Do you want to maintain or improve your physical conditions or simply start a sports activity? The elliptical trainer is the ideal sports equipment and it suitable for all levels and which can bring you many benefits, both physical and psychological!
The elliptical trainer is just not a bicycle. It is practiced in a standing position and its movements are more similar to those of cross-country skiing and stepper. It is a complete device that will help you exercise all of your muscles.
At home or in the gym, the elliptical trainer can become your health ally from the first session.
Why exercise with an elliptical?
Like most fitness equipment, it has a major advantage: you can exercise it, whatever your physical conditions and at any time! It takes up little space and you can use it while listening to music, watching your favorite TV series in your living room, bedroom, the choice is yours.
It allows you to work on your endurance, tone your muscles, eliminates superfluous fats and all this without any shock for the joints. The interest in the elliptical trainer is therefore real, and it has also met with enormous success. In sports halls or in private homes, the elliptical trainer has it all!
Here is an overview of the many benefits of practicing the elliptical.
A healthy cardio machine
The elliptical trainer is a complete cardio-training machine, allowing you to burn between 500 and 700 kilocalories per hour, depending on the intensity and conditions of the user for example age, weight, etc. It is also strongly recommended for physical or motor rehabilitation and helps maintain the cardiovascular system.
If practiced regularly, the elliptical trainer will have a significant and very beneficial effect on the heart, by stimulating blood circulation, which also helps to lower cholesterol levels. This will strengthen the muscles of the heart.
Respiratory performance can also be greatly improved and there is also no risk to the joints! The elliptical movement distributes the weight of the body on both legs, and the joints are spared impacts and shocks. The muscles are therefore solicited without jolts, no more back pain, hips or knees, you work smoothly and safely with better health!
A slimming ally
The elliptical trainer is a real slimming ally, allowing you to lose weight very easily! Indeed, it allows cardio to work, which burns calories and therefore eliminates fat. If you are looking to burn unwanted fat efficiently, look no further, the elliptical trainer is the device for you!
By training for 30 minutes at 70% of your heart rate regularly, you can expect to lose weight safely and effectively. In addition, all the muscles are used, which will bring you more motivation and quick results. Indeed, the difficulty is well distributed over the whole body.
Perfect to regain tone
If you are looking to tone yourself gently, the elliptical trainer may meet your expectations. No less than 80% of the muscles are used when using the equipment. This is made possible thanks to the elliptical movement which reproduces the natural movement of running, with less shock!
No part of the body will be spared by practicing the elliptical trainer: by pushing on the pedals, it is at the same time the muscles of the thighs, calves and buttocks that are solicited. The upper body, arms, shoulders and pectoral muscles are also not left out when operating the handles.
As you will have understood, the benefits of the elliptical trainer are numerous: the lower body and upper body are involved and you tone all your muscles in addition to working your cardiovascular system and your respiratory capacities!
A way to clear your head
Sport in general is an effective way to let off steam, relieve stress and clear your head. The elliptical trainer brings you not significant physical benefits but also psychological.
Indeed, thanks to a cardio-training session on your elliptical trainer, the brain releases endorphins, also called hormones of happiness, which act on your general state. You will feel more relaxed and more able to face a day of work if you train in the morning for example!
The practice of sport will impact your state of health during, but also after the session. Whether it is in the morning when you wake up, during the lunch break or at the end of the day to decompress, the elliptical will allow you to move at your own pace.
How to use an elliptical trainer?
Using an elliptical trainer is very easy. The device is fitted with an inertia wheel, on which two long pedals are attached, integral with two vertical handles.
When getting on the device, the user will therefore act with his feet on the pedals and at the same time on the handles by pulling on one and pushing on the other simultaneously such as movements performed with skis and their sticks. Thanks to a braking system, the difficulty of the exercises can be adjusted according to your state of form and your goals.
Some models have pre-recorded training programs, allowing you to vary your sessions by changing the intensity and speed of pedaling. If you are not doing a specific workout, you can start with a gentle and then increase the pace according to your ability.
The best way to find out if you are at the right speed is to check if you can hold a conversation. It’s up to you to choose the duration of the session.
Now let’s talk about some tips to get the best results:
Before starting your workout on an elliptical trainer, consider placing it in a ventilated room, planning a regular workout, and seeing your doctor. Here are some tips on how to use your elliptical trainer better and some precautions to take before you start your workout.
As with all sports before starting, it is essential to seek the advice of your doctor. This will allow you to check that you are in sufficient physical condition to practice this sport activity. This is even more important if you haven’t played sports for a long time.
