There are different names for the elliptical trainer. There are those who call it the X-trainer and others refer to it as the cross-trainer. It is a machine that is motionless and helps those who are exercising by simulation rubbing, walking or even climbing a hill. Treadmills are what most people are used to, however the elliptical does not pit as much pressure on the joints all the while still providing the ideal work out.
Here are six of the best benefits of using an elliptical and six reasons why I am personally a huge fan of the elliptical trainer:
- Equal Levels of Fitness with Less Joint Impact
Originally the elliptical trainer was designed an inventor who conceived the idea for this particular motion while filming his daughter as she ran alongside his car, he then replicated that running motion and designed a machine which put less strain on the joints.
At the University of Missouri, a study was conducted in which the lactic acid formation, oxygen utilization, heart rate and rating of the perceived exertion while using an elliptical trainer in comparison to a treadmill, what they found that although in every aspect the elliptical exercise and the treadmill exercise were nearly identical — however there is far less joint impact created by the elliptical trainer.
- Is Able to Repair Weak Quadriceps
In another study, the muscle activity patterns of the hamstring and quadriceps were compared while walking on the ground, stationary bicycling, walking on a treadmill and the elliptical trainer. In comparison with all of the other modes of exercise, the greatest amount of quadricep utilization as well as greater coordination of the hamstring and quadriceps was observed on the elliptical trainer. The Willamette University conducted a study which found that when on an elliptical, if you pedal backwards, the utilization of the quadriceps skyrockets even more.
Nowadays, elliptical machines have come down in price and they don’t need to break the bank – for instance check out the best elliptical under $500 and see the features and you’ll see what we’re on about.
- Targets Muscles in Cyclists and Runners which are Notoriously Weak
Another study compared walking to the elliptical trainer, what was discovered is that during the elliptical training; greater muscle activation for the vastus laterals which are the hips external muscles and the gluteus maximus which is the butt, the activation of the hamstrings was slightly lower.
- Able To Maximize the Effect of Training with the Incrementation of Stride Length
Another interesting study which was conducted at my alma mater, the University of Idaho, go Vandals, find that in an elliptical trainer, the stride length increases, you burn more calories without feeling as if you are working any harder — this is very useful if you exercise on an indoor elliptical that has a stride length that is adjustable or on a Elliptigo whose stride length can also be adjusted.
- Muscle Utilization of the Upper Body and Core
And elliptical trainer which includes arm motion, a workout of the chest, shoulders, triceps and biceps can also be incorporated at the same time that the lower body cardiovascular workout is taking place. On top of that, the upright posture that is featured on an elliptical trainer will use more of the core muscles, and if you do not use the railing that is provided by an indoor elliptical trainer and opt to go “hands-free, the postural and balance training effect can be increased.
- Less Space is taken up by Elliptical Trainers
When compared to a treadmill, it is easier to move an elliptical trainer and it also saves on a lot of space. Even an elliptical trainer for outdoors, for example the Elliptigo, is able to be folded to a smaller sized than a bicycle and can easily be transported in the trunk of a car.