Ellipticals are used widely in both health clubs and homes. These machines provide the benefits of low-impact workouts while you exercise both your lower and upper body.
These machines are especially appealing for women in their 40s and older. These workouts are gentle on the joints and provide a great aerobic workout, which helps you burn calories. If you have never used one before, here is a list of benefits of using one of these versatile machines.
1 – Impact Free
Elliptical machines lower the strain and stress to the legs through the use of controlled and circular movements. Your feet stay grounded to the pedals, and it feels similar to walking on air. In comparison, when you run or walk, each step causes jolts to the body.
Research has indicated that typical runners experience up to 2.5 times their overall body weight while working out. This impacts on your leg joints as well as the lower regions of your back. While walking workouts causes less impact than running, an elliptical machine provides far less impact than both.
A “no impact” or “impact free” workout means that your feet are continually touching the ground or/and your body receives support by either a machine or water while exercising. You can also achieve a high-intensity workout without impact.
2 – Weight-Bearing Workouts
When compared to other fitness machines such as stationary bicycles, these machines provide weight-bearing exercise. These exercises are particularly important for women to prevent the onset of conditions such as osteoporosis.
3 – Mimics A Natural Motion Of Walking
The elliptical movements mimic the natural paths of the hip, knee, and ankle joints during running, jogging, or walking. To reduce strain even further, most ellipticals feature articulating-foot pedals designed to conform to the way you stride.
4 – Versatile
Similar to treadmills, most come equipped with different exercise programs. The programs are designed to mimic interval training or hill climbing by using alternating resistance.
Today, many of the best models come with a wireless heart-rate control allowing users to optimize their workouts in the way of enabling their heart-rate to control the resistance levels.
5 – Complete Body Workout
The elliptical trainers are unique as they provide a combined lower and upper body workout. When used correctly, they machine engages the biceps, triceps, back, chest, glutes, hamstrings, and quadriceps.
6 – Low Maintenance
One of the main benefits over treadmills is a lot less maintenance. The low-impact motion and less moving parts means that these machines require maintenance and servicing a lot less frequently. There are also no rollers, motors, or belts to think about or any bearings that may burn out.
7 – Diversify Muscle Groups
Walking is one of the best ways to get a bit of fresh air and achieve a lower-impact cardio workout, but walking won’t sculpt areas like your buttocks, in the same way. According to a study published in the journal “Clinical Biomechanics,” exercising on an elliptical trainer activates your gluteal muscles a lot more than walking.
Elliptical trainers also provide different options for hand placement, the length of your strides, incline, and speed, making it possible to diversify the muscle groups just by changing a setting. This same study also identified that certain settings or positions resulted in improved muscle activities of the extensors in the area of the back, the obliques, along with muscles along your sides.
At the same time, they can be pedaled backward or forward. The reverse motion provides the hamstrings and calves with a more intense workout than when you pedal forwards.
8 – Strengthen Weak Leg Muscles
Another stand out benefit associated with using elliptical machines has to do with strengthening or fixing various muscles in the legs. Research has proven that the best folding ellipticals target the quadriceps and hamstring a lot more than running or jogging on treadmills and even cycling.
If you have weak quadriceps or hamstrings, an elliptical trainer is one of the easiest ways to strengthen these muscle groups. You can also use it to pedal backward, which provides an even better workout for the hamstrings than going forward.
Using an elliptical machine every day can benefit you greatly when you usually cycle or run. The issue with running or cycling is that it doesn’t help you to build up your butt muscles (glutes) or the outer muscles around the hips. This can mean that these muscles become a lot weaker compared to the other muscles in your legs. The best way to deal with these imbalances in your muscles is to train regularly.
You may be wondering if these versatile and low-impact machines are linked to any drawbacks? For some people, the dual-action exercise feels awkward and strange. These people feel more comfortable walking or jogging on a traditional treadmill.
The elliptical trainer is one of the best exercises for women and men to improve coordination, balance, muscle endurance, and strength. It is also one of the preferred exercises for people who suffer from balance issues or are currently recovering from an injury. At the same time, these low-impact workouts are great for weight loss, your immune system, and your heart.