If you’ve never used an elliptical at the gym, then what are you waiting for? While these machines may often be left unused in favor of a treadmill or exercise bike, there are many benefits to using an elliptical that simply cannot be matched with other pieces of exercise equipment. Using an elliptical is a safe and effective way to burn calories and get a full body workout. Additionally, using an elliptical regularly can also help you target specific muscles for strengthening and improve your balance.
But if you’ve never used one before, you may be curious as to whether or not it’s worth it to make the shift from your normal workout routine. Compared to other workouts, there are some distinct advantages to this machine. Here, we’re taking a closer look at ellipticals and reviewing some of the top benefits of using an elliptical for your next workout.
What is an Elliptical?
Also known as a cross trainer, glider machine, or elliptical trainer, the elliptical has quickly become a mainstay in gyms across the country. But before we dig into the many benefits, let’s start at the beginning and discuss what this machine is in the first place. An elliptical is a unique exercise machine that allows an individual to run, walk, or climb in place without putting undue stress and pressure on your joints.
Go at your own pace and get the workout you need without putting your body in harms way. Many people prefer ellipticals to treadmills, for example, because they incorporate more of the full body. An elliptical uses your legs and arms to create motion and offer a unique type of workout that is unmatched by most other machines you’ll find at the gym.
7 Benefits of Using an Elliptical for Your Next Workout
Now that we understand this unique machine a bit more, let’s take a look at a few of the key benefits. While an elliptical might look pretty similar to your standard treadmill or exercise bike, the unique design and motion actually has many health benefits that you can’t get from these other pieces of equipment.
Take a look at just a few of the top benefits of using ellipticals:
1. Help you burn calories: when most of us head to the gym, it’s with the purpose of burning excess calories so we can get in better shape and even lose unwanted pounds. When it comes to burning calories, an elliptical is one of your best options. As an intense cardio workout, you can burn hundreds of calories on an elliptical in less than an hour. Of course, the specific amount depends on the intensity of the workout and your weight, but in general, it’s a great way to burn those calories.
2. Reduce stress on your joints: while there are many benefits to getting your cardio in, running or even jogging on a hard surface can add painful pressure to your joints and entire body. To avoid this wear and tear associated with running, try using an elliptical that is much kinder on your joints. Try swimming if you’re looking for another great cardio option that doesn’t add stress to your joints.
3. Full body workout: while a treadmill or bike can really work those legs, the other half of your body misses out on a good workout. But with an elliptical, you can work out your whole body at once (saving time and energy) since this unique machine utilizes both your arms and legs. This makes using an elliptical a much more efficient type of workout.
4. Target specific muscles: with a traditional cardio workout, it can be a challenge to target specific muscles you want to hit. But with an elliptical you can easily target specific leg muscles that may be underutilized by other types of exercises. With an elliptical, you can target your calves, quads, glutes, or hamstrings depending on how you adjust the angle on the machine.
5. Improves your balance: with a weight-bearing exercise like an elliptical workout, this machine can strengthen your bones and muscles. As a result, your overall balance can also be improved. This can be especially beneficial for older individuals who may have to worry about fall-related injuries as they get older.
6. Stay active while in recovery: following a significant injury, it can be tricky (or even harmful) to get back in the gym and stay active. But an elliptical can prove to be an effective way to stay active while allowing your body the time to successfully recover. If you push it to hard, you may end up enflaming the injury and actually making it worse—delaying your recovery. An elliptical is a safe way to get back in the gym even when your body isn’t back to 100 percent.
7. Easy to use: gym intimidation is a real thing, especially if it’s your first time getting back to the gym after a long period of time. But an elliptical is easy to jump on and easy to learn how to use, giving you that boost of confidence next time you hit the gym.
If you’re looking for a safe, effective—and dare we say even fun—workout, then it’s time to upgrade from that old treadmill or exercise bike. If you’ve never tried out an elliptical at your gym, it’s time to take the dive and give it a try. Compared to other cardio workouts, an elliptical offers a range of health benefits that can improve your overall health.
Using an elliptical for your next workout can be a great way to burn calories, shed extra pounds, and get a great cardio workout with adding stress and pressure to your joints. Additionally, ellipticals can also improve your balance and give you a full body workout—making your gym experiences that much more efficient. Visit lifespanfitness.com.