An extremely popular type of fitness exercise machine, elliptical trainers were introduced in 1995 and have been developed enormously since then. A cross trainer with moving arms was introduced by Reebok which worked on the arms as well as the legs for the first time. Elliptical cross trainers have become increasingly popular, both at the gym and in the home, for a number of reasons. Some of these reasons include giving a low impact exercise that does not harm the hips, back, knees or joints. The exercise they provide is also weight-bearing which is very good to help maintain bone density and they also efficiently burn calories. Elliptical machines take up much less space than treadmills. They are also low maintenance which helps to keep costs down. The name, cross trainer, refers to their combination of resistance and aerobic training. Muscle tone in arms and legs can be improved by changing the resistance.
Types of Fitness Elliptical Trainers There are are two types of elliptical fitness trainers, front or rear driven. The feel of the machine is governed by the drive method. Rear driven feel like steppers, front driven like running. Some variety can be achieved by the ability to be used in both forward and backward directions which also helps to tone muscles in the back of the legs and the bottom. Some of the expensive trainers have a motorized incline which will increase the level of training. A feature of some models are pivoting foot plates that allow you to move your feet in a natural motion.
Some Health Benefits of Using Fitness Elliptical Trainers These low impact machines do not put disproportionate strain on the joints. They are more suitable for those with joint issues than other types of exercise machines such as treadmills. Elliptical trainers give an aerobic workout that can help to lower blood pressure and relieve stress among other benefits. At higher levels they can be a big help in lowering the amount of body fat.
Some Features of Fitness Elliptical Trainers When you’re buying an elliptical trainer find out the weight of the flywheel. A heavier flywheel gives a smoother, less jerky motion. Lighter flywheels on cheaper models can cause the motion to be ‘sticky’ at some points. This will result in you needing to apply more pressure. This puts a strain on the knees which makes them uncomfortable to use. A machine with more resistance levels is more adaptable and easier to change from vigorous aerobic exercises to high resistance, more weight bearing exercises.
Most elliptical cross trainers have a selection of built in workout programs although the selection is better for the more expensive models. It can be very boring using the same program every day, and your motivation may decline, so consider buying one with a wider variety of exercise programs. You can set a heart rate level on many machines which will then automatically adjust speed or the incline level to keep you in the right zone. Some other programs are interval training and weight loss.
Conclusion Whichever type of elliptical trainer you are going to buy ensure you know how it works and that it has a suitable warranty. It’s a good idea to have a practise go on one at a local gym before you buy so that you can test out the motion and see if it is easy to use.
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