How to Have Great Workout Experiences with Elliptical Trainers

Benefits of the Elliptical Trainer vs. Treadmills

Front Drive Elliptical TrainerWorking out can either be enjoyable or the other way around.  This actually depends on several factors; ones which you may have to learn about before you start working out yourself.  The reason for this is simple.  If you are going ahead with your plans of working out and you are less motivated than necessary, you may indeed end up stopping after a short period of time.  This is because you may just not have the determination to continue or just from lack of motivation.  This is especially true when you feel that your routines are too tiresome or boring.  Worse, these may seem to be ineffective in keeping your body free of excess fat.  Of course, when you are no longer that determined you would fall back in your exercising and end up living a lifestyle that you had wished to avoid.

Another major reason for scaling back in your fitness program is the kind of equipment you may be using.  You may have noticed that there are already so many kinds of fitness equipment that you do not know where to start.  While this situation provides you with so many choices, you should be wary of the fact that not all of these would really give the best benefits to your body and your workout program.  This is the reason why you should learn more about the kinds of fitness equipment that would really help in reducing weight, increasing stamina, and developing the right muscles.  One particular piece of fitness equipment that you should surely look at is the elliptical cross trainer.

Basic Information on the Elliptical Cross Trainer

As a brilliant invention, the elliptical trainer is not really that new.  It has been in the market for a long time.  In fact, it was introduced in 1995 by a company called Precor. Since its introduction, there has been a steady increase in its sales and this could be attributed to the fact that people must have found out that these are really helpful in their fitness programs.  If you just try to visit any of the gyms near your area, it is very probable that you would find units of these being used by people there.  If this is the case, then there is really no reason at all to turn your back on this very important equipment.

Oftentimes, people would simply call it as the elliptical trainer.  Whatever people may call it though, its distinctive look would surely tell you what it is.  As a stationary exercise machine, this trainer basically simulates the actual experience of climbing the stairs, as well as running and walking.  These three movements definitely cause great exertion on the muscles and the joints.  The good thing about this is that this would result in the decrease of the risks of injuries caused by impact on the joints.  This is the reason why it is not surprising to know of many people who are trying to recover from leg joint injuries use ellipticals.  However, it is definitely not just the injured who are using this kind of fitness equipment.  After all, this is designed for cardiovascular workouts without having to experience too much impact.  It is meant to make people stay fit and it has succeeded in doing so.

Kinds of Elliptical Trainers

As you try to use the elliptical in the gym, you would find out that there are actually three kinds on the market.  While these share the same purpose, the differences actually lie in the drives or in the mechanisms found in the machines.  An elliptical can have the drive in the rear, center and front of the machine.  The location of the motor will normally modify the functionality and pricing of the elliptical.

  • Front Drive Ellipticals – have the drive axle located in the front of the machine.  These have been around the longest and have an excellent record of reliability.   They are normally less expensive than their rear counterparts.  The pedals go at an angled motion and mimic the movements of natural walking.  The issue with this type is that the ramps cannot be adjusted to change the difficulty of resistance.  Some models do have the ability to adjust the resistance and intensity levels manually.
  • Cross Train with a Cross TrainerRear Drive Ellipticals – Not surprisingly, rear drive ellipticals have their drive and weight in the rear of the user.   These also have a great track record for reliability and have been around a long time.  These machines have a ramp that can be adjusted to increase or decrease so you can change the intensity level of your workout.  Also they have more of a smooth/egg-shaped motion which is preferred by many users for comfort.
  • Center Drive Ellipticals – are a possible mix between the other types.  The drive will be located to the front or the rear including the possibility of having two drive axles.  The real difference is that the weight of the user is centered in the middle of the machine for more stability.  These are the newest of the three types and do not have a long enough record to rate their reliability.

It is true that there is really no other differences among the three except for the location of the drive.  However, if you are going to buy an elliptical, it would indeed be necessary for you to know more about the different drive locations.

