You have probably seen people at the gym working out on an elliptical machine, but have you ever actually used one yourself? Many people seem to think that elliptical machines are stupid, useless, and a waste of time. To us, that is quite confusing because that is not all the case. There are tons of elliptical machine benefits that could change your life.
There is no better way to stay healthy than to regularly exercise and there is almost no better way to exercise than by hopping on an elliptical machine. You may have a bunch of questions about these things, all of which we hope to answer, especially concerning all of the great benefits that come along with them.
Benefit #1: Impact Free
One of the things that are so great about an elliptical machine is that they are impact free and don’t send a jolt to your bones and joints with every step. The same cannot be said for many other high impact exercises like running for instance. High Impact exercises can cause a lot of damage to your joints over a long period of time.
That damage can accumulate and cause some pretty severe joint issues in the future. Elliptical machines don’t require your feet to ever leave the pedals, thus meaning that there is no harmful impact. When compared to jogging or running, an elliptical machine might just save your knees and ankles from serious injury.
Benefit #2: Getting Rid of Belly Fat
The second reason as to why you should get an elliptical machine of your own is because they are excellent for burning away belly fat. In combination with some bodyweight training, an elliptical can really help you achieve those beautiful abdominal muscles that you have always wanted.
It has recently been shown that aerobic exercise is the best way to burn as many calories as possible in a short period of time. This is in contrary to the previously held belief that resistance training was the best way to burn fat, specifically belly fat.
Belly fat or being overweight can cause heart disease, diabetes, and even put you at an increased risk of getting cancer. An elliptical machine burns a lot of calories because it combines many motions into one. They make you engage your abdominals to keep upright, especially when you don’t use the arm supports.
Moreover, they also engage your arms while also using your legs too. It’s like the best stair climber you could ever imagine. These things burn some serious calories and apparently that’s a real good way of shedding down on that abdominal flab.
Benefit #3: Strengthening Weak Leg Muscles
The next big benefit to be had from using an elliptical machine is that it has the ability to fix or strengthen a few different muscles in your legs. Several studies have now shown that an elliptical machine targets the hamstrings and quadriceps far more than jogging, running on a treadmill, and cycling.
This means that if you have weak hamstrings and quadriceps an elliptical machine is the easiest way to strengthen them. Even better is the fact that you can also pedal backward on an elliptical, something that is even better for the hamstrings than going forward.
Working out on an elliptical machine on a daily basis is also a good idea if you usually choose to run or cycle as a form of cardio. The problem with cycling and running is that they don’t do a very good job at building up your glutes (butt muscles) and your outer hip muscles. That leaves them substantially weaker than the rest of your legs. A good way to fix this muscle imbalance is to regularly train on an elliptical.
Benefit #4: They Are Versatile
The fourth reason as to why an elliptical machine is one of the best choices when it comes to working out is because they are extremely versatile. It is easy to target a specific muscle group with an elliptical machine because you can pedal forward and backward on them, thus allowing you to focus on specific leg muscles.
They also force you to engage your core and they use your arms too. Depending on the muscles you want to target the most, you can account for that with an elliptical. For example, if you want to target your abdominals more, you can avoid using the arm holds.
Another way in which elliptical machines are versatile is because you can adjust the speed and the incline to your specific needs. If you are a beginner just set in on a slight incline while going at a low speed. People who are training for an extreme marathon or hill climb race would probably benefit from setting the incline as steep as can be while going at full speed.
These machines usually also come with many preset exercise programs that let you choose specific routines to go through. They are customizable and everyone can find a way to make an elliptical machine work for them.
Benefit #5: Improved Balance And Mobility
This point is especially important if you have suffered from hip damage, required hip surgery, or if you have had surgery on your ACL. Being on an elliptical machine mimics the natural motion of walking or running.
A lot of what we do physically is a combination of muscle memory and the way our brains process information. The repeated motion or mimicking on an elliptical machine will train your balance and get you used to the natural motion of walking again.
Another way in which an elliptical machine can help you improve balance and mobility is because it helps your hips regain their full range of motion. It helps your hips more than just walking because there isn’t a high impact involved and the settings on the elliptical let you rehabilitate your legs gradually without risking injury or re-injury. Many medical facilities actually encourage using an elliptical machine to rehabilitate hips and legs after serious surgeries.
Benefit #6: Maximize Your Training
One of the best parts about training regularly with an elliptical machine is that it really maximizes the calories that you burn. There was a study at the University of Idaho which found that elliptical machines are great because as the stride length increases, so do the number of calories burned.
What was also found was that increasing the stride length on an elliptical trainer not only burns more calories, but it also doesn’t feel like you are doing any more work than if the stride was shorter. Therefore you can maximize the calories burned simply by making the stride longer, something which all elliptical machines can do.
