Elliptical trainers combine the motion of stair climbing with cross country skiing for an effective workout. Elliptical machines are a favorite among exercisers because they fit any fitness level and provide a low-impact workout. This makes it the ideal choice for those with injuries. This versatile machine also allows for exercisers to alter resistance and speed that can intensify your workouts.
Elliptical machines allow for the increase of resistance. The higher the resistance on the machine, the harder it is to continue the pedal movement. This kind of training allows for muscular strength to be built in the lower body. When done regularly, your ability to maintain this level of difficulty will improve as your leg strength develops.
Along with a change of resistance, ellipticals also allow for changes of speed. This allows you to control the pace at which you workout, making the elliptical perfect for high-intensity interval training, also known as HIIT. HIIT is an intense burst of activity followed by a slower level of activity or rest. HIIT ramps up overall calorie burning throughout the day, meaning that it continues to burn fat even when you aren't exercising.
Resistance and Speed Differences
Both resistance and speed training on the elliptical are beneficial to the workout regimen. Adding resistance helps to build a strong lower body, whereas cranking up the speed on an elliptical allows for optimal calorie burn and fat blasting. Both workouts can be incorporated into weekly workouts so you can get the best of both worlds.
Although elliptical trainers provide a low-impact workout, it is still important to be careful on any exercise machine. It can be easy to lose balance and fall off of these machines if you are going too fast too soon. Make sure to familiarize yourself with the machine and hold onto the rails before increasing speed or resistance.
Kaitlin Condon is a holistic health coach and certified physical fitness/wellness specialist. She is a contributing health writer for the teen magazine "Miabella," as well as several online publications.