An elliptical exercise machine offers a full-body, low-impact workout.
Because the machine can simulate stair climbing, running or walking without delivering significant pressure to the joints, even people who are injured or seriously unfit can benefit from an elliptical workout.
How Do Elliptical Exercise Machines Work?
Generally speaking, elliptical machines work both the lower and upper body, providing a cardio-vascular workout.
A machine may be self-powered (i.e. the user generates the motion required for the workout), or electronic. You can use an elliptical in a health club or gym, or purchase one for home use.
They’re almost ridiculously easy to use – all you need to do is get up on the pedals, take hold of the handles, and then move your legs back and forth in a gliding motion.
What Are the Benefits?
There are numerous benefits to using an elliptical machine.
They include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Low Impact Workout – Exercise can be painful for people who have conditions of the joints or bones. Elliptical training is low-impact, meaning that there is little or no pressure on the joints. The elderly, the obese, and people who are recovering from surgery on the knees and legs can use elliptical equipment when other form of exercise are not possible.
- Increased Aerobic Capacity – Your aerobic capacity, simply stated, means how long you can exercise or perform other activities without feeling out of breath. An elliptical workout ratchets up your heart rate and makes you sweat. If you do an elliptical session for even 20 minutes 3 times a week, your aerobic capacity will improve significantly.
- Burn More Calories – In just 30 minutes on an elliptical machine, you can burn off 400 calories. Believe it or not, the heavier you are, the more calories you’ll burn. Setting the machine’s resistance level higher also increases the calorie-burning effect.
- Superior Lower Body Exercise – One of the most common complaints people have when beginning a workout program is that their legs tire easily. Elliptical machinery encourages a great deal of use of the leg muscles, and it’s possible to build up strength in the lower extremities quickly and effectively.
- Total Body Workout – The elliptical machine allows you to work both the lower and upper body at the same time. In this way, it’s better than a treadmill, which is great for the lower body, but delivers little if any to the upper. An elliptical works not only the legs, but also the arms, shoulders, back and chest. In just 20 minutes, you can complete a total body workout.
Are There Any Disadvantages to Elliptical Exercise Machines?
Most people love how easy it is to use an elliptical exercise machine.
Some people feel that the elliptical is a little too easy to use, though, and they report that they don’t get a tough enough workout.
Realistically, this may be less a problem with the equipment than it is due to people being unaware that the difficulty level can be adjusted to suit the individual exerciser. Most elliptical machines offer multiple levels of difficulty, so they’re suitable for both the novice and the person who has been working out for a while.
Beginners usually start out improving their flexibility and aerobic capacity, while longer-term users focus on building muscle strength.
Practically anyone can benefit from working out using an elliptical exercise machine.
A full-body workout is easy to achieve, and the overall improvement to one’s cardio-vascular health can’t be overstated.
An elliptical can be used in a gym or at home, and you don’t need any special training to begin working out right away.
An elliptical is a great part of any fitness plan.
Although it has some minor flaws the E95 treadmill from Sole Fitness is one of the best sellers this year (2014).