Looking for a great way to boost your cardiovascular fitness, strengthen your muscles, and burn as many calories as you would running?
If so, you might want to consider the elliptical trainer. Sometimes also referred to as the `cross trainer`, this machine really does have it all. It`ll easily allow you to work at various paces and resistance levels to meet any fitness requirements and offers muscular conditioning benefits as well.
What`s more is that the workout is entirely low impact, so this makes it ideal for anyone who is experiencing any type of joint pain.
If you have yet to experience what the elliptical trainer has to offer, now might just be the time to give it a chance.
In order to see the absolute best benefits from using it, let`s walk you through a few of the most important things that you need to know.
Find Your Comfortable Stride
The very first thing that you should be doing to make sure you feel comfortable while using the equipment and to allow you to see the best workout possible is to get comfortable with your stride.
The elliptical trainer can be used at any stride length as this is a self-directed element of the movement pattern.
You want to avoid using a much longer stride than what you are comfortable with because doing so will just place excess stress on the hip flexor muscles. Likewise, don`t use too short of a stride or you won`t see all the lower body strengthening benefits that it has to offer.
Keep Your Body Upright
The second important point to remember as you perform the elliptical trainer is to ensure that you keep your body upright.
Some people will either start to lean too far back or more commonly, too far forward as fatigue sets in and this is going to place the body in a very uncomfortable movement pattern.
Instead, keep the body upright at all times. Keep the head looking forward and the hips up. This will help you maintain better form.
Decide Whether You`ll Use The Handles
Another thing to consider is whether or not you will use the handles. With most ellipticals you will have the choices as you can either use the arms to compliment the movement or if you prefer, you can just hold onto the arm rests and let your lower body do the work for you.
Those who are more focused on building up their lower body strength may want to go with this option, while those who are using the elliptical trainer for its full body conditioning benefits will want to go with the former.
Finally, last but not least, make sure you consider reversing directions once in a while as well. This is another nice added benefit that this machine has to offer - by reversing the direction that you`re moving you can get a completely different movement pattern that will stimulate the body in an entirely different manner.
This will help you see even further results yet and keep boredom from setting in.
It`s one piece of cardio equipment that you simply can`t afford to overlook.