How does an elliptical machine work?
Elliptical machines are great because they combine a stair-stepper and a treadmill to give to a low impact workout that does not strain the knees and much as some of the high impact machines do. You just jump on, put your feet on the pedals and walk or run. Some ellipticals also incline so that you can increase the intensity of your workout. Just like a stepper – they are quiet and more comfortable to use than a lot of the other alternatives out there.
The elliptical is designed to make your cardiovascular system work hard. The CDC recommends that you should get at least 75 minutes of vigorous cardiovascular exercise every week or 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week. You can sure accomplish that with an elliptical.
Does It Provide A Good Overall Workout?
The primary muscle groups that are worked out when you use an elliptical are your leg muscles, specifically your glutes, quads, and hamstrings, but your calves can also get some good results when you place the machine at an incline. There are moving handlebars on the higher end professional machines that allow you to work your upper body out at the same time you are working on your lower body.
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You can burn over 800 calories an hour on an elliptical. Your work out intensity is controlled by the speed at which you pedal and the amount of time spent on the activity. The harder you choose to work out, the more calories you will burn and the more fat you will lose.
An elliptical can provide a good workout, but it is not considered a full-body workout when you are considering strength training. It can help improve muscular strength and endurance, but this is not the primary purpose it was designed to do.
What Can It Do For You?
An elliptical may not be the ideal piece of equipment for strength training, but it does have a lot of health benefits associated with it.
- It can help you reduce mineral loss that occurs over time in your body when you do not get enough exercise.
- It can provide an excellent cardiovascular workout.
- It is useful for reducing stress.
- If you use regularly you will most likely notice your mood improving.
- It can help you boost your immune system.
- If used regularly it can help you reduce your long term risks of developing diseases related to obesity.
There may not be a “perfect” piece of exercise equipment, but the elliptical is a good choice if you are looking for a good piece of equipment you can use to get a good heart healthy cardiovascular workout. It is relatively low impact and it is designed to allow you to have the ability to control the intensity of your own workout. This machine may not be the best choice for everyone, but it is a good machine and you should try it out to see if you like using it.