One way to obtain a full body workout is to use a total body fitness machine. Whenever you combine upper body movements with lower body movements, you’ll target your entire body and get the most out of your workout. Working out on an elliptical trainer is one way to achieve this, but how does it compare to other cardiovascular gym equipment?
More Movement Counts
When it comes to packing the most into your workout, the more you move, the better. After all, extra movement equates to additional calories burned. As opposed to working out on a stationary bike with static handles or a stair stepper, the elliptical trainer is beneficial in that the handles move with the pedals, allowing for simultaneous movement of both the arms and the legs. You’ll target more muscle groups when you exercise on the elliptical trainer, as no body part is isolated.
Low Impact – Not Low Intensity
Treadmills are a natural compared to elliptical trainers. Both focus primarily on the legs in a walking or running motion. Most treadmill enthusiasts will tell you that they began loosing weight when they began running. It’s true–running on a treadmill or outside is a very effective way to get your heart rate going and help you shed excess pounds. However, running, both indoors and outdoors, puts a significant amount of stress on your body. As a result, it’s not for everyone.
The elliptical trainer can give you a similar sort of workout without the pain and stress on your body. The fact that an elliptical machine’s pedals move with your feet, rather than your feet hitting a hard surface, makes for a more comfortable workout. Also, it’s easier to control your motions on an elliptical trainer. On a treadmill, you’re at the mercy of the moving belt beneath your feet; on an elliptical trainer, you have more control over your pace without having to adjust any electronic settings. Just because an elliptical trainer has less of an impact doesn’t make it a low intensity workout. You can easily adjust the settings on the machine and apply moderate to intense resistance and incline to achieve a workout similar to that of a treadmill.
Tailor Your Workout Using the Machine’s Settings
In a way, an elliptical trainer is a combination of a treadmill and a stair stepper, but with a smoother transitioning system. You can adjust the machine to feel more like walking with long strides or a running workout. You can also increase the incline to make it feel like you’re climbing a steep hill. The next time you’re on a machine, play around with the settings to tailor your workout to your needs.
The Best Total Body Fitness
You won’t achieve overall body fitness using an elliptical machine–or any form of cardio–alone. Truly, the best total body fitness machine isn’t a cardio machine on its own. Only by combining strength training with cardiovascular activity and a proper diet, will you achieve total body fitness. Do cardio on the machine of your liking for about 30 minutes and then do some weight lifting.