If you’re new to the workout scene then you might have asked yourself, “What is an elliptical trainer?”. Simply put, an elliptical trainer is a cardiovascular workout machine that is stationary like an exercise bike.
Where they differ is in the motion. Ellipticals mimic the motion of stair climbing, walking, and running. It is a low impact machine that doesn’t put much stress on the feet, ankles, and knees of the user. The elliptical was designed by Larry Miller, who got the idea by watching his youngest daughter skip along side his car. Her feet followed an elliptical motion that he recreated into a machine. The first ellipticals were created in the mid 90′s, and were only found in gyms, but now many models are sold for home use.
How is an elliptical trainer different from an exercise bike and a treadmill?
The elliptical trainer can be seen as an improvement on the exercise bike and the treadmill. They don’t use pedals like an exercise bike, and you don’t walk on it like a treadmill.
What do you do on an elliptical trainer then? Well, you glide on it!
Instead of using pedals you have foot plates with a bar that connects to a flywheel. The arm handles also connect to the foot bar, so your feet move in an elliptical motion — hence the name ‘elliptical’ trainer. This motion is like skipping in a pool of water without any impact. It’s great workout that doesn’t overly tax the body or cause injuries.
What is good about elliptical trainers?
So, what are some of the advantages of using an elliptical trainer? One of the many elliptical machine benefits, as mentioned above, is that you receive a quality cardiovascular workout without any impact on your feet, ankles, knees or hips. The workout benefits are the exact same as walking or cycling, but without the impact. The biggest selling point ellipticals have is that they are zero impact. Thousands of would-be exercisers are side lined because of injuries they receive from exercising. More calories can be burned on the elliptical than walking; Fewer calories are burned than running, but you avoid all the injuries that runners inevitably get.
Should I buy an elliptical trainer?
This is completely up to you. Many people incorporate a variety of exercise equipment into their routine. If you are only going to buy one machine for exercise, I recommend the elliptical trainer because of how easy it is on the body. Ellipticals are definitely easier on your body than any other kind of cardiovascular workout machine. They are more affordable than treadmills and safer than exercise bikes. Definitely by one if you already have injuries from common forms of exercise.
As you have read, elliptical trainers are excellent exercise machines that fit in between exercise bikes and treadmills. Elliptical trainers shine where treadmills and exercise bikes fail. One of the biggest advantages of the elliptical trainer is that it places absolutely zero impact on your joints. Treadmills put a lot of stress on joints, and many people complain of knee pain from riding exercise bikes. Elliptical trainers are zero impact and use a full range of muscles. Ellipticals are like running weightless in water. Consider one if you want to avoid the impact of treadmills and the knee pain of exercise bikes.