Benefit #7: Increase Your Aerobic Capacity
The seventh reason as to why you should seriously consider getting yourself an elliptical machine is because it will help increase your aerobic capacity. Your aerobic capacity has to do with the maximum rate of oxygen consumption that your body can process. The more oxygen your body can consume while exercising, the longer and harder you can exercise for.
Since training on an elliptical machine is a form of aerobic exercise, it will increase the amount of oxygen your body can process every time you step foot on it. Over time this will greatly increase your endurance and stamina.
The takeaway from this is that you will be able to perform physical activities for longer thanks to an increased oxygen intake, all from a little bit of elliptical work. You’ll be able to do more cardio, lift weights for longer, and do anything else without running out of breath after a few short minutes.
Benefit #8: Elliptical Machines Are A Great Cardio Workout
The next reason you should probably try using an elliptical machine every now and then is because they provide for a great cardio workout and can really get your heart pounding. For instance, the elliptical machine can get your heart pumping much harder than a treadmill, and that isn’t because you have to work harder.
An elliptical machine can actually work your heart and lungs harder than a treadmill, cycle, or stair climber and you don’t even have to use more energy. People also seem to feel a lot more exhausted after having been on an elliptical machine, much more so than after various other forms of exercise.
Runners actually report feeling much more tired, especially in the legs, after having been on an elliptical as opposed to other forms of aerobic exercises or cardio routines. The trick to using an elliptical to get better results that with other aerobic exercises is to go hard, steepen the incline, and go as fast as you can handle.
We aren’t really going to go over the benefits of cardio workouts in much detail. We’ll just say that your heart and lungs will be able to function better, your muscles will get more oxygen, and you will help yourself prevent a whole bunch of diseases in the future. Plus you will increase bone density, reduce stress, and help you sleep better too.
Benefit #9: It Builds Your Musculoskeletal Health
The ninth reason that you should consider getting yourself on an elliptical trainer is because it will increase your musculoskeletal health. In other words, your bones will end up being much healthier, stronger, and denser too.
Something that helps increase the strength of your bones is a weight bearing exercise. Guess what, working out on an elliptical machine is considered to be a weight bearing exercise. After all, it involves being on your feet the whole time, hence being weight bearing.
These kinds of exercises make your bones stronger because the constant weight on your muscles and bones, combined with your muscles pulling on the bones from movement, causes your bones to create more bone mass and makes cells grow.
Therefore your bones get thicker and denser every time you perform a weight bearing exercise like elliptical training. Having stronger bones is especially important in your old age in order to prevent bone and joint disease as well as brittle bones. No more broken hips!
Benefit #10: You Get A Full Body Workout
Another really great advantage you get from working out on an elliptical machine is that you get to work out your whole body at once. Plus it doesn’t even fell like you’re doing all that much work. An elliptical machine, of course, works out your legs like nothing else.
In addition to that, these machines also force you to engage your core because it makes you balance yourself, thus they help train your abs. It’s not over yet because elliptical machines also come with moving poles to hang on too.
They aren’t just there to support you while you do your workout. They are there to make sure that you move your arms too. It may be hard to believe, but these machines offer a full body workout like pretty much no other exercise machine can.
Benefit #11: Elliptical Trainers Are Compact And Convenient
The next reason you might want to try working out on an elliptical trainer is because they are really compact and convenient. An elliptical trainer doesn’t take up very much space. You can put it in your basement, your bedroom, or pretty much anywhere else where you have a few feet of spare space.
You don’t need a whole gym to get your exercise on when all you need is an elliptical trainer. Not to mention that they are really convenient too. You can have one right in your home and it doesn’t take very long to get a good workout on them, plus they train your whole body at once.
Benefit #12: Easy To Use
You will also really like an elliptical machine because they are comparatively easy to use. Working out on one is as simple as stepping up onto it, pushing a few buttons to choose the settings, and you can get going. It works out your whole body so there isn’t any need for intense exercise routines or circuit training; it’s all one simple exercise. The machines are easy to use and the exercise itself is even easier.
Benefit #13: You Get To Multitask
The thirteenth and final reason as to why you should use an elliptical machine to exercise is because they tend to increase motivation. They help to do this because you can generally multitask while exercising on them. You can set up the elliptical machine in front of your television, you can read a book while using it, plus many models even come with built-in speakers so you can listen to your favorite tunes.
If you still aren’t convinced that an elliptical machine is one of the best things for you, maybe you should go try talking to someone who uses one on a regular basis. We don’t want to force you to start using one, but we do think that it is important that you know just how effective an elliptical trainer can be at keeping you fit and healthy. There are a ton of elliptical machine benefits out there, 13 of the top ones which we have listed here today.
If you have any questions about these fantastic machines please ask away. If you have any comments or maybe even a benefit that we missed also feel free to call us out on it!
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