Do you know the many benefits of the elliptical trainer?
In fact, if there's one piece of fitness equipment that almost always makes you roll your eyes when you talk about it, it's this one.
"Oh no, not the elliptical ! It’s boring as can be and not very effective…”
It's kind of the unloved material. Ironically, ellipticals can be found in almost every gym around the world. Most often, the coach sticks on you in the gym, telling you "Nothing beats a good session of elliptical for the warm-up.
Translate: “There, I have other things to do than take care of you, because there is this beautiful girl over there who needs advice”. And here we go for 20 minutes of deep boredom…for you anyway. You feel like you're being punished, like when you had hours of glue in college.
While in real life, 5 minutes of warm-up would be more than enough.
That's why you find at least 20 ellipticals at the entrance of all the gyms in the world (when it's not 100). So as not to take care of you for as long as possible! No, I'm exaggerating a little 😉 because this gym equipment is full of qualities...
Table of Contents
- Let's shake up the a priori
- 12 benefits of the elliptical trainer
- 1. We can do it even if we are a tench
- 2. We make the weakest muscles progress
- 3. Sessions easy to put in your diary
- 4. You can do a complete full-body workout
- 5. Take it easy on the knees so as not to end up on the kneecaps
- 6. Very intense training sessions
- 7. You can return to sport after an injury
- 8. You don't necessarily need a ton of energy
- 9. You prepare the ground for your future sessions
- 10. You don't need 2 hours free
- 11. You shift into reverse
- 12. You increase your aerobic and anaerobic capacities
- Benefits of the elliptical trainer – Time to choose
- The best ellipticals for the home
- Elliptical trainer or treadmill?
- How to lose weight and build muscle on an elliptical trainer
- Elliptical Trainer Benefits – Conclusion
Let's shake up the a priori
Excuse me for telling you like that, but in reality what is boring with the elliptical, it's what you make of it. That's all…
Why, then ?
Because if you considered it a real piece of fitness equipment, it's a great piece of equipment! The practice of the elliptical trainer is undoubtedly the best way to get back into shape quickly and lose pounds in spades without injury. Only, for that, you have to use it correctly and increase your heart rate.
So elliptical skeptics be prepared to change your mind 😃
I'm going to give you plenty of reasons, silly or scientific, to return the elliptical trainer to its rightful place. No, but sometimes!
Since you're nice, here's...
12 benefits of the elliptical trainer
1. We can do it even if we are a tench
Indeed, the elliptical trainer is suitable for everyone.
Young and old, small, tall, fat, skinny, muscular or not, everyone can get involved, or almost. the elliptical is very easy to use, even by beginners.
Unless you lost at cards the last time you played against an oyster, you'll get it right the first time. No need for a 500 page manual to learn how to use it.
NOTE : Of course, if you have a history of heart problems, seek advice from your GP first.
2. We make the weakest muscles progress
One study compared the elliptical trainer to walking or running, whether outdoors or on a treadmill, or even using an exercise bike.
It turned out that the elliptical trainer works the quadriceps much more than other forms of exercise.
Also, a study by Willamette University indicated that when you pedal backwards on an elliptical trainer, your quadriceps work even harder.
Knowing that most people have weaker quadriceps than the muscles in the back of the thighs, using an elliptical trainer is a good idea. This equipment therefore helps runners and cyclists to have a more balanced leg musculature.
3. Sessions easy to put in your diary
Even tight as an Italian espresso, your schedule should have room for an elliptical workout.
As I'm going to show you later, it's very easy to do a crazy session in less than 30 minutes with an elliptical trainer.
During this session, you will:
- Work most of your muscles
- Improve your heart abilities
- Burn maximum calories
Plus, you won't even have time to get bored, especially since the best ellipticals have access to crazy programs like iFit from ProForm and NordicTrack, or Kinomap from other manufacturers.
And if you really want to waste a minimum of time, you can even do your session while watching the television news or a football match on television.
4. You can do a complete full-body workout
If you go for a run outside or on a treadmill, you will actually burn calories and exercise your leg muscles. But you'll get more done on an elliptical trainer.
Why this ?
During your session, you will work the upper and lower body at the same time. You will request:
- the quadriceps
- hamstrings (back of thighs)
- the buttocks
- the abdominals
- the latissimus dorsi
- the trapezoids
- the shoulders
- the biceps
- the pectorals
- the triceps
- and I forget...
Which means you'll be doing a full body workout in 20-30 minutes.
