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Elliptical machine workouts can help you keep fit and offset a widening waist line. Look for ways to maximize your benefits from the elliptical machine.
Elliptical Exercise Machine
Elliptical machine offers an impact-free workout and provides exercise to both upper and lower body. This machine does not lay strain on joints and hence suits people of all ages and also to those having knee problems.
The elliptical machine has a pair of foot pedals to rest your feet. It is important to place your foot firmly on the center of the pedal before starting the exercise and also adjust the stride length depending on the comfort level. Pedals move in a elliptical pattern imitating the normal walking motion.
Elliptical machine has two handle bars that are connected to foot pedals. They move in synchrony to the pedals movements. You can choose to use them or the stationary handles. If you do not wish to move your hands, you can hold on to them for steady grip. You can also let your hands free by totally avoiding handles. This way the mid portion of the body works even harder, thus burning more amounts of calories.
Almost all elliptical machines have digital read out that displays calories burned, steps-per-minute taken, time taken to workout time and pulse-taking mechanism.
Elliptical machine benefits
No impact: Elliptical machines mimic the natural movement of the body while walking or running. While we walk on the ground, body experiences the impact whereas elliptical machines cause no impact on the joints. Here your feet are always on the pedal causing no strain on joints. It also does not pose a risk of injuring the back, knees, ankles or other joints during a workout. Since it is impact free machine you can work out for longer hours without worrying about the 'after workout pains'.
Dual action: This is the most distinctive feature of the elliptical machine. You can target both upper and lower body simultaneously, toning most parts of your body. While working on the elliptical machine, almost all the important muscles like quadriceps, hamstrings, chest, back, triceps and biceps are involved giving an optimal workout. Elliptical units also contribute a lower 'Perceived Rate of Exertion' while working out. This means one tends to work out more and burn more calories with the feeling that there is less effort.
Weight bearing exercise: The resistance exercise on the elliptical machine helps to build bone density and fight off osteoporosis. Weight bearing exercise also helps to burn calories much more effectively.
Effective cardiovascular workout: Since the elliptical machine works on the lower and upper body at the same time, the heart rate increases providing cardiovascular benefits. When the heart rate is increased, the metabolic rate of the body also increases leading to gradual weight loss. The elliptical exercise also strengthens the heart muscles.
Weight loss: Since there is a rise in the metabolic rate, you are not only burning the calories during the workout sessions but continue to do so through the day helping you to lose weight. Elliptical workouts involve the whole body, thus allowing you to burn more calories in less time.
Power free: Elliptical machines do not require power to run and hence can be placed anywhere in the house without worrying about electrical points. Moreover you are contributing towards the greener environment by opting for power free exercise equipment.
Elliptical machine and weight loss
Elliptical machines are very effective in bringing about weight loss. Elliptical machines work on large muscle groups involving arms, legs, hips, back, and joints. Elliptical machine workouts elevate your heart rate for a longer period of time. Heart pumps intensely to supply oxygen to all the muscles and in the process burns more calories. Elliptical unit can burn about 700 calories an hour.
How much you lose largely depend upon how much you weigh. The more you weigh the more energy you will utilize to move your body, and higher the calories you will burn.
The rate at which you shed pounds is directly connected to the level of intensity you incorporate in the workout regimen. High intensity workouts help you lose weight quickly.
The duration of the workout also matters, ideally one should work out 4 times a week for 50 to 60 minutes to see results. But if you are a beginner start the training with shorter duration, like 15 minutes.
High intensity interval training is a relatively a new form of exercise that helps to burn the calories quickly. Varying the resistance and incline levels every few minutes from high to low and vice versa is called interval training. Alternating between medium and high intensity workouts will fetch quick results.
How often you use reverse motion on foot pedals also determines the amount of fat you burn during the workout. Reverse motion involves those muscle groups that are usually not targeted by forward motion.
Elliptical machine workout
The elliptical machine workout routines should be gentle to begin with, and then become rigorous and later slow down to lesser intensity before concluding the session.
Step on the elliptical unit facing the digital panel. Keep your feet firmly on the foot pedals and start pushing to gain momentum. This will activate the machine.
Most of the elliptical machines come with pre-set workout plans. You can either choose from one of them or opt for manual setting.
While working on the elliptical unit, your posture matters the most. Stand upright with open shoulders and raised chin. Do not hold the handle bars tensely and also avoid leaning towards handle bars.
All elliptical units come with stationery and moving handle bars. Opt for moving handle bars if you are aiming at full body workout or go for stationary handles to focus on lower part of the body.
Once the body is accustomed to forward leg movement you can start moving the legs backwards to make the workout more intense.
Start interval training by increasing resistance and speed. If you have opted for a preset program, the intensity level will be adjusted by itself.
Slow down for some time before getting off the machine and cool down for few minutes after the every workout session.