While there are only three distinct models to choose from there can be many differences in the fine details that are provided by individual manufacturers.  There may be other variations in the design of the elliptical cross trainer models.  These variations have effects on the manner that you use the equipment.  For example, there are certain models which have adjustable sloping roller ramps.  When you make adjustments on these roller ramps, the degree of the slope changes, and you create different levels of resistance to make your workout challenging.  This automatically results in you being compelled to make longer strides.  The hip movement also alters in the process.  Apparently, every adjustment would have an impact on the workout regimen.  It could become easier or it could become tougher.  This provides for a positive benefit because you could make the machine compliant to your current level of readiness/fitness level.  If you feel that your body is not ready for tougher routines, you could make the necessary adjustments.

While the stationary models seem to be the only one on the market, you might be surprised that they are created a mobile version also.  This type elliptical trainer looks more like a bicycle.  The main difference though is that it does not have any pedals.  What you would see there are the sloping roller ramps.  The user would just do the same pedaling motion the ramps and the machine would push the equipment forward.    The good thing about this kind is that it does make the routine less boring. Additionally, the mobile version would provide you with enough visual distractions so as not to bore you while exercising.

Benefits of the Elliptical Trainer vs.  A Treadmill

There is no doubt that the elliptical cross trainer is a very effective machine when it comes to losing weight.  This should be enough to compel you to buy such device.  However, it would also be good to know more about the benefits that it could actually offer.  Doing so would only convince you further of the wisdom of getting one of these.

There have been studies that show that the elliptical cross trainer gives the same result as a treadmill when it comes to burning calories.  This is definitely welcome news if you are planning to lose weight.  So if you have a treadmill, why would you even consider looking at an elliptical machine?  The truth comes down to what type of impact on the body you prefer to sustain.  While they may have identical results, you must remember that that the elliptical is a low-impact trainer.  This means that you would not suffer the risk of injuries when using the machine.  On the flipside is the treadmill which does provide more impact on your joints but is easier to get used to and more natural than the mechanisms on an elliptical.

When you run on the treadmill, you could not avoid making those stomping noises.  If you are at home, the other people in the house may easily get annoyed with the noise you are producing.  This is something that you would not find in an elliptical trainer.  This is because you never really take your feet off the pedal.  This is another advantage that you would get when using this machine over the more common treadmill.  If you wish to increase the resistance though, you would definitely be sweating out more.  But even as you make more effort, you would notice that you are still not making any noise.  More muscles are involved when you raise the resistance or even when you make longer strides. Again, while it would make the workout routine more difficult, the good thing about this is that you are burning more calories and this could only mean that you are getting rid of more fat.

You should Get an Elliptical Trainer Too

Now that you know what an elliptical trainer is and what good it can do to your fitness program, it should be easy for you to be convinced about buying one. There is actually no more valid reason why you should not get the machine.  As with other pieces of fitness equipment, your purchase decision will come down to what features you find most important.  There are two alternatives to locate this information each with advantages and disadvantages.

The first choice is to jump into a vehicle and go to the local fitness store, talk to a sales person and take the elliptical for a test drive.  The benefits of this is that you get to try out the machine to see if it is a good fit for you and your family.  A knowledgeable sales person would be able to talk about benefits of each model and is on hand for any questions should they arise.  The disadvantages of this approach is that you have to deal with a sales person who might be more interested in padding his wallet with the item with the highest commission.  Additionally, you have to go out in your car to make this happen instead of staying inside your nice comfy home.

ON the flipside is to investigate the machinery online at such places as Amazon or a fitness store.  The benefits are that you can examine the machines and compare and contrast features of different models all in the comfort of your home and you do not have to rely on crafty sales people.  Moreover, you have the ability to read reviews on the product to see what other good or bad things other purchasers have had.

Summary

As you can see, these elliptical machines can provide huge benefits in taking your workouts to the next level.  Because of how they are constructed, they have the ability to provide a whole body workout.  Unfortunately, they cannot produce the results on their own.  Please do not assume that this is the only piece of equipment that you will need to make your fitness goals.  To become truly well rounded, you have to work other aspects of fitness into your routine to see the true benefits/results.  Click to find out about other items that should be found in your personal arsenal.

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