There is one piece of gym equipment that seems to get a pretty bad rap among guys and girls. The elliptical machine is routinely called ‘boring,’ ‘dull,’ and ‘unchallenging’ by seasoned gymgoers. It tends to be a starting point for people who are new to working out, but it gets less and less love as experience and strength increases.
This is fairly surprising, because not only provide a great workout, they can be programmed for exercise in a wide variety of different ways. Like all of the equipment at the gym, you get out what you are willing to put in. So, if you don’t take the time to explore all of the many benefits of an elliptical machine, you’ll never know its full potential.
The question is, can elliptical machines outshine more conventional cardio choices like the treadmill or the stepper? This guide to some of the key benefits of working out on the elliptical will help to provide an answer.
1. Suitable for All Age Groups
One of the best things about the elliptical machine is that it can be attempted with no real experience of gym equipment. And, it doesn’t matter how old or fit you are; this machine works at your pace, because you are providing the momentum. While lots of gymgoers do eventually leave it behind, particularly once they get acquainted with things like the hip abductor and the assisted curl, it still represents a really good ‘jumping off’ point for newbies.
2. Tons of Variety and Range
Most elliptical machines (certainly the ones at the gym) now come with a whole series of integrated workout programs. So, instead of getting pumped up and ready to go, only to have to pore over buttons and setting functions, you can just hit the button for your favourite session. A good tip, however, is to make sure that you are not making it through the programmed workouts without too much effort. If they feel too easy, you need to up the speed or the level of resistance.
3. A Whole Body Workout
Far from being a machine for beginners, the elliptical can actually provide a full body workout in under thirty minutes. A full half hour session on this machine targets the upper and lower body, as well as offering a crucial cardio fix. There are very few gym machines that can match the elliptical for ‘all round’ power. So, stick with a regular routine and you’ll be flaunting toned arms and legs in no time.
4. Just As Challenging As the Treadmill
According to a number of different studies, the elliptical machine (when used correctly) is just as effective as the stepper or the treadmill. But, you have to make sure that you keep up the intensity and work just as hard as if you were running or jogging. If you take it too easy, you won’t feel the full benefits, so push yourself and really work those muscles. If you increase the incline, your bum will feel the burn; this is a great way to give yourself a wonderfully shapely behind.
The Bottom Line: Treadmills or Elliptical Machines?
Ultimately, the treadmill and the elliptical machine are equally powerful. However, your preference will depend on what type of person you are and how you like to exercise. No matter how much praise is heaped upon them, some people just won’t ever enjoy the motion, sensation, or form of the elliptical.
On the other hand, if you have never tried one of these machines and are wondering what all of the fuss is about, don’t be afraid to give the elliptical a go. It is easy to understand, simple to master, and it could help you to transform your workout strategy.