You may have used an elliptical trainer at your local gym, or may have seen one at your local fitness equipment dealer. And you may have also wondered if an elliptical trainer can help you loose weight and get fit. Here’s a number of benefits of using an elliptical trainer.
5 Benefits of an Elliptical Trainer
Benefit #1: Lower Joint Stress Compared to Running
Did you know that the elliptical trainer was originally designed by an inventor, who came up with the idea for the elliptical motion by filming his daughter running alongside his car, then replicating that running motion in a machine that gave running benefits, but put less strain on the joints? Studies, including one at the University of Missouri, show that the workout you get on an elliptical is equal to what you get on a treadmill, including heart rate, lactic acid formation, oxygen utilization, and perceived exertion. Yet, there’s far less impact damage to your joints than on a treadmill. So, if you have joint issues, you may get a better workout on an elliptical over a treadmill!
Benefit #2: Better at building up your quadriceps!
Another study compared muscle activity patterns of the quadriceps and hamstrings in walking on the ground, walking on a treadmill, and the elliptical trainer. Surprisingly enough, elliptical trainers worked the quadriceps better than walking / running (either on the ground or on a treadmill), producing much greater quadriceps utilization and greater quadriceps and hamstring coordination than any of the other modes of exercise! One of the downsides of running is your quadriceps may be weaker in comparison to your hamstrings, so using an elliptical is a great way to make sure you have balanced muscles!
Benefit #3: You can target your butt!
In a study done by Dalhousie University in Canada, where they compared elliptical training to walking,they found that the gluteus maximus (butt) and vastus laterlis (hip muscles) were utilized far more than walking or running. Using an elliptical trainer is a great way to target those muscle groups and help “carve” yourself a better butt!
Benefit #4: Better fat burning!
When you run on a treadmill, your stride length normally stays about the same as you run, But, since you can adjust your stride as you workout on an elliptical, studies have been showing that as stride length increases on an elliptical trainer, more calories are burned – without you actually feeling like you’re working any harder. So even though overall, the calories burned can be very similar between a treadmill and elliptical trainer, being able to change your stride length means you can maximize the calories your burning, while adding variety to your workout.
Benefit #5: Work Your Upper Body and Core!
Elliptical trainers normally also include handles / arms that work your shoulders, chest, biceps and triceps while you’re working your lower body. And your core is also worked as you stand upright on an elliptical trainer. Going “arms free” can also help you improve your balance and posture as well. It’s much more difficult to get a whole body workout on a treadmill than an elliptical – so if you are looking to maximize your overall cardio fitness goals, an elliptical trainer may be an even better choice for you than a treadmill.
For more information about buying an elliptical for your Phoenix area home, contact Fitness 4 Home Superstore today and we’ll be happy to match you up with the perfect piece of equipment. We have locations near you – our Scottsdale Superstore, Camelback Superstore, and our Phoeminx I-10 Superstore.