Room ventilated and not too hot
To allow better oxygenation during your training, remember to place your bike in a long ventilated room and not too hot. It should be not too hot because if you train indoors, you won’t have any wind to cool you off. So it’s important to have a room that is well ventilated, or drafty and cool enough to keep you from getting too hot.
Set in the right place
If you’re worried about being bored, don’t hesitate to place your gym equipment in front of your TV. However, please note that unlike an exercise bike, your hands will be busy. Therefore, you cannot read or use your phone while exercising on the elliptical trainer.
Plan regular training
The important thing with all cardiovascular activities is to plan for regular training. There’s no point in buying a device and doing it every day for two weeks and then dropping it for 2 years. The main thing is to plan a training frequency that you can follow, even if it means increasing it later. But the key to progress is consistency.
Warming up, calming down, hydrating and working out are some of the essential elements to watch out for when training on an elliptical trainer. However, to maximize your progress, here are some additional usage tips:
Warming up is a very important step in all sports, so allow 5-10 minutes at a low pace to start your workout on the bike. After this, increase the pace every two to three minutes to reach the expected speed. This will prepare your muscles and joints, reduce the risk of injury and improve your performance.
Drink during exercise
Do not hesitate to drink in small sips during the effort. The goal is not to drink 3 L of water but half a liter of water for three quarters of an hour of an elliptical trainer that will allow you to compensate for the water loss due to perspiration.
Straight position and looking ahead
With fatigue, we quickly hunch over and look at our feet. However, in order to reduce this fatigue, you have to stay straight with your gaze ahead.
Also note that you can vary the muscles that will strain in particular, by modifying your running technique. However, this method is intended more particularly for advanced practitioners who already have some experience on an elliptical trainer.
The return to calm
Cooling down is also important as warming up. So at the end of your workout, you will gradually reduce your speed, ending up at a very slow speed after five minutes. You can then stop and do some stretching if you want.
The stopping process
Be careful not to get carried away when stopping because inertia can sometimes drag you down, so remember that you cannot stop all at once. You have to stop by gradually reducing the speed.
You have to start easy
Finally, and even if you are very motivated, remember that you should always start training easily. It is essential to be able to train for long periods. Because it is most important to bring you the best effects.
How often do you ride an elliptical trainer?
It depends on your goals and training level. Indeed, a person wishing to lose weight will not have the same frequency and the same training intensity as an experienced athlete wishing to maintain his physical conditions for example.
However, for a beginner to intermediate person, whether for weight loss or improvement in physical performance, it is recommended to train at least twice a week for 45 minutes. But it can of course be faster if the number of weekly sessions is increased to 4 or 5 times.
The most important thing is to adapt your training frequency to your level and your schedule. You will thus be guaranteed to last over time and to always practice the elliptical trainer with pleasure, without it appearing to you physically difficult or restricting your personal or even professional life.
The disadvantages of the elliptical trainer
For each device, as long as there are positive points, negative points also exist. The elliptical trainer has very few disadvantages. In terms of downside, it basically only depends on your selection criteria. Sometimes your model of choice can get cumbersome and monotonous over time.
Frankly one of the drawbacks of this device is that when you meet that there is a very low performance but one of the minimal ones for the elliptical trainer compared to the free sport all is guided therefore no stabilization exercise or renewal of receptive property.
The elliptical trainer is also criticized for its volume, even if it exists in a folding or wheeled model for better storage and to have much more space. The exercise requires variety from time to time because there is no on-board computer with various activity sessions.
How to avoid disadvantage:
It is strongly recommended to avoid low-quality models that you can find at very cheap prices. And it is absolutely necessary to take more precautions during long-term practice. You should avoid using the bike too much so that your lower back does not become sore.
Seek the advice of your doctor if you feel any discomfort or disturbance. Although you can see the disadvantages of the elliptical trainer, it does not mean that it is less practical and less efficient. This is still the right fitness device for every member of your family.
If you’re not sure which workout to take, start with this 30-minute elliptical workout: Warm-up gently, for 10 minutes, at low speed. Gradually increase the pace: 15 minutes of work depending on your endurance capacity. Slow down the pace for a cool-down of about 5 minutes.
To get visible results, train at least twice a week, for 45 minutes, spacing out the sessions. And don’t forget to hydrate yourself well and to stretch after the effort! If in doubt or if you suffer from heart or back problems, osteoarthritis or knee weakness, consult your doctor.