Who says better ?
Very few exercises achieve this result, apart from Nordic walking and rowing.
Not enough for you?
Well, nothing prevents you from increasing the difficulty on certain muscle groups during your session. For example, you have the option of activating the elliptical trainer using almost only the strength of your arms on the movable bars.
In a direction of rotation, you will work in priority the biceps, the latissimus dorsi and the trapezius. In the opposite direction, you will concentrate the efforts on the triceps and the pectorals.
You can also decide to drop handles and pick up a pair ofdumbbells to do shoulder presses while pedaling forwards or backwards. Doing so will accentuate the work on the legs and shoulders.
Without forgetting all the muscles in the middle of the body which promote balance, like a session of core training.
5. Take it easy on the knees so as not to end up on the kneecaps
The elliptical is relatively gentle on the body since it does not subject your body to any shock. This is important if you have joint problems, especially in the knees and lower back.
Many people suffer from bone or joint problems due to torn ligaments, osteoporosis or arthritis.
If this is your case, the elliptical trainer is a good choice for you because it does not put stress on the joints. It makes it possible to work all the muscles of the body in a fluid movement which limits the impacts. The feet always remain in contact with the pedals.
In addition to older athletes, those who have had joint problems and those recovering from knee surgery, overweight or obese people have every interest in using this equipment.
6. Very intense training sessions
Contrary to what many people think, it is entirely possible to have a crazy workout with an elliptical trainer. You will quickly realize this if you use a heart rate monitor with a belt or a fitness watch.
As you will see later in the workout I have concocted for you, you can do HIIT Tabata with this equipment. Which means it's easy to burn calories, and therefore fat. Good news !
Satisfied ? But as I said in the introduction, it depends on you.
The key is to make sure you work as hard and for as long on the elliptical as you do on any other piece of fitness equipment.
7. You can return to sport after an injury
Of course, before returning to sport following an injury, you must have the green light from your doctor. But once you have his agreement, the elliptical trainer is for you.
A good reason is that it will really help you to recover a good physical condition and flexibility.
For example, orthopedic surgeon Joseph Ciotola of Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore says that using the elliptical trainer gently can produce good results in regaining mobility in his back.
Other studies even claim that elliptical trainer sessions improve balance, endurance and mobility in patients who have suffered a stroke.
8. You don't necessarily need a ton of energy
Well, maybe you are telling yourself that I say the opposite of what I wrote in n°6. Nay!
No, what I'm just saying is that there are days when the beast within has gone into hibernation mode. Has this ever happened to you?
You arrive home in the evening with the intention of doing a fitness session. You cross the threshold of your house, you go to change in the room, but pfff! All your motivation disappeared as if by magic.
Is it a spell cast by a witch? A soporific gas spilled in your home? Suddenly aliens?
In fact, it happens to everyone. And unfortunately, it doesn't get better with age. I always have to tell you the truth 😅
But you have your secret weapon: the elliptical.
Climb on it and start smoothly. When you feel your body finally waking up, increase the intensity. You will often be surprised to find that your session isn't so bad after all...
It happened to me often.
Either way, what you've done will be done, and that's not bad. Maybe it was just the workout you needed.
9. You prepare the ground for your future sessions
Getting on the sports bandwagon when you've been off for a long time isn't the easiest thing. No breath, soggy muscles, extra pounds, etc.
You are not in the best condition to resume. And the harder the recovery, the more it risks dealing a fatal blow to your already deficient motivation in the short term.
Fortunately, the elliptical trainer is here!
If this tool is perfect for beginners who want to start sweating, it is necessarily ideal for those who need to get back into condition before returning to the circuit, sharp as an arrow.
A few weeks on the elliptical, and you won't be the same man or woman.
You'll be back!
10. You don't need 2 hours free
A real benefit of the elliptical trainer is that you can do a complete session in less than 30 minutes.
You are looking for efficiency above all else, aren't you?
Would you really rather want to train for 2 hours if you can get the same results in less than 30 minutes? Anyway, not me...
Well, that's why the elliptical trainer is one of the most effective pieces of fat burning equipment out there. It works 85 % of your body muscles along with your heart rate in one go.
And you burn a lot of calories.
According to Harvard Medical School and other studies, you burn up to 500 calories in half an hour on an elliptical trainer. And the heavier you are, the more calories you burn.
Of course, this all depends on the intensity of your session. We will talk about this a little later in point n°12.
