Elliptical trainers are very popular in indoor exercise equipment because they are a combination of Treadmill, Stair Climber, Bike and Cross Country Skier, Running-after-your-kids-in-grocery-store, walking-fast-because-getting-late-from-work exercises thus giving you extensive calorie burnouts, without being harsh on your knees and your emotions. The name Elliptical Trainer is derived from the fact that you move your legs in an elongated oval pattern, much like a duck waddling on land. Well it could have been called Duck Walker, but then the geek in the finance department would have stopped funding and the meek in Machine Design Department would have lost his job. (We seriously need a new Steve Jobs for fitness machines!)
Easy to Medium (Depending upon the resistance level you choose)
Before you start your exercise
- Dress for the exercise, not for the looks. Wear comfortable outfits / shoes. If you have done exercise properly, the looks will come automatically and then you can wear all you want.
- Learn how to operate the machine. You don’t need to memorize the machine manual to the last full stop, but need to have a basic familiarity with how the machine works, what are different controls and settings and most importantly how to stop it!. A good machine usually has big buttons and easy dials to make your life easy on this, but you still need to pay attention.
- Keep your self Hydrated. Keep a bottle of water available and whenever you feel like, drink some water from it to keep your body H2O level maintained.
- Face towards the command console (Unless someone totally hot just walked in the Gym). Grabbing the hand railing, place your one foot on the foot plate.
- Bring your other foot on the plate, grabbing the other railing for additional support. Be balanced and comfortable on the machine, which if you are a beginner may take some time to get used to.
- Focus your attention to the consol and set the settings that you want to start with. You can choose from settings like intensity, incline, direction and type of stepping moment. Each setting represents different difficulty level, different muscle group focus and different cardio effect, thus giving you a better control of your exercise objectives.
- Different programmed settings are available, which are useful if you don’t want to fret over what individual settings. These preplanned settings will be something like easy, moderate, hard or extra hard. Thus depending upon your exercise level, you can choose a setting that is fit for you.
- If you are using this machine at a public place, make sure you check all settings before you begin. It is possible that some “power user” before you has set some of the settings too high, causing you surprises. A lesson I learned long time ago is surprises in case of machines are usually not good!
- Always start from simple settings; however, once you progress in your training you can add resistance, speed, inclination and direction.
- The machine is much like a walking or stair climbing process so it will come intuitively to you. The simple rule is that you transfer your weight from one foot to other, while moving your legs and arms accordingly.
- Walking alone, your speed and motion are in your control. On a machine, you are bound to its motion. Try not to force the machine, rather try to go with it. Maintaining a rhythm will make it easy for you.
- You may lose balance if you are not careful. Hold on to the railings all the time to avoid any mishaps.
- Allow your self some warming up in the beginning and some cooling down in the end, by running on low intensity for few minutes.
Things to remember
- One pattern of exercise may bore you quickly, so add variety.
- Moving mechanisms can attract loose items like shoe laces, dress accessories and may cause injury. Tie your laces properly and secure all loose items.
- Divert your mind from the fact that you are exercising. Read a book, newspaper, music, television, gossip with your friend or update your status on facebook, anything to help your time pass bye quickly.
- Never go beyond your comfort zone. If it is too tough, it probably is not right for you.
- Don’t forget to check on addition “ehow” article about Different Settings on Elliptical Trainers and what parts of body they help you in shaping. Also don’t forge to check on how Elliptical Trainers can be useful in helping you lose those extra pounds you purchased at McDonalds.
Resources you may like to consult