The elliptical is a mainstay at most gyms and even common among homes for several reasons. When you enter a gym, you often see rows of ellipticals lined up along some wall with many people using them.
These machines are a popular choice for many reasons. Not only are they easy to find, they are very easy to use. Many have features that allow you to improve your stats by adding your age and weight to accurately estimate your calorie burn.
They also provide pre-programmed routines to help you maximize your exercise. When it comes down to best equipment for cardiovascular exercise, the elliptical is a high scorer.
Here are our top 10 reasons to introduce the elliptical into your cardio routine:
1. Non-Impact Exercise
One of the most beneficial reasons to use the elliptical is the fact that it is much easier on joints compared with other cardiovascular machines. If you are returning to the gym after a long absence (such as after a pregnancy or injury) the elliptical is a safe place to begin. Start slow and try to find your body’s limits.
2. Great for Exercisers with Bone Issues
The elliptical is also a great cardiovascular machine for the elderly and people who suffer from bone loss and joint conditions. The elliptical operates with two gliding platforms where each foot moves in one fluid motion.
This takes the impact off of the joint and onto the smooth motion. It’s a safer alternative for those recovering from any bone, tendon, or muscle recovery issues. Consult your doctor before starting any exercise routine when recovering from injury.
3. Total Body Workout
You may know by now that exercising multiple muscle groups at a time results in a higher calorie burn and better workout overall. Elliptical machines, unlike treadmill machines, challenge both upper and lower body muscles.
The elliptical offers two handles that move in tandem with the gliding platforms. This means you can attain a full body workout with only one set of equipment.
If you are starting slow or are not ready for these moving handles, there are stationary hand grasps until you build up to the moving ones.
One of the best benefits of elliptical machines for cardio workouts is that they exercise muscles in the legs, chest, shoulders, back, and arms. With this special feature, you can torch more calories and achieve a full-body workout.
4. Reverse Stride
Elliptical machines are also great for building leg muscle definition. Say goodbye to chicken legs and hello to smooth strong stems. The elliptical machine helps you challenge your leg muscles with a reverse stride feature.
Using the reverse stride challenges your muscles in a way that they are probably not used to. How many times have you walked backwards? The reverse stride improves coordination and challenges muscles in a new movement.
5. Cross Training with an Elliptical
It might sound strange to new exercisers, but you can actually build muscles to help your coordination and performance on other pieces of exercise equipment. If you are an avid cyclist, on the stationary bike or on the road, you can use the elliptical to improve your cycling.
Using the elliptical is also good for runners in training. If you are seeking to build stronger butt or hip muscles, which is highly recommended for cyclists and runners, you can do so with the elliptical trainer without aggravating your hamstring.
Ellipticals are fantastic for training for a variety of sports and activities and maintaining good overall health.
6. Increase Stride Length
Some ellipticals have the option to increase stride length. According to a study by the University of Idaho, elliptical users can increase their stride length over time for better exercise benefits.
Furthermore, this stride length increase resulted in more calories burned without users feeling like they worked any harder. So even though an elliptical is almost equal to treadmill in calorie burning, the stride length capability maximizes calorie-burning opportunity.
7. Slim that Belly
Ellipticals require users to stand in an upright posture. This position utilizes more of your core muscles. If you choose to use an elliptical without holding onto the stationary or moving handles, you can also challenge your balance and postural training effect. Be sure to be careful.
Secondly, to get that six pack you need to burn a certain amount of fat through cardio and weightlifting. The elliptical is one of the best cardio machines and can help melt the fat away that’s hiding your abdomen.
8. Save Space
When it comes to purchasing cardio machines for at-home exercise, the elliptical is a safe bet. It’s lighter and easier to move than a treadmill, and generally takes up less space.
There are even outdoor elliptical trainers that fold up and can be moved easily if you want to quickly change your scenery.
9. Target Weak Quadriceps
When compared to walking, on the ground or on the treadmill, stationary bicycling, the elliptical trainer provides the best results for building quadriceps. They also build better quadriceps and hamstring coordination much better than other modes of exercise.
A study at Willamette University found that the reverse stride also helps quadriceps utilization even higher. So if you have weak quadriceps, an elliptical is one of the best cardio machines to target this particular muscle group.
10. Increase Energy
Many workout routines on the elliptical get your heart pumping as much as you can stand. Cardiovascular exercise is great for improving energy. As your heart adjusts to the demand of cardio it grows stronger.
This also benefits your heart health even when you’re resting, as your heart does not have to beat as often to circulate blood. This means you have more energy to enjoy life outside of the exercise room.
Using the elliptical can improve your energy, which largely generates feeling of happiness and contentment. So if you’re down in the dumps, jump on the elliptical to boost energy and natural endorphins.
Though many underestimate the benefits of the elliptical, the research goes to show it’s not a machine to be laughed at. Better fitness and health overall can be attained by hopping on an elliptical a few times a week.
So whether you’re planning to enroll to your local gym, it is highly advised that you start from using elliptical machine first. At our fitness center, Fit Athletic Club, we offer the most advanced models of elliptical equipment.
In case you’re looking for an elliptical machine for a home use, make sure you read this in-depth buying guide that reviews the best elliptical machines for home use.