Elliptical machines can be classified as low impact cardiovascular machines. What this means is that the elliptical machine is built with the purpose to stimulate your muscles involved in exercise such as jogging, however is planned in such a way that it eliminates the pressure usually placed on different joints in the body so that only the muscles are working and the pressure isn't involved.
There is simply no denying the need for cardiovascular exercise several times a week. While the risks are real, the benefits from these exercises, for the instructed and properly qualified person, far outweigh them.This kind of exercise will burn a lot of calories, strengthen the heart muscles, help you breath easier, give you more energy, give you a mood boost, and more importantly will improve your fitness so that you can do all of your runs at a faster pace.
The first elliptical machines began showing up in fitness centres in the late 1990s. In a relatively short period of time these have become a central part of any professional as well as home gym. In the 2000s one of the most popular ways to achieve a good cardiovascular workout has been through the use of elliptical machines. These machines are effective and fun way to exercise indoors and when you see how they work you will understand why they become so popular.
Probably the most widely known benefit of an elliptical machine is the fact that they provide an amazing low impact work out. This basically means that they do not stress the joints of the legs, hips, and knees. Although the legs are moving against resistance feet never leave the surface of the foot pads. So, there is very little or no impact on the knees, hips, ankles or back like there might be when you go for a run. Older people, especially those with a history of knee injuries will find this especially useful. The uniqueness of it is that it's almost without risk of any orthopedic injury, such as muscle sprains.
Furthermore, you avoid the risks involved in pressure on any parts of the body. The variety of programs is great and will suit anyone in the family whatever their fitness aims may be. This is what makes these machines so good for people of all fitness levels.
A majority of models available are designed to increase heart rate more than they are directed at developing muscle mass. These machines have been found to have superior ability in increasing the users fitness and are effective in calorie expenditure as well, which basically means that the elliptical machine is one of the most practical machines you can use when you want to work out as well as loss weight as you do it.
These great features have drawn a lot of men and women, whether by choice or by necessity. As a matter of fact, a lot of men and women have been told by their fitness trainers that they need to stop running or at least reduce their high-impact exercise and add a low impact alternative into their weekly routine. The elliptical machine can be that perfect substitute. However, that is not the only reason men and women are enjoying those great innovative machines. A lot of them like the idea of a two for one deal â€“ the fact that you can tone the legs and arms simultaneously while training your heart.
As your legs move in a natural motion (a movement close to the natural path of the leg joints experience while jogging, walking as well as running) the resistance can be adjusted to be as challenging or as like as you like making it a great workout for your legs. At the same time the handlebars provide you with arm movement, so you are not only getting the bonus of sculpting the arms but you increase the intensity and and the calorie burn by using your whole body. The more muscle groups are involved, the more calories burned. Basically, the elliptical motion, helps to burn up more calories per minute than most other exercise machines. It is estimated that these machines can burn up to 70 percent more calories than walking on the flat as well as up to 20 percent more calories than walking at a reasonable incline level. No wonder many first time users are surprised at their elevated heart rate and calorie burn compared to their perceived effort.
How much resistance and how hard you push yourself is an individual thing, however users of elliptical machines will tell you that the proceed exertion or the way you feel when you are working out feels easier than when doing other forms of cardio training. Because there is no jumping movements the legs stay in a low impact constant striding motion. You can work hard and you will not feel like you are exerting yourself as much as you really are.
Different Types of Elliptical Machines
The very first things you should take into account is that there are many types of elliptical machines available in the market. Rear drive, front drive and center drive are the 3 essential drive systems available. Subcategories include adjustable stride elliptical machines and adjustable motion trainers.
These machines are beyond any doubt the future of the elliptical machines. In addition to the benefits the standard elliptical machine, these provide you with the opportunity to achieve multiple workouts on one machine. Reversing the leg motions, changing the stride length, pulling or pushing the arms â€“ these are just some of the options you will have to choose from in order to create different and new workout each time you get on the elliptical machine. Furthermore, you can also plan your own interval workout or try one of the preprogrammed workouts and let the machine be your personal trainer.
While speaking of different types of elliptical machines, it is important to point out some misconceptions regarding the benefits of one type over another. Naturally, every person has its preferences, however, I will try to objectively provide the pros and cons of each. Needless to say, the final choice remains yours.
Rear drive ellipticals were the first to ever appear on the marketplace. One of the crucial benefits of these trainers is the silky smooth feel that you get by putting the flywheel behind the user. Basically, there's simply more inertia in rear drive when compared to the front drive. This is the main reason why even with a lot of resistance, these units will never have a chaotic motion. Best of all, a lot of models feature a direct link from the handlebars to the foot skis and require virtually no maintenance.
The majority of front drive machines feature plastic, steel or aluminum tracks in the base with long-lasting rubber wheels traveling back and forth across the track. This (not so clever) design requires a lot more maintenance when compared to the incline ramp design and can be very hard to maintain and clean. So, less movable parts means less breakdowns.
Which Features Should You Have on Your Elliptical Machine?
1. Quality. The quality of the elliptical machine can definitely impact the quality of the exercise experience. Cheap models probably want have the smooth natural motion found on high end models.
2. Stability. Try to rock it back and forward. There should be very little movement.
3. Stride Length. Stride lengths on elliptical machines go from 14 to 22 inches. The average recommended stride length is between 18 and 21 inches.
4. Various Workout Programs. You should get a model that features a lot of different work-out programs. These machines will not only motivate, but make your exercising more efficient as well.
5. Heart Rate Monitor. By knowing what is a target heart rate zone for reaching cardiovascular fitness, you can set the elliptical trainer to a level that will keep you at that rate.
6. Warranty. Basically, an extended warranty indicates a good quality of any product.
Needless to say, the key to anything you have in the house is how it adapts to the home environment. The elliptical machine is usually space-efficient and is made to be smooth and quiet while you are working out, so you can hear what is going on around you, like your cell-phone, children or your stereo.
My recommendation is to try out an elliptical machine, so that you can experience the benefits of a low-impact high-intensity exercise that meets the needs of almost any exerciser. I have discovered this amazing piece of exercise equipment more than five years ago and I have tripled my exercise targets.
Important note: It is critical that you consult your GP before any workout. Also, prior to using an elliptical machine you should consult a fitness trainer in order to learn proper techniques for using these machines. This will ensure you get the best possible workout.