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How To Use An Elliptical Machine

An elliptical machine also referred to as an elliptical trainer or cross-trainer is a stationary exercise machine that is used to stimulate stair climbing, running or walking, without necessarily causing excessive pressure to the joints, hence decreasing the risk of impact injuries.

Over time, these machines have gained recognition especially among athletes and fitness fanatics, largely for the simple reason that they can still be used with people with injuries as the low impact affects them little.

They are also preferred due to the fact they offer workouts that vary in intensity, from light to high, based on the speed of the exercise as well as the resistance preference that is normally set by the user.

How To Use An Elliptical Machine

How To Use The Machine

Due to its wide preference, there needs to be adequate information out there regarding the usage of this machine. This article, therefore, looks to provide insightful tips on how to use an elliptical machine, with a view to helping everyone get the best out of their training sessions with it. The following are some of the tips;

Prepare Adequately

As is often the case with any workout session, preparation is key. Elliptical machine requires you to be prepared by making a plan on exactly what you intend to achieve for that day.

In addition to goal-setting, you need to take plenty of water about 2 – 3 hours before using the machine. Due to the workout is a strenuous cardiovascular exercise. Hence, you are most likely to sweat a lot and be short of breath.

Another aspect of preparedness is by wearing loose-fitting clothing that can get sweaty easily and putting on comfortable running and walking shoes that have proper arch support.

Avoid Slouching

This machine contains handrails that are likely to tempt you to grab and lean forward, leaving your legs to do all the work.

As strong as the temptation may be, you are however advised to stay upright with a firm core without hunching over, as slouching forward will naturally make the workout seem easier and will consequently be doing you no favors.

Remember that supporting your weight to the handrails may also contribute to muscle imbalances and low back pains as it makes the machine shift its focus to certain areas of the body instead of working for the common good of your entire body.

Use The Handles For Total Body Workout

Because an elliptical machine shares power between your upper and lower body, you are advised that even as you maintain an upright posture and keep your shoulders pulled back and the abs engaged, you should occasionally push and pull the levers.

However, you can still work the machine without holding onto the handrails but in this case, most of the power will be generated from your lower body which means you would require more core activation and balance.

In addition, you should stay upright and keep the abs engaged, pumping your arms forward and backward at an angle of ninety-degrees, as if you were running.

How To Use An Eelliptical Machine

Avoid Repeating Routines

Elliptical machine works best in different exercise variables. While you are allowed to do the same exercise repeatedly for a few days, one form of exercise should not be overdone as this may lead to a fitness plateau.

For optimal benefits using the machine, you are encouraged to practice more interval training than training at a steady state. As a matter of fact, the machine offers many variables to be emulated in order to increase the stakes of the workout.

Some of these variables include stride rate, resistance and elevation. All in all, diversifying your workouts on an elliptical machine is as fun as it is good for your fitness.

Thoroughly Explore All The Levels

In order to reap maximum benefits using an elliptical machine, you are advised to explore all the levels with equal degree of concentration but the varied length of time.

Normally, levels one or two would require five minutes as you get used to the motion of the elliptical machine as well as getting your muscles warmed. These levels should then be followed by five minutes at either level three or four, after which two minutes should be done at level six before returning to level three for two minutes as well.

You are also advised to repeat the increase as well as a decrease of tension levels in two minutes intervals 1-4 times depending on the workout length. Complete the routine by cooling down at levels one or two.

Final Word

The use of an elliptical machine requires full-time concentration if the workout sessions are to be of any benefit. During my early days using this machine, I realized I was making one mistake common among many new users – enjoying the fun at the expense of the fitness motive for which the machine is primarily designed.

If you find yourself in this position, always remind yourself how long you wish to use the machine for getting the desired fitness standards.

At all cost, avoid distractions like using the iPad, reading a magazine or occasionally glancing at that beautiful damsel across the room, and always remember and remain true to your objective.

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