11. You shift into reverse
Unlike the treadmill (also called treadmill), it is generally possible to go in reverse with an elliptical trainer.
What's the point ?
But to many things, friends...
When you pedal backwards on an elliptical trainer, you work your quadriceps and calves even more than when you go forward. In addition, the pectorals and triceps are used instead of the lats and biceps (which work forward).
Isn't life beautiful?
12. You increase your aerobic and anaerobic capacities
Well, don't ask me why we write aerobic with a C and anaerobic with QUE. I don't know anything!
But here's what I do know: Respiratory and cardiac capacities are really important in fitness. The longer you work in the anaerobic zones, the more you will progress.
We speak of anaerobic when the heart rate is so high that we can no longer speak during the effort.
Of course, if you have just resumed sport, you must above all seek to work in aerobics so as not to take risks.
But if you really want to lose weight and gain muscle, you're going to have to gradually move into the anaerobic zone as soon as possible. And more and more often.
When you can do this, you will be able to perform for long periods of time without running out of breath (anaerobic).
But this is an attainable goal by only doing the elliptical trainer for 20 to 30 minutes, 3 times a week. You can see all of this in the training example that I give you in a few minutes…
let's see first how to choose your elliptical trainer.
Benefits of the elliptical trainer – Time to choose
If you are determined to invest, you must be careful not to buy just anything and choose an elliptical trainer adapted to your objectives.
It's still an investment you want to enjoy for a long time.
So how do you choose the right elliptical trainer?
Besides the quality of materials, you look good stride length of your elliptical trainer and the flywheel weight.
Instead of stride length, we could use the term stride. This point is particularly important for tall people because many devices are not suitable for people over 1.85 m.
So if you are rather tall, the ideal device should have a long stride length for longer strides. This greater amplitude will bring you greater comfort of use and better muscle development.
The best ellipticals for the home
There are many models for all budgets. But be aware that a quality elliptical can cost quite a bit of money, and most low-end models aren't worth the cost.
I do not always recommend models available on Amazon, because there is good and very bad. However, here are some interesting models at the moment (table revised regularly):
Elliptical trainer or treadmill?
Honestly, there are a lot of advantages to the elliptical trainer over the treadmill.
Here are just a few:
- A quality elliptical trainer often costs less a little less. A good treadmill will cost you at least 1200 to 1500 €.
- As I explained to you previously, the elliptical trainer is less stressful on the joints.
- The movements you can perform are much more complete (work of the lower and upper muscles)
- The risk of accidents is reduced. There are a lot of downfalls with treadmills.
- An elliptical is less bulky.
- Workouts on an elliptical are much more fun than on a treadmill, unless you're a fan of running.
Now let's see how you will profit from it at 200 %. After all, you have to make your investment profitable 😅
How to lose weight and build muscle on an elliptical trainer
Now that you know the benefits of the elliptical trainer, here's an example of a workout that will really get you slim and building muscle.
This is a HIIT Tabata type workout, a high intensity program.
Here's how you can do it:
- Warm up gently by pedaling for 5 minutes without forcing.
- Select the program on your machine that allows you to alternate periods of high intensity and periods of recovery.
- Since elliptical trainer programs are usually split into 10 sessions of equal length, set your workout time to 5 minutes. Thus, you will alternate 30 intense seconds with 30 seconds of recovery. If you are very brave, you can set it to 10 minutes.
- At the end of the 5 or 10 minutes, get off the bike and do 30 seconds to 1 minute of Burpees or Prisoner's Squat (depending on the state of your knees and your physical condition).
- Repeat the 2 previous operations 3 times.
- At the end of the session, get back on your bike to pedal gently for 5 minutes, like warming up.
Elliptical Trainer Benefits – Conclusion
If you can't lose weight by following such a program, I don't understand anything anymore. I even go for a stay in a Tibetan monastery without a laptop.
That's to say!
Of course, this also implies that you learn how eat the right way without depriving yourself by following a proven program like this one (click to find out):
I hope I have helped you to see more clearly the true interest of the elliptical trainer.
So what are you waiting for to lose weight and gain muscle at the same time?
If you already own an elliptical that you don't use, give it a 2nd chance. Otherwise, equip yourself, you will not be disappointed.
Leave a message below to tell me what you think of the benefits of elliptical trainers or to ask your questions. THANK YOU !
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Last updated on 2022-03-03 / Affiliate links / Some images are sourced from the Amazon Product Advertising API