Are you curious about what an elliptical is and how it can benefit your workout routine? Look no further! I’m here to break down the ins and outs of this popular piece of gym equipment.
First things first, let’s define an elliptical. Simply put, an elliptical is a piece of cardio equipment that simulates the motion of walking or running, but without the impact on your joints. It’s a great option for people looking for a low-impact cardio workout that still provides great cardiovascular and muscle-toning benefits.
Ellipticals have been around for a while now, but they really started to gain popularity in the 1990s as a way to provide a low-impact alternative to running on a treadmill. Since then, they’ve become a staple in gym settings and are now commonly found in home gyms as well.
Now that you have an understanding of what an elliptical is, let’s dive deeper into how it works and the benefits it can provide in your workout routine.
How does an elliptical work?
When you’re using an elliptical, you’ll be standing on foot pedals that move in an elliptical pattern. This mimics the motion of walking or running, but without the impact on your joints. This means that you’re getting a great cardiovascular workout without putting extra stress on your knees and ankles.
The handlebars also move in sync with the foot pedals, allowing you to work out your arms and upper body as well. This makes the elliptical a great full-body workout option. You can adjust the incline and resistance to target specific muscle groups and increase the intensity of your workout.
The resistance system on an elliptical is what allows you to adjust the intensity of your workout. It works by applying resistance to the pedals, making it harder to move them. This can be done through manual adjustments or through pre-set workout programs.
Most ellipticals use a magnetic resistance system, which is known for being smooth and quiet. This type of resistance system also allows for a wider range of resistance levels, making it easier to find the perfect level for your workout.
Some ellipticals also have a fan-based resistance system, which is known for providing a more natural feeling resistance. The fan resistance is created by the air resistance that is produced when the fan wheel spins.
Overall, an elliptical machine is a great cardio workout option that provides a low-impact workout with the ability to target specific muscle groups and increase the intensity of your workout with the resistance system. It’s a full-body workout option that can be done by people of all fitness levels and ages.
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Benefits of using an elliptical
Alright, now that we know how an elliptical works, let’s talk about the benefits it can provide in your workout routine.
Low-impact cardio workout
As we mentioned earlier, one of the biggest benefits of using an elliptical is that it provides a low-impact cardio workout. This means that it’s easy on your joints, which is great for people who are recovering from an injury or for those who are looking for an alternative to high-impact exercises like running. It’s also great for people who have joint pain or stiffness, as it still allows them to get a great cardiovascular workout without exacerbating their pain.
Targeted muscle toning
The elliptical motion works out both your lower and upper body, allowing you to target specific muscle groups. The pedals work out your legs, while the handlebars work out your arms and upper body. This makes it a great full-body workout option. You can also adjust the incline and resistance to target specific muscle groups and increase the intensity of your workout.
Increased calorie burn
Because the elliptical is a cardio workout, it can help you burn a lot of calories. The number of calories burned varies depending on your weight, the intensity of your workout, and the duration of your workout. But overall, you can burn a significant amount of calories by using an elliptical regularly.
Variety of workout options
Most ellipticals come with a variety of pre-set workout programs that allow you to vary your workout. These programs can simulate different terrains, such as hills or valleys, and can also vary the resistance level. This allows you to keep your workout interesting and challenging.
Convenience and easy to use
Ellipticals are easy to use and most of them come with easy-to-read displays that show your workout statistics, such as speed, distance, and calories burned. They are also easy to adjust, so you can quickly change the resistance or incline level. They are also easy to store as they take up less space as compared to other cardio equipment.
Overall, ellipticals provide a variety of benefits that can help you achieve your fitness goals. Whether you’re looking for a low-impact cardio workout, muscle toning, or a way to increase your calorie burn, the elliptical can help you get there. It’s a great option for people of all fitness levels and ages.
Different types of ellipticals
Standard Elliptical Trainer: The standard elliptical trainer features foot pedals that you stand on with a handlebar to hold onto in front. The handlebar does not move, targeting primarily the lower body muscles such as quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
Elliptical Cross-Trainers: This type of elliptical machine offers a full-body workout with moveable handles that target the arms in addition to the pedals for the lower body. These machines work the elbows, shoulders, back, and chest while pedaling.
