There’s no denying the fact that we can’t live our lives without a little bit of physical exercise. Training makes us feel stronger, healthier, and slimmer. And in these cases, an elliptical workout may be exactly what you need, to tone your body and make you look like the god (or goddess) that you should be.
So, what are elliptical workouts? How are they better than any instruments, and what elliptical benefits can we reap by working out every day? Well, this guide is going to shed some light into the basics.
What Is an Elliptical Machine?
An elliptical machine, also known as a “cross trainer” or “elliptical trainer” is a low-impact fitness machine that we use to simulate stair climbing while in a stationary position. They are also utilized to simulate walking or running without adding any extra pressure to the joints.
The intensities of the cross trainers elliptical differ depending on your preferences. You can set the resistance and the speed so that you get a fulfilling workout each time you put the strap on.
How to Use an Elliptical
It’s not that hard to use an elliptical trainer, once you get into that first movement. For those who want to be sure that they are doing the right job, here’s a step by step guide to conquer the elliptical.
- Step on the device with your face towards the monitor. You may want to watch your step, since the pedals may move, causing you to lose your balance. To prevent accidents due to the elliptical incline, grab hold of the handles.
- To turn the device on, start pedaling. With the average elliptical, a few steps forward should power up the device. If that’s not the case, look for a button to start it up.
- Keep pedaling at an even pace. The arms should be going at the same pace as the handles. Left foot goes down; right handle goes towards your body.
- Don’t keep the knees locked. Your knees should be slightly bent when going through the elliptical cycles – something like sitting on a bike, but without actually sitting down. Does elliptical tone inner thighs this way? You bet it does!
- Work with the resistance to make the workout more intense. Faster isn’t always better, so a higher resistance will offer you a better workout.
- Change directions; if you’re wondering how to get slimmer thighs, you should know that variation is the key. Going backward will work muscles that you don’t usually pay attention to.
- To get a good workout, you need to use the swing arms. While some machines have fixed swings, others have movable ones. This may take off the emphasis on the legs and butt, but it will give you a decent full-body workout.
If you were to compare elliptical vs. running training, then you can say that the elliptical is the more efficient one. Those asking themselves “what does running workout” should know that the focus stays on the legs. However, with the added up-down movement, you also got a good butt and thighs workout.
Benefits of the Elliptical Machine
There is more than one reason why people prefer elliptical machines over treadmills. This “x-trainer” is the perfect thing to work out your body while not putting stress on the joints. It is low-impact, but high-effect. And here are some benefits that you will definitely reap by using an elliptical:
It Improves Your Mobility
Think about how your hips sway up and down. Not only will that give you a pretty toned booty, but it will also work on your mobility and balance. Doctors actually recommend the use of elliptical trainers for people who have undergone hip surgery; they will allow you to regain mobility in your hips gradually.
It Works The Whole Body
For those who think elliptical machines only work the lower part of the body, here’s a news flash: they work more than that. If you are wondering “what does the elliptical work?” then here’s a summary: it starts with your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves, and then moves on to the upper part of your body.
Granted, the intensity of the workout will not be the same for every muscle group, but it will certainly have an effect on your body. Many elliptical weight loss before and after pictures will show you how effective these devices are. Calories will be burned, and you will definitely lose weight.
It Takes Little Space
The average elliptical is designed to fit snugly in the corner of the room or packed under a desk. Therefore, if space is an issue for you, then an elliptical will be a good choice – no matter if it’s a used elliptical or a new one.
It Increases Your Cardio Capacity
20 minutes every day on the elliptical will slowly but surely increase your cardio capacity. Not only will you not get tired as easily as you used to, but you will also feel more alert and active. It will basically increase your stamina while hitting you with a dose of productivity.
It Resembles Weight Training
You’re not lifting weights per se, but you are working against gravity. You work with your own weight, and this way, you will strengthen the bones, tone the muscles, and add flexibility to the joints.
Getting the Most Out of Your Workout
So, do ellipticals work? Yes, they do – as long as you use them correctly. These weight losing machines are perfect to make you look all toned and hot – provided you are smart about it. Here are some tips:
- Lean on the heels. Not only will it prevent your feet from going numb, but it will also make your muscles work harder.
- An elliptical machine workout will only be effective if you stand up straight, so avoid leaning towards the rails.
- Elliptical weight loss programs are effective only if you don’t do the same thing on and on – so vary your workouts.
So, is the elliptical a good workout to tone your body? It sure is. It can tone your butt, your thighs, your legs – even your arms if you use it right. And you will only need 20 minutes every day to get that body that you have always dreamed of.