Tuesday, 19 April 2016

Elliptical Trainer Do’s and Don’ts

The Elliptical Trainer is especially suited to people with joint or back problems because it is a low-impact workout. When used properly, it can provide a whole body workout with less risk or strain than running on a treadmill.

Step onto the machine. Most Elliptical Machines have 2 sets of handles, 1 set that moves back and forth and 1 set that remains stationary. Grasp a stationary handle and step onto the furthest step. The step will move when you step on it, but will move less if the step is at the bottom of its rotation. Grasp the other handle and lift up the second foot. Steady yourself before continuing.

Align your feet with your hips. They should be exactly hip width apart. The feet should not turn inwards or outwards; they should also face straight forward. There are very large places for your feet on most elliptical. For many people, the hips will align in the inner-most edge; however it is not important to place your feet against any of the pedals' edges, as long as the feet and hips are aligned.

Stand up straight, keeping your spine in a neutral position to reduce stress on the back during the workout. Push your pelvis forward so you aren't overarching your back and pull your abdominal muscles in to support your back.

Start to pedal in a forward motion, in order to activate the screen on the elliptical. Keep your hands on the stationary handles so that you are steady while you are distracted by the screen.

Choose a low resistance setting, which will be levels 1 or 2 on most elliptical. Do not activate the incline. Set the timer for 10 minutes for your first time, and then increase to 30 minutes.

Start pedaling in a slow, fluid motion. The movement of an elliptical can be very awkward at first. The pedals move in a motion similar to a stationary bike; however, the arms mimic the moving of walking and running, with the opposite arm extending while the leg pedals.

Start your interval workout to maximize calorie burning and cardiovascular training.

  • Do 5 minutes on level 1 or 2, while you get used to the motion of the elliptical machine and warm up your muscles. Feel free to stay on this level for your entire first workout.
  • Follow with 5 minutes at a level of 3 or 4.
  • Do 2 minutes at level 6, then return to level 3 for 2 minutes. Repeat the increase and decrease of tension levels in 2 minute intervals 1 to 4 more times, depending upon the length of your workout.
  • Cool down with 5 minutes at level 1 or 2.

Stretch your hamstrings, quadriceps, arms, back and any other tight muscles after your workout. You have just finished a total body workout and stretching will help to heal your muscles and avoid soreness.

Repeat the Elliptical Trainer workout at least 3 times a week to burn calories and improve cardiovascular endurance.