Elliptical Glider: Similar in appearance to a standard elliptical, the elliptical glider pedals move up and down in a backward motion. The machine allows for resistance adjustments by moving forward and focuses on leg and hip extension movements.
Recumbent Elliptical: This elliptical machine allows the user to sit down while working out. The pedaling motion is longer and has a lower impact on joints. The machine also features handlebars that can be moved forward and back, providing comfort and adjustment options for users with limited mobility.
Center Drive Elliptical Trainers: A relatively new option, center drive ellipticals are known for their compact size, making them great for home use. They offer a full-body cardio workout like a cross-trainer with moveable handlebars that mimic a walk or jog.
Front Drive Elliptical Trainers: This elliptical machine’s more vertical range of motion is similar to a stair climber. It is also known as a shuffle trainer and is a great option for those looking for a machine that is closer to the ground in their home gym.
Rear Drive Elliptical Trainers: Patented by Precor in the 90s, the rear drive elliptical trainer puts the flywheel in the back of the machine. This allows for a longer stride in the front of the machine with the pedals in the center. It is the oldest option available among ellipticals.
Choosing the Right Elliptical for You
When it comes to purchasing an elliptical for your home gym, there are several factors to consider. Your budget, the space you have available, and your fitness goals are all important to keep in mind when making your decision.
With so many different types of ellipticals available, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for you. In this section, we will discuss some important features to look for in an elliptical, as well as recommend specific models for different types of users.
Considerations such as budget, space, and fitness goals
When it comes to budget, ellipticals can vary greatly in price. You can find models for as little as $300, while others can cost over $3000. It’s important to keep in mind that a higher price tag doesn’t always mean a better machine. Consider what features are important to you, and set a realistic budget based on that.
Space is another important factor to consider when choosing an elliptical. If you have limited space in your home gym, you may want to look for a compact or folding elliptical. If you have more room to spare, you may be able to consider larger models with more features.
Finally, think about your fitness goals. Are you looking for a full-body workout, or are you primarily focused on targeting your lower body? Different types of ellipticals will provide different types of workouts.
Features to look for in an elliptical
When shopping for an elliptical, there are a few key features to look for. The first is resistance. Look for a machine with a wide range of resistance levels, so you can adjust the intensity of your workout as you progress.
Another important feature to consider is the stride length. If you’re taller, you’ll want to look for an elliptical with a longer stride length. This will ensure that your workout is comfortable and effective.
Finally, consider the additional features that come with the elliptical. Some models come with built-in workout programs, heart rate monitors, and even virtual trainers. These features can enhance your workout experience and make it more enjoyable.
Recommended ellipticals for different types of users
For those on a budget, the Schwinn 470 elliptical is a great option. This elliptical is packed with features, including 25 resistance levels, 25 workout programs, and a built-in heart rate monitor. It’s also a great space-saving option, with a compact design that can easily fit in most home gyms.
For those looking for a high-end elliptical, the Bowflex M9 Max Trainer is a great option. This elliptical offers a full-body workout with its center-drive design and adjustable resistance. It also features a large, easy-to-read display, and a variety of workout programs to choose from (for a little less the Bowflex M6 offers the same great exercise but without the touchscreen).
No matter what type of elliptical you choose, make sure to do your research and consider your budget, space, and fitness goals before making a purchase. With the right elliptical, you can achieve your fitness goals and enjoy a great workout in the comfort of your own home.
Elliptical machines are a great option for those looking for a low-impact cardio workout. They offer a variety of benefits including improved cardiovascular health, increased muscle strength and tone, and weight loss.
There are many different types of ellipticals to choose from, including traditional ellipticals, elliptical trainers, hybrid ellipticals, and more. Each has its own unique features and benefits, so it’s important to consider your budget, space, and fitness goals when choosing the right elliptical for you.
Some features to look for include a comfortable and adjustable stride length, a variety of resistance levels, and built-in workout programs. Some recommended ellipticals for different types of users include the Bowflex M9 Max Trainer, which is great for those with limited space, and the Schwinn 470 elliptical, which offers a variety of features and workout programs for all fitness levels.
Ultimately, the right elliptical for you will depend on your individual needs and preferences, so make sure to do your research and try out different models before making a decision.
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