In recent years, the popularity of elliptical trainers has seen a steady increase. Well, of course, this is not a surprise for the countless individuals who have experienced the benefits of the elliptical trainer, be it in terms of physical health or financial health.
Let's first discuss the physical health aspect. The elliptical trainer provides for low-impact exercises precisely because it lessens the strain and stress on the joints, specifically on the knees and ankles. Unlike the treadmill where your feet come up and step down on the platform, your feet never leave the comfort of the pedals since foot power is required.
And unlike in walking and jogging on normal terrain, your joints are not subjected to the impact of the contact between ground and feet. The worse thing is that your lower back is also adversely affected since stress is placed upon it by the additional weight. Think 2.5 more of your body weight being carried by your lower back and you get the drift.
Thus, elliptical trainers are the preferred means of cardiovascular training for athletes, fitness buffs and average individuals, even of older people, alike. And did we mention that there are no new things to adjust to with the elliptical trainer because it only requires the natural motions of walking and running?
Also, the regular and proper use of the elliptical trainer also leads to denser, healthier bones. This is because it is also a weight-bearing exercise that has been proven to delay the onset of bone-related diseases like osteoporosis. And it helps that your bones will not exactly break easily since it is a low-impact exercise, too.
Furthermore, the elliptical trainer provides for a dual-action workout. Or as some sectors call it, whole body conditioning. Basically, you get an upper and lower body workout that engages as many muscle groups as possible depending on the actions, speed and duration of the exercise.
On the lower part of your body, each step you take results in the utilization of the muscles on your legs like the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. For the upper part, the muscles on the chest and back as well as the triceps and biceps are exercised, thanks to the action of the handlebars. You can also substitute 2 to 5-pound hand weights to provide resistance as you swing your arms while striding your legs. Obviously, you will also be developing your coordination, rhythm and balance.
However, keep in mind that the elliptical trainer targets the lower part of the body more than the upper part. The general ratio is 70 is to 30, respectively and, hence, it is important to adopt the proper posture while using the machine. Of course, with such a dual action workout, you also burn more calories since you engage more muscles in the movements. This is good news for those wishing to lose weight without putting in too much of a perceived effort.
For all these benefits, elliptical trainers require little maintenance and little purchase cost. This is due to the fact that there is a lesser number of moving parts - motors, rollers, belts and bearings - to worry about unlike in treadmills.
If you have yet to try the elliptical trainer, then it is high time that you should do so. You will enjoy the valuable benefits at very reasonable prices with audio-visual entertainment to boot.