Have you ever gone to a local gym to work out? If so, you know firsthand how difficult it is to make time to exercise. Besides, it can also be uncomfortable working out around other people. So what should you do if you want to get fit? What about getting an elliptical trainer? Elliptical trainers allow you to get in shape without leaving your home.
An elliptical trainer is a stationary exercise machine used to simulate stair climbing, walking, or running without causing excessive pressure to the joints. The machine, therefore, decreases the risk of impact injuries. An elliptical trainer is sometimes called a cross-trainer or an X-trainer.
Elliptical trainers are useful if you have bad knees or a lower back injury. You can use an elliptical trainer instead of pounding the pavement or running on a treadmill and jarring your body with the high impact with each step. They mimic the motion of running so you get a good cardiovascular workout, but they are low impact on you joints and back. Because of this low-impact approach, persons with injuries can use elliptical trainers to stay fit. This means that they are fast becoming the workout of choice for many people.
An elliptical trainer may look one-dimensional because of it steady, flowing motion. However, it is an extremely versatile machine. It has many presets that keep your arms and legs moving. You can have a full-body workout by moving the hand grips and adjusting the resistance. Depending on the intensity of the workout, a typical person could burn 180 to 270 calories in a half hour.
Most elliptical trainers have moving upper and lower body components. The moving handlebars provide full-body resistance as you pedal in place.
There are two basic types of ellipticals – front-drive and rear-drive. Some users believe that front-drive elliptical trainers give them a slight forward lean while rear-drive let the work out in a more upright position. Most commercial elliptical trainers are rear-drive, while most home ellipticals are front-drive. In addition, there are a few models with center-drive designs. These center-drive ellipticals, however, work more in a swinging pendulum motion while front-drive and rear-drive ones hove a swinging almost circular motion.
What elliptical trainer is right for you?
The two factors that determine which one is best for you generally come down to price and available space.
Elliptical trainers can be expensive. Commercial ones can sell for $10,000 or more, which is out of the price range for most people. Fortunately, there are many home elliptical trainers that sell for a fraction of that price.