Maximize Elliptical Trainer Workouts
If you're looking to find a piece of exercise equipment that can provide a great workout in the least amount of time, look no further than elliptical trainers. These special machines work both the arms and legs at the same time, which can help you maximize your workout. Although elliptical trainers are the best piece of exercise equipment for efficiency, there are still things you can do to ensure an even better workout. The next time you're on the elliptical machine, try to choose resistance over speed, lengthen your stride and change up your workout using interval training.
Choose Resistance Over Speed
Many people think that working out at a higher speed equals more calories burned. This isn't necessarily the case, though. Instead, try increasing the resistance on your elliptical trainer - doing this will cause your muscles to work harder instead of faster, meaning you'll burn more calories.
Also, don't use the machine's controls to gauge intensity. While this is a good reference point, it's actually more important to use your own comfort and breathing to gauge how hard you're working. Someone just starting out using an elliptical machine may need to go at a lower resistance than someone who works out multiple times a week so be sure to go at your own pace.
Lengthen Your Stride
You might be able to take more frequent steps using a short, shallow stride, but you'll actually burn more calories on elliptical trainers if you lengthen your steps. The machine's display might trick you into thinking you're burning more calories than you really are with shorter steps because the calorie counters on the machine's display accounts for an 8-10 inch stride. If you're taking smaller steps than that, you're cheating yourself out of an effective workout. Your display will likely tell you you're burning fewer calories than before, but the number actually burned will be more accurate.
Change Up Your Workout Using Intervals
Interval training is also another way to get the most out of your elliptical trainer workout. When doing intervals, speed up for two minutes, while still keeping your stride in the correct form. For these two minutes, move as fast as you can to get your heart rate up. After two minutes, slow back down to bring your heart rate closer to normal. Doing intervals is an easy way to keep yourself interested in using your elliptical trainer and provides an effective workout for your heart and muscles.
Personal trainers know that if you're able to buy just one piece of exercise equipment, it should be an elliptical machine. These machines are perfect for anyone who wants to get in a beneficial workout, but doesn't have a lot of time to devote to exercise. Using an elliptical trainer just a few times a week is a great start on the path to an improved fitness level, but make sure you're choosing resistance over speed, taking long strides and using interval training to make the most out of your workout.