Elliptical machines are excellent cardio trainers. Apart from being low-impact, they support fast calorie burn. Unlike what many people think, elliptical machines are easy to use.
If you are thinking about getting an elliptical machine, then you should get one that features the latest technologies. This is important in ensuring that you have the best workouts possible. Choose a machine that has a center drive and an adjustable ramp as this will make it easier for you to change the incline to uphill.
With that said, it is important that you use an elliptical machine correctively for effective and safe workouts. In this guide, we will be looking at the various ways on how you can make the most from your elliptical trainer.
Get in position
To have the best workout experience, you will need to start with correct body positioning. This will guarantee effective workouts and you will be able to burn fat and achieve your workout goals. Here is what you are supposed to do:
· Get on the elliptical machine
When getting on the elliptical machine, you need to be extremely careful. You will be surprised to find that the pedals move right away. It is important that grab the hands, which are stationary, a place your foot on the pedal, each at a time.
· Align your feet on the pedals
Nearly all elliptical machines come with oversized pedals. Manufacturers created the extra space around your feel to promote comfort; however, will all these space, you can easily tile your feet the wrong way. In order to avoid straining your legs and helps, it is recommended that you align your feet parallel to the edges of the pedals.
· Make sure that your back is straight
Making sure that your back is straight is important when using an elliptical machine. Push your pelvis a bit forward and tuck in your abdominals. You should also keep your head upright and face forwards to ensure you have a maximum workout experience. Try to imagine this: a string is holding the top of your head to the roof.
· Position your hands
Generally, elliptical machines come with two sets of armbars. When climbing on the machine, you can grab the stationary handlebars for balance. Alternatively, you can hold on to the moving bars if you want to exercise your upper body. In both cases, make sure that you grip lightly. One of the most common mistakes that people make is holding on too tightly. Slightly pull your shoulders down and back, then bend your elbows to ensure that the movement is smooth.
After completing the above steps, the next step is moving on the elliptical machine. Follow these simple steps:
· Pedal forward
To start pedaling forward, slightly bend your knees forward. Don’t let your knees knock as doing so will make you feel uncomfortable and it might hurt. When you pedal, your legs will start moving in an elliptical path or oval shape.
· Challenge yourself
The good thing about using an elliptical machine is that allows you to adjust resistance level. Some come with incline controls. Don’t strain yourself, but you would only want to set a resistance level that will make like you are working out your muscles. You may want to increase resistance when working out your calves.
When you increase the incline, you will be able to target your glutes and hamstring which is great when you want to work out the lower part of the body. When you have to make adjustments, always aim for smooth motion. Leaning onto the handlebars will probably make the resistance too powerful.
When using some elliptical trainers, you may have to adjust the resistance and incline before a full-blown session. This is because finding control while working out could slow you down, and it might not be safe. However, with other elliptical trainers, making adjustments in the middle of a workout has been made easier as the controls are built into the handlebars.
· Keep going
Generally, an elliptical session should last 20-30 minutes. Although working out for the same amount of time for each session is still OK, you may want to adjust the intensity as your body gets used to the workout. It is recommended to work out three times a week.
Using special features
Elliptical machines have special features that you should take advantage of to improve your workout experience.
· Track your heart rate
Nearly all elliptical machines come with a heart rate monitor. In most cases, cheaper elliptical machines come with come with contact grips which are basically pulse sensor built into the handlebars. Advanced elliptical machines come with wireless heart rate monitors that work with chest straps. When you track your heart rate monitor and respond to the data, you will be able to use the elliptical machine more effectively. Your target heart rate zone should guide you to make the most from your elliptical workouts.
· Use the programs
For most elliptical trainers, there are preset workouts programs build into them. These programs change the incline and resistance automatically. In addition, some elliptical machines can be connected to the internet for new workout downloads as well as interactive training sessions. The most popular interactive training platform is iFit. Probably, you will end up having your favorite programs; however, make sure that you vary your workouts.
· Pedal backwards
Most elliptical machines allow for forward and reverse motion. You should use the machine in both directions to build muscle definition.
These are general tips on how to use elliptical machine for weight loss. It is recommended that you learn and understand the specifics of your elliptical machine. There is a huge difference between the different models and brands. They differ in terms of data tracking, programming, and safety features. It is important that you read the manual of your elliptical machine before you start using it. And if you train at a gym, don’t be afraid to ask for a demo. You will only benefit from this training if you learn how to use an elliptical machine correctly.