An elliptical trainer is a highly-popular, easy-to-use exercise machine that allows you to enjoy low-impact exercise and combined upper- and lower-body workout. Though it is similar to the treadmill, experts tout the elliptical trainer to be the better option because of the greater variety and the less strain it puts on the muscles – plus, it’s been shown that you could lose more calories with less effort through the elliptical trainer. If you yourself are looking to maximize your exercise routine with an elliptical trainer, read on for some great tips:
- Find your natural rhythm. Try out the elliptical trainer, get to know the controls, and try it out using your natural rhythm, without overstraining yourself. Remember that the foot pedals offer no resistance; you might be a little startled by this initially so make sure that you hold on to the handle bars to keep your balance. Start with the lowest resistance and natural incline, and then adjust it and intensify it gradually as you get better used to your exercise program. The key here is to avoid reaching a plateau – keep on challenging yourself.
- Maintain good posture. While using the elliptical trainer, it’s important that you maintain a straight back, with your shoulders back and relaxed, and your chest forward. Keep your head and chin up; avoid leaning forward and make sure that your body is carried by your lower body. Do core strength training by tightening your abdominal muscles while doing your routine. As much as possible, keep your hands on the bars so that you will be able to fully workout your upper body and lower body at the same time. Maintain smooth strides; avoid bouncing your body with your legs.
- Know how to vary the exercises. The elliptical trainer offers different types of workouts that will enable you to focus training various areas of your body. As you get more used to using the elliptical training, you can start varying the intensity and resistance, changing the incline, and using the foot pedal’s forward-and-reversible feature.
- Do interval training. Interval training works with the principle that alternating between low-intensity and bursts of high-intensity exercise will more efficiently cause you to lose calories, over maintaining a steady speed all throughout your exercise routine. Time your work out with your elliptical trainer by doing a 5 minute warm-up, followed by alternating between a 30-second high-intensity workout (about 75 percent of your maximum effort) and a 60-second low-intensity workout (about 50 percent of your maximum effort), done throughout a period of 30 minutes. Afterwards, do 10 minutes low-intensity cool-down.
- Maintain your workout. For your workout to be truly effective, make sure that you do this about 5 times a week, 30 minutes a day. Remember, consistency is the key to most effective exercise routines.
- Use the heart monitor. Most elliptical trainers have built-in heart monitors that will enable you to check on your heart rate as you do your exercise. Calculate your healthy heart rate while exercising, and make sure that you are achieving this during your routine.
There you have it! These are some of the most important guidelines for properly using an elliptical trainer. Good luck, and hope this helped!