Elliptical machines are often termed as elliptical or cross trainers. These machines are used for fitness workouts at home as well as in gyms. The Elliptical machines have become really popular among fitness freaks. You will find these machines equipped in most of the health clubs as well. An elliptical machine gives a complete body workout by combining movements of bicycle, stair stepper and a ski machine.
A best elliptical machine is designed to offer a completely natural movement with a great feel to give users an experience of natural walking or running. This is done with the rotation of hips and extension of leg muscles. With its unique design, the elliptical machine moves your legs in an elliptical pattern (oval movement) and the handlebars are designed to keep your arm moving back and forth. This enables a full body workout with comfort and less strain, if the machine is used properly. These machines are mostly simple to use and have a gentle impact on your joints. So these low-impact machines are even suitable for people with back and joint problems.
The article will give you a detailed overview on how to use an elliptical machine. With appropriate use, users can enjoy maximum benefits out of this comprehensive and effective workout machine.
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- Begin with a gradual warm-up: Some of you may find it unnecessary but a gradual warm-up is extremely important. Warm-ups are essential parts of your workout. The warm-up prepares your body for exercises and you can enjoy maximum benefits of using an elliptical machine with complete comfort.
- Orientation from trainer: If you are stepping on to the elliptical machine for the first time, let us not mind asking for an orientation from a trainer. You can always get some tips and instructions from a trainer before you start your fitness regime. All the machines are different and this orientation would enable you to become well aware of the functions and features of the machine you will be using for workout.
- Step on the machine: Most of the elliptical trainers have two set of handles, one fixed and another moving. You can step on to the machine holding on the static handles. The machine will not begin to work unless you start pedaling and turn the machine on. Stand in the right position with straight facing the console.
- Follow instructions: Many of you may find it less important to read the instructions placed on the front console of your elliptical trainer. However taking few minutes time to read them would be beneficial. These instructions placed on the machine work as guidance in the form of simple steps and tips on how to use an elliptical trainer.
- Secure your feet on the footplates: Different types of elliptical machines have different footplates. Place your feet in the position where you feel most comfortable during workout session.
- Position straight keeping body neutral: For reduced stress and most comfortable workout, keep yourself in a neutral straight position. Your neutral position would keep you from overarching yourself.
- Hold the handles: Keep a firm hold on the handles. Most of the machines have padded handles and you can enjoy comfortable gripping. Do not hold the handles too firm.
- Start pedaling: Began pedaling by pushing the pedals in a forward direction with feet. Start to pedal slowly in a fluid motion. At the same time keep pushing and pulling handles with your arms. As you start pedaling, the display screen will turn on.
- Follow instructions on display: During workout, remember to follow the instructions displayed in front on the screen. The Elliptical machines have a set of preset programs however the number of programs varies with different types of machine. You can select one of the preset programs or can even workout with manual settings. If you use manual setting, you can set up your own workout intensity by increasing or decreasing the resistance levels.
- Set low resistance setting: We recommend you to begin your workout with a low level of resistance and you can gradually increase to higher levels as your endurance and strength increases. Resistance levels for manual workouts can be increased or decreased using the up and down arrows.
- Pedal in forward motion: Forward pedaling is recommended as it simulates the real walking action. Forward pedaling is easier to balance in comparison to backward pedaling which could prove tough on your joints especially knees.
- Slow down or stop if uncomfortable: If at any point of time during your workout, you feel uncomfortable or stressed, slow down or completely stop your workout.
- Stop the machine before stepping down: Make sure that the elliptical machine has completely stopped working before stepping down.
- Step down holding fixed handles: Hold the static handles and step down with one foot at a time and then the other.
- Cool-down: Take some time for a gradual cool down to help your body recover and refresh after vigorous workout.
How to Use an Elliptical Machine – Video Demo
When carrying out this routine, always remember
Here are some tips to remember while working out on an elliptical machine:
- Always wear appropriate clothes for workouts to keep the body from overheating.
- Increase your intake of water and fluids before workout as these exercises are energetic cardiovascular workouts and you will be sweating a lot.
- Do not rush. Make sure you begin your exercise at a low pace of resistance and increase gradually during workout. Exercise at your own pace and with practice you will be able to work out on higher levels as well.
- Keep track of your performance by paying attention to the display screen in front of you. It would give you details of your time of workout, strides made along with number of calories burned during workout.
We hope that all the above-mentioned details including steps and tips on how to use an elliptical machine would prove beneficial for your fitness regime. Apart from going through this guide, we recommend you to go through our reviews of top 5 elliptical machines to get the best one for you.