Among all machines for cardio exercises, the elliptical machine is perhaps the most overlooked. Maybe people think working out on it is boring or too easy. However, science supports the fact that elliptical workouts are just as beneficial as workouts on the Stairmaster or treadmill, if not more.
Furthermore, what a lot of people fail to realize is that there is a correct and incorrect way of working out on the elliptical machine. With a good plan and correct form, you are sure to get a super effective workout on the machine. This article offers some pointers on how to get the most out of your exercise on the machine.
Start with a plan
Before you start, set out a plan that fits into your overall fitness goal. Then come up with a way of measuring your progress toward your goal so that you’re not just passing time on the machine. That’s how you can be sure that the machine is helping you get closer to achieving your health and fitness goals.
According to fitness experts, one of the most common mistakes people make with the elliptical and other forms of exercise is not having a goal. Most people simply hop onto the machine and mindlessly workout for a few minutes. That doesn’t help.
The handrails on the elliptical make it easy for you to just lean forward and leave your legs to do all the work. While this may make the workout feel easier, it doesn’t help improve your fitness, according to experts. For a super effective workout, maintain an upright posture and firm core to improve efficiency and avoid muscle imbalance and lower back pain.
Keep in mind that the purpose of the handrails is not to make working out easy. When you lean heavily on them, you fool the machine into displaying an exaggerated figure of the number of calories you’re burning.
Make sure you’re exerting both your upper and lower body as you work out on the elliptical machine. For maximum effectiveness, work your abs, pull your shoulders back, and maintain an upright posture. It is important that your arms share the work.
Alternatively, you can work out on the machine without using the handrails altogether. You will require better balance and more core activation in this case to exert your lower body. With your abs engaged and your posture upright, pump your arms back and forth at a right angle to mimic running.
Vary your routine
At first, it might seem effective to repeat the same routine on the elliptical machine every time. However, this typically results in reaching a fitness plateau. Your body is constantly evolving and adjusting its capabilities to handle new stressors every few weeks. Your exercise routine needs to evolve along with it.
Compared to an unchanging routine, a diverse training strategy allows for better conditioning, according to fitness experts. Manipulating variables such as the stride rate, resistance and elevation on the elliptical machine improve the quality and results of your workout.