When elliptical machines first came out, many people dismissed them as just a “fad” in the exercise arena. Seeing as they’ve now been around for several years, and how amateurs and professionals alike vouch for their effectiveness, it looks like elliptical machines are here to stay.
The question foremost in the mind of a first-time would-be elliptical owner is, “Why do I need an elliptical?” If you have been using a treadmill in the past, you need to know what makes an elliptical different from a treadmill.
With an elliptical, you’ll not only get aerobic conditioning; you’ll also benefit from routines that simultaneously cross-train or strengthen different muscles. In the past, joggers and runners used to even carry dumbbells just to get an upper body workout at the same time.
Cardio workouts such as aerobics or spending time on the treadmill can, over time, wreak havoc on your joints because of the impact produced each time your feet touch the ground. Repetitive impact can cause damage to the joints and knees, and this can be harmful to people with past leg, knee, or foot injuries and those who are older.
An elliptical has your foot fixed on its foot pedal, thus making it virtually impossible for the user to sustain injuries from impacts. However, there are some ways you can hurt yourself on an elliptical, such as falling off it or hitting your legs on some parts when the speed is turned up too high. With judicious use, these accidents can be prevented. Moreover, you should always select an elliptical machine that can handle your weight.
It has been found to help burn almost the same amount of calories as treadmills.
In addition, an elliptical is engineered to conform to the natural movements of your feet and your legs, making strain minimal and exercise sessions more relaxing. Designers see to it that the natural elliptical motion paths of the legs and the feet in the act of running are replicated in an elliptical machine.
The patented mechanisms in most elliptical trainers combine a forward foot pedal with a rear flywheel, which apes our natural running motion. To make cross-training workouts even more exciting, some elliptical models even make use of CrossRamp technology.
This enable the user to make angle adjustments to change the elliptical paths, and in so doing, different workout courses such as cross-country skiing or hiking is emulated. This feature keeps your exercise routines energizing and fresh so you can reach new heights to come closer to your fitness goals.
It is important to note that ellipticals are not for everybody, or there are certain cases where treadmills are still better than elliptical machines. The heavy-duty ellipticalls can only manage weights of up to 350 pounds, and heavy-set individuals may find it difficult to keep their balance.
For those training for a race or a marathon, treadmills are still the better choice because it simulates the actual race better than an elliptical. But all things considered, an elliptical is a dependable exercise tool you can keep at home and use for when you want to improve your heart rate and perhaps burn a few calories. Many models offer generous warranties, so you’ll be assured of support for about a year or more.