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What is an Elliptical Machine?

Elliptical machines have soared in popularity for the past few decades. Indeed, these machines are now a common sight in fitness clubs, training bases, gyms and other such places. Elliptical trainers are especially known for their exceptional ease of use. Unlike other kind of exercise equipment- like treadmills- they are also quite compact which is ideal for apartment-dwellers. With an elliptical, you won’t even have to purchase another piece of fitness equipment since it enables you to benefit from full-body workouts by simultaneously moving your arms and legs. By this token, an hour on this machine can help you burn quite a lot of calories: while the exact amount depends on other factors like your weight, age, fitness level and gender, you can expect to burn around 1000 calories or more per hour.

elliptical machineAlso known as cross-trainers, elliptical machines are designed in such a way so as to easily simulate the muscles engaged in running, walking and climbing. However, unlike these exercises, they’re designed to absorb quite a lot of shock and strain to your knees and joints. This therefore largely decreases- if not completely eliminates- the risks of impact injuries. Since it’s such a low-impact machine, cross trainers can safely be used with people suffering from back or knee issues, elderly athletes as well as obese individuals.

Elliptical machines can either be electrical or manual. Manual trainers- such as the Gazelle Edge– are of course, much more affordable than their electric counterparts. These are entirely self-powered and users generate their own resistance. As far as electrical trainers are concerned, they are packed with more features such as electronic display consoles and varying resistance levels. The market is brimming with various types of ellipticals categorized by the location of the motor. These include the ‘front-drive’, ‘rear-drive’ and ‘center-drive’ motor.

With an electric model, such as the Sole E35, athletes can very easily adjust their incline level and hence burn more calories. Unlike outdoors hill climbing, cross trainers do not affect your joints, which enable you to lengthen your stride length. With some elliptical machines, users can even exercise in a forward or reverse direction. The oscillating handles move in unison with the pedal motions to build up your core and muscular strength. This also allows you to lose weight and tone up major problem areas like the glutes, thighs, hips, calves, waist, upper arms, abdomen and the likes.

While using the elliptical trainer, it is recommended to adopt an interval training routine. By this token, you can alternate between low and high intensity to encourage your body to lose more weight in a shorter amount of time. These machines have also been shown to closely emulate natural movements which limits the effort that you will need to input. Therefore, you can elongate your exercise session and therefore lose more weight.

All in all, elliptical trainers are highly efficient machines that can be used to lose quite a lot of weight in just a few weeks. Inexpensive and readily available, these apparatuses don’t require a lot of maintenance and can last for life if properly cared for.