An elliptical machine also known as a cross-trainer is stationary workout equipment that is used for multipurpose exercises. Such as walking, stair climbing, running or sprinting, etc. The elliptical machine acts as a great cardio trainer. It provides a low-impact workout that is friendly to your knees and back and burn calories fast. Plus, an elliptical trainer is a great choice for beginners who wants to get fit. Because it actively targets almost all the muscles while it also enhances your cardiovascular health and stamina. If you are a beginner then like any other equipment, you have to follow a proper form to get the most effective workout and avoid any harm. So, lets us get started with how to use an Elliptical.
Getting in the exact position.
Hop in the trainer:
Watch out while hopping onto the machine because the pedals may start right away and you might lose your balance. Grip the handlebars, then put a foot on each pedal.
Adjust your feet:
The pedals in an elliptical machine are oversized. As a result, the extra space around your feet is comfortable. But still, with such spaces, there is a chance of tilting your feet the wrong way. So, to avoid bruising your hips put your feet uniform with the pedal’s edge.
Begin pedaling with even strides:
When you are moving the handles, your arms should be swaying. Strengthen your leg when the left foot goes down and pull the right handle towards your body. Again, do the same with the right leg when it goes down.
Keep your back straight:
To use the elliptical machine in a proper form you must keep your back straight. Push in your abdominals and push out your pelvis forward a bit. For a better posture, keep your head upright facing the monitor.
Avoid locking your knees:
Always keep your knees slightly bend for a better posture and a pain-free workout.Riding on an elliptical machine is quite similar to bike riding. Only here you are not sitting but you are experiencing less of an up and down range of motion.
Employ the swing arm:
Elliptical machine have two different types of armbars. You can use the movable swing bars for upper body workout. Or, you can grab the stationary armbars for balance. In both cases, you have to grasp lightly. For a good workout pull your shoulder a bit back and down. To have a smooth motion lean your elbows slightly.
Start riding the machine.
Recline on your heels:
Putting all your weight on the toes can numb your feet. keep off the pressure from your toes. So, keep the weight on your heel for your muscles to work hard. Plus, it will elevate your stamina so you can work out for long.
Don’t slouch over the handrails. Because slouching forward will make the workout feel easier and ultimately less effective for you. So, stand upright with a firm core without leaning forward the handrails. Standing upright will allow you to work on your core and abs as you workout on the machine. Besides, put less weight on the handrails and instead drift back slightly. It will make sure your back is straight and the maximum of your weight is over the footpads.
Avoid repeating the routine daily:
Doing the same workoutdaily might be effective in the beginning. But eventually, it will lead to the fitness plateau. So, it’s important to get a change in your workout routine. Because it makes the workout more engaging and interesting. Moreover, it will elevate the effectiveness of each workout session.
Stay mindful of your body:
Being distracted by T.V, mobile, books, etc. during your workout may seems harmless. But it will hinder you to get the most out of the workout. So, avoid any sorts of distractions and be mindful of your body when exercising. The main reason behind it is that you can be aware of your body position and adjust the machine accordingly to keep your workout challenging, dynamic and risk-free. Plus, you can maintain a good posture and plan for the next stage of your workout.
Always check out your monitor:
Monitor on the elliptical machine informs you about the heart rate, burned calories and the number of strides you have made while working out. So, always check the monitor to keep track of your fitness progress.
Plan your elliptical workout:
Interval Training is one of the ways to gain maximum fitness benefits. Varying your elliptical workout will keep your body in the finest shape and it is much fun to do. So, you will have to be constant and steady in your workout. Plus, a routine for your workout session is very important.
Plan a goal for the day of workout:
Just hopping on the machine and doing work out for a long time aimlessly won’t reach you anywhere. Because it won’t be effective for your body fitness. For this reason, you need to plan your goal that you want to gain for the day. Also, plan out your workout time and the intensity level of workout you want to achieve.
Before starting get familiar with the monitor:
Read out the instruction before starting the machine. Each machine comes with different features. So, at first, take your time to get comfortable using the monitor before you start working out. Then find out the incline buttons and learn how to adjust the resistance level.
Set the program according to weight and age:
A lot of elliptical machines let you put the weight and age. So, you can program the machine according to your weight and age. In this way, the machine helps you keeping track of the burned calories during the workout. The handlebars of some elliptical machines have sensors that can check your heart rate as well. Again, some other elliptical machine can allow you to have a customized workout by adding some important information. Such as the number of calories you want to burn, duration of your workout, or the intensity level you want to work with.
Level of workout:
To have a moderate level of workout, the heart rate should range 50 to 70 percent of your maximum heart rate. Again, to have a vigorous level of workout you are targeting for 70 to 85 percent. To determine your maximum heart rate, minus your age from 220. For example, if you are 25 your maximum heart rate is 195.
Adjust the incline level according to your comfort:
Time to time replacing the incline angle will be very much effective to your workout intensity. If you set the machine at a low incline then you feel the workout quite similar to cross country skiing. Again, a medium incline will give you a workout more like a bike or spin class. And a high incline is more akin to climbing stairs. You can also change the machine settings throughout the exercise. As a result, it will spice up the workout and concentrate on different muscles.
As earlier I have mentioned about interval training then here are some ideas to change up your workout routine:
- Try to do a 5-minutes interval each time by increasing the resistance.
- Begin and remain at a constant pace which is the base pace and increase the machine incline/decline setting with time.
- Drift at base pace for 2 minutes. Then keeping the incline steady increase, the speed as double for 2 minutes again. And retrieve for 1 minute. Repeat this order as many times as you want.
An elliptical machine is an excellent option for anyone who wants to get fit. It is a great trainer for beginners as well. As it allows you to ease your way into the cardiovascular workout. So now the beginners know how to use an elliptical then I think they can find it easier to work out and gain their desired fitness goals.