Using Reverse Motion on an Elliptical Trainer

When exercising on an elliptical trainer, you get a weight-bearing workout that mimics walking or running, but without the impact created by normal walking or running.  Typically, your legs constantly move in a fluid, forward elliptical motion, while your feet never leave the pedals.  If you want to make your workouts more exciting and challenging, however, try using reverse motion on an elliptical trainer.

If you’re always pedaling in the same old forward motion, exercise sessions may become somewhat monotonous and boring.  Alternating between forward and reverse motions may help to alleviate the boredom and keep you motivated to stick to your fitness routines.

In addition to making workouts less tedious, using reverse motion on an elliptical machine provides other training benefits.
Using Reverse Motion on an Elliptical Trainer is Beneficial

Elliptical trainers are great tools for simultaneously working both the upper and lower body.  Incredibly, you can get an even more efficient total body workout by also engaging the reverse motion during exercise sessions.   

Many elliptical trainer models now come with both forward and reverse motions.  With a little practice, you can easily alternate between the two motions without interrupting your exercise session. 

When you use only the forward motion on an elliptical trainer, you limit the muscles that are targeted during exercise procedures.  By using reverse motion, however, you also target opposing muscles in the lower body. 

The more muscles that are worked during an exercise routine, the more efficient will be the workout.  The more efficient the workout, the fitter you will become in less time.  Your muscles will grow stronger and more toned.  Your metabolism will begin to work better to burn calories and fat more effectively.  Your endurance, balance, and coordination will improve.  Soon, you will notice overall health improvements and better physical performance.

Using Reverse Motion is Like Cross-training with One Machine

As you combine forward and reverse motions with the upper body exercise on an elliptical trainer, you are performing cross-training activities.  Unlike other cross-training activities, however, elliptical trainer workouts promise weight-bearing exercise that is easy on the joints and back.  You can get a great cardio workout, too! 

Cross-training on an elliptical machine is convenient and easy.  You do not have to work at various speeds or use several types of fitness equipment to get cross-training benefits.  By using forward and backward motions together with the upper body movements, you engage glutes, hamstrings, calves, quadriceps, pectorals, biceps, triceps, deltoids, and lats.  You also engage the core muscles, including the lower abdominals and lower back.  With so many different muscle groups at work together, you can reach your desired level of fitness in a shorter amount of time than you might with other exercise programs.

As you regularly incorporate both the forward and reverse motions on an elliptical, you more evenly work all the lower body muscles.  This should prevent any undue stress to any one muscle group.  You’ll reap the benefits of cross-training, yet the risk of injuries will be greatly reduced due to the low-impact of the workouts and the improved overall condition of your body.

Written by Cyndi Waters, Fitness Researcher and Writer 

Smooth Fitness | Treadmills & Ellipticals

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