle groups and as the stress on the joints is minimal, there is little risk of overusing a certain muscle group. If desired because of its low impact, smooth motion, users are able to endure longer workouts, thus increasing the number of calories burned per workout. Elliptical machines therefore allow you to burn a similar number of calories as jogging, but without the risk of injury to the knees and ankles.
Elliptical trainers are gaining popularity fast as the best cardio workout machines. Elliptical trainers have some advantage over treadmills in the sense that they give you an upper body workout as well. Elliptical trainers give you a more thorough workout as there is an involvement of upper body movement as well. Studies suggest that exercising numerous muscle groups increases fat burning efficiency. With elliptical trainer, you can add versatility to your workouts as the foot pedals can be worked in a forward or reverse direction. When you change the direction of the pedals, you’ll target your lower body in different ways.