How to Use the Cardio Glide Machine

Your local fitness center may have a Cardio Glide or similar machine.
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When you want to get in shape or maintain your physical fitness, nearly any exercise that gets your heart beating faster is going to help. Some of the simplest exercises -- such as running outside or on a treadmill -- are the most beneficial and can burn the most calories, but you can also get exercise by using any number of workout machines on the market. Among them is the Cardio Glide machine, also called an aerobic rider or HealthRider. Using the machines is fairly easy to do, though it's always important to set them up properly to avoid injury.


Check out your clothing before you get on the machine, and make sure you're not wearing anything that can get caught in the moving parts. The manufacturer recommends wearing shoes on the Cardio Glide, so also check that your shoes' laces are not hanging down where they can pose a problem. Then check over the machine and check any knobs and pedals are in place and are not loose. Sit on the seat and place your feet on the pedals. If you seem too crunched up or too far away, adjust the knob under the seat to move the seat closer or farther away. Also check out the resistance knob under the seat bar. You may want a more intense workout as you progress, but for now, turn the knob to 1 or 2 for minimal resistance.


The Cardio Glide has two modes: pushing and pulling, and you can only do one or the other at a time. To move between "Push" and "Pull" mode, you'll have to move the link arms -- located between the seat and the handlebars -- to either the upper or lower rollers. Having the arms on the upper rollers puts the machine in "Push" mode. Push mode is what it sounds like: pushing yourself away from the machine, to work the back sides of the body, including the back and calves. Sit on the seat, place your feet on the footrests and your hands over-hand on the handlebars. Then push away from the handlebars with your feet and hands. When you can't push backward any farther, bend your elbows and knees to move back to the starting position.


"Pull" mode on the Cardio Glide, meanwhile, will do more to work the front of your body, including the biceps and abdominals. To get into Pull mode, the machine's link arms need to be on the lower roller. In this mode, you'll notice that the handlebars are farther away from your body. Sit on the seat, place your feet on the foot holds, and grasp the handlebars in an overhand fashion. Then pull your body toward the handlebars with your arms as you push the foot pedals away from your body with your legs. When your waist is near the handlebars, release and move back to the starting position. To get some variation, move your arms to the lower bar on the middle of the handlebar pole, or point your toes as you raise your body toward the handlebars.


Like any cardiovascular exercise, you'll get more benefit and burn more calories the longer and more intense your workout becomes. One easy way to monitor that is to set a goal to use the Cardio Glide for 20 to 25 minutes, alternating between the Push and Pull modes every five minutes. Test your heart rate after 10 minutes to ensure you're in the cardiovascular zone, which is typically between 50 and 85 percent of your maximum heart rate. Some models also come with a built-in monitor that can track the time elapsed, the approximate number of calories you've burned and your heart rate. Press the "On" button to turn on the monitor, which will display the "Scan" mode automatically, alternating between the speed, time, distance and calories modes. You can also press the "Mode" button to display only one mode.

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