The elliptical trainer is nearly often found at the gym alongside the more traditional treadmills since, with minor differences, it is also primarily designed to provide cardio training.
It is a gadget that replicates cross-country skiing movements, and because it is simple and straightforward to use, it is included in many exercises, even for novices.
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Easy, however, does not imply exhausting, considering that a half-hour of exercise may burn between 250 and 450 calories, depending on intensity.
These are roughly the same as those expended by running, but the similarities end there.
There are several advantages.
In reality, the elliptical machine offers more fluid motions that are less taxing on the back and joints and reduce rebound tension. Additionally, although being intended primarily to strengthen resistance, it works the entire body. It tones the legs, stimulates the biceps and triceps, and acts on the buttocks, belly, and shoulders due to the circular motions involving the lower and upper limbs.
But, just like any other activity, simulated cross-country skiing may become monotonous and ineffective if done in the same manner every time.
So here are some suggestions for diversifying its implementation in order to maintain motivation and get better and better results.
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KEEP THE RIGHT POSTURE
Being properly positioned is critical to avoiding the development of discomfort caused by abnormal motions. Thus keep your feet flat on the footplates rather than on your toes. Maintain a straight back and slightly bent knees and elbows to extend your spine. At the initial phase, the hands must grab the machine’s arms or its base near the display tightly.
ADD ABDOMINAL EXERCISES
Diversify the motions to not only do an aerobic exercise but also to activate the abs at the same time. “After three minutes, get off the elliptical and do 30 seconds of a traditional or lateral plank,” says Allison Berry, a personal trainer in the United States.
TO SCULPT THE BUTTOCKS, CHANGE THE INCLINATION OF THE FOOTBOARDS.
The more the effort on the glutes, the higher the slope on which you exercise. Most ellipticals let you to change it manually, so start with 0 and gradually raise it. After a minute, proceed to two, then four, then six, and so on until you feel comfortable. After you’ve hit your limit, gently return to the beginning point.
CHANGE THE GEAR’S DIRECTION
Moving backwards on this piece of equipment is doable and keeps the majority of the hamstrings occupied, which are generally the most difficult to train.
As you start moving your legs, you usually do it clockwise. Slow down and begin anticlockwise to vary the tempo. This strategy may appear unusual at first, but after you try it, you will find it to be both entertaining and beneficial.
SET THE TIMER AND END THE EXERCISE
At some point throughout the session, hit the stop button to start a timer for a few minutes, during which you can get off the machine and conduct other exercises as you choose. Do a set of push-ups, for example, if you want to emphasis on arm strength. If, on the other hand, you prefer to concentrate on the lower limbs, do lunges or squats. Just remember to take a one-minute break before going back on the elliptical.
HOLD THE HANDLES AT TIMES, LEAVE THEM AT TIMES
Supporting yourself on the handles and doing circular motions helps to maintain your arms in shape, but if you want to speed up the toning of your legs, leave them. Standing in balance on the exerciser and relying solely on the glutes and hamstrings really puts greater strain and effort on that region of the body.
In contrast, applying greater effort on the arms and allowing the legs to move nearly by inertia exerts more work on the upper body. For a top exercise, alternate 30 seconds of upper push, 30 seconds of lower push, and one minute of total activity.
INCLUDE DUMBBELLS Have a set of light weights on available so you may halt the elliptical at regular intervals to perform bicep and tricep exercises, either directly on the balance or on the floor.
VARIABLE INTENSITY MOVE
Most athletes utilise this piece of equipment for extended, consistent workouts, but varying energy levels can produce far better results. Move quickly for 30 seconds, then take a one-minute break.
Continue the above steps for 10-20 minutes.
Because they start the metabolism working, the fast 30 seconds help burn a lot of energy. So, make the most of your rest minute. In truth, the rest times are crucial to prepare the body and allow it to perform at its best throughout the subsequent sprints.