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Ellipticals - Buying Guide

1. What is an elliptical trainer?
2. Is an elliptical better than a treadmill?
3. What muscles does an elliptical work?
4 How do I use an elliptical trainer?


What is an elliptical trainer?
An elliptical trainer (also called a cross trainer) is a piece of exercise equipment that simulates walking and running with less impact on your ankles, knees and hips.

Elliptical trainers also offer the option of a total body workout by using the handles during exercise.

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Is an elliptical better than a treadmill?
Both elliptical trainers and treadmills allow you to perform cardio vascular exercise. This type of exercise raises your heart rate and allows you to burn calories ensuring weight loss. Other advantages to exercising with an elliptical trainer are:

  • Running and walking on a treadmill are high impact exercises, meaning they place strain on your ankles, knees, hips and back. Elliptical trainers offer a low impact alternative cardio workout.

  • Elliptical trainers give you the option of having a total body workout so you will burn more calories than you would just running on a treadmill.

  • Elliptical trainers are specially designed using biomechanics that align your posture correctly when exercising.

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What muscles does an elliptical work?
Depending on how you choose to use your elliptical, you can have cardio vascular exercise along with a complete body workout.

If you are using the just the foot pedals, you will work your lower body:
  • Calves
  • Quadriceps
  • Hamstrings
  • Hip Flexors
  • Glutes.
By using the handles you engage the muscles of the upper body:
  • Biceps
  • Triceps
  • Shoulders
  • Chest
  • Back
What ever exercise you perform you strengthen the your mid section and core muscles:
  • Abs
  • Oblique
  • Core (stabilizing) muscles.

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How do I use an elliptical trainer?
  • First read the instructions that come with your elliptical before using the trainer. This allows you to become familiar with the settings, programs and display information of your elliptical trainer.

  • Grasp the left handle with your left hand and then place your left foot on the left pedal.

  • Repeat with your right hand and foot.

  • While holding on with one hand, adjust the settings and program of your workout.

  • Slowly start transferring your weight from one foot to the other as if you were walking.

  • Keep your head up, your back straight and your hands on the handles for support.

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