Elliptical machines are one of the most popular pieces of exercise equipment in gyms and homes around the world. They provide an effective cardiovascular workout that can help you improve your overall fitness level and achieve your health and fitness goals. In this article, we will explore the benefits of elliptical cardio and how to use an elliptical machine for maximum results.
How to Use an Elliptical Machine for Maximum Results
When using an elliptical machine, it is important to maintain proper form and technique. The handlebars should be at the same level as your shoulders and your arms should stay relaxed while you move your legs. When pushing and pulling the handlebars, make sure to keep your elbows close to your body. It is also important to adjust the resistance and incline levels on the machine to challenge yourself and maximize the effectiveness of your workout.
The Best Elliptical Workouts for Beginners
For those just starting out with elliptical machines, low impact interval training is a great way to get started. This type of workout involves alternating between short periods of high intensity exercise and longer periods of low intensity exercise. This can help you gradually work your way up to more challenging workouts as your fitness level improves.
Steady state cardio is another great option for beginners. This type of workout involves keeping your heart rate at a steady pace for a sustained period of time. For example, you could set the resistance and incline levels on the machine to a comfortable level and then pedal at a consistent speed for 30 minutes.
High Intensity Interval Training on the Elliptical
High intensity interval training (HIIT) is a great way to get the most out of your elliptical routine. HIIT workouts involve alternating between short bursts of high intensity exercise and longer periods of rest or low intensity exercise. This type of workout is much more effective than steady state cardio in terms of burning fat and building muscle. It is also much less time consuming, as a full HIIT workout can be completed in as little as 20 minutes.
When comparing HIIT to steady state cardio, it is important to note that HIIT is much more intense and requires more focus and dedication. However, if you are willing to put in the effort, HIIT can yield much better results in terms of fat loss and muscle gain.
Tips for Optimizing Your Elliptical Routine
To get the most out of your elliptical routine, it is important to vary your intensity levels. For example, you could start off with a few minutes of low intensity exercise to warm up, followed by several minutes of moderate intensity exercise, and then finish with a few minutes of high intensity exercise. This approach will help you maximize the effectiveness of your workout and burn more calories.
In addition to varying your intensity levels, it is also beneficial to incorporate strength training into your elliptical routine. Adding brief strength training exercises such as squats, press-ups, and lunges can help you build muscle and burn even more calories.
The Pros and Cons of Elliptical Machines
While elliptical machines offer numerous benefits, they also have some potential drawbacks. The advantages of elliptical machines include the fact that they can provide a low impact workout, which can be beneficial for those with joint issues. Additionally, they allow you to target multiple muscle groups at once, making them an efficient way to exercise.
On the other hand, some people may find elliptical machines to be boring or repetitive. Additionally, they can be difficult to adjust properly, which can lead to improper form and reduced effectiveness. Finally, they are not suitable for certain types of exercises such as sprints or plyometrics.
Elliptical machines can be an effective way to get a full body workout and improve your overall fitness level. They provide a low impact cardio workout that can help you burn fat and build muscle. Additionally, they can be used to perform various types of workouts, from low impact interval training to high intensity interval training. By following proper form and technique, adjusting the resistance and incline levels, and varying your intensity levels, you can optimize your elliptical routine and get the most out of your workouts.