Out of most cardio machines, an elliptical machine is probably of the highest order when it comes to burning your calories. According to some scientific research regarding its effects on your body, especially while considering your heart rates, as well as the range of muscles that are activated when exercising. But there are still people out there finding it difficult to believe this, seeing such a workout as not an important workout, simply another addition to their usual exercise regime.
So, we’re here to bust out some myths and tips to help you get a better understanding about how the elliptical machine works exactly, and how you can make the most of it.
An elliptical machine or a cross machine is a stationary workout machine specializing in full-body workouts specifically stimulating walking, stair climbing, etc. while being the least harmful machine towards the joints. It’s advantages and disadvantages can be listed below:
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Elliptical Machine
- Non-Impact Practice: the elliptical machine allows you to perform high intensity workouts without strenuously putting pressure onto your joints.
- Ability to Cross-Train: With a feature like movable handle bars, you can now perform several variations that help you exercise your upper body along with your lower body as well.
- Alternative Direction: Elliptical machines can now even allow you to perform your stride alternatively, i.e. reverse, activating several muscle groups, while emphasizing on your quads.
- Actual Exertion is High: Research shows that most individuals are burning more calories and working harder than they perceive they would with an elliptical machine, with subjects of the research even underestimating actual output based on their heart rates.
- Mineral Loss Maintained: Exerting yourself on the machine can also reduce the loss of minerals in your bones that would normally bear your body weight when you run.
- Less Variations: Compared to several other cardio machines, you’ll find a few numbered variations, i.e. the incline feature working well enough to make a difference is pretty low.
- Less Weight-bearing Effect: since it’s suspended off the ground, the pedals don’t let you improve upon the strength of your muscles and bones.
So, how can you make the most of your elliptical machine? Merely obtaining the benefits? Because there actually is a right and a wrong way of using the machine, and a correct plan can help you get a killer workout out of it.
Things To Be Considered :-
1. Have a plan before you start.
“Ask yourself what you want to achieve that day,” proclaims Leanne Weiner, a personal trainer and corrective exercise specialist. Having a goal provides you with a direction to focus upon as you work out. It also helps you understand the milestones, helps you see how much you’ve already achieved in the passing weeks through your routine.
2. Utilizing the handle bars.
For the most efficient workout, utilizing the handle bars can help in engaging your core, and your arms, as you push your shoulders back and workout in an upright position, working your upper body along with your lower body. Not holding onto the handle bars can help work on your lower body to a higher degree as well, while moving your arms in a similar fashion as to when you run. Here you’re working on your balance and activating your core.
3. Lose all the distractions
Sure, listening to music, watching a movie, or even reading a book is the perfect distraction while working out, but as your focus gets diverted, your efficiency during the workout lessens. Therefore, focusing on your workout provides a better and effective workout to be practiced.
4. Improving your posture.
Poor frame and body posture can lead to several bodily pains, especially in your lower back area, and also produces muscular imbalances. It may be tempting to merely grab onto the handrails, keeping your weigh unevenly distributed onto your arms, slouching forward as you work out, but this will not provide you with the benefits that you want to get out of this regime.
5. Vary your workout through the weeks
For maximum benefits, it’s wiser to vary your workouts once in a while, for example, performing interval training will be pretty beneficial as well. The variations help you adapt your muscle groups to changes, while resting the others, and improving certain specific parts of your muscles at different occasions. It even keeps you from getting bored.
Based on what you’d like to focus on working, we’ve included a list of specific workout regimes.
- Cardio: watch your pace, or more technically your strides per minute, a statistic that can be conveniently tracked in the elliptical machine. Most of your workout, especially after the warm-up, should include a SPM between 140 and 160. If you’re practicing interval training through your elliptical machine, make sure to include an SPM above 160.
- Toning your thighs: Your feet placement as well as pressure should be your main focus. Pressing onto your heels more will work your hamstrings as well as your glutes, while pressuring your toes more will improve on your quads. Pedaling in a reverse direction also helps tone your hamstring and glutes.
- Core muscles: letting go of the handle bars, as you move your arms back and forth in a rhythm similar to that of running, your lower body will be pressured more into exercise, and to maintain your balance as well as you tempo, your core muscles will be the main focus.
If you’re short on time generally, due to work, familial or educational commitments, an equal amount of pressure through your upper and lower body can help you get similar results. Full-body workout on the elliptical machine, will help you increase your heart rate quickly, to the calorie burning zone. This will help tone both parts of your body – upper and lower.
To conclude, we have now discussed major changes that you can follow to improve your efficiency while working on the elliptical machine: making the most of it, burning the most calories, and strengthening the muscles as much as working out on the machine will allow.
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