Why Is The Elliptical Trainer So Hot?

By: teahupoo
Since its introduction the elliptical trainer has continued to move to the forefront of popularity in gyms everywhere. Most trainers agree that the elliptical is the best device for cardiovascular training. Besides being very easy on the joints there are other reasons the elliptical deserves the accolades.

Elliptical trainers are in that rare category of exercise that combine weight bearing and non-impact in the same activity giving you the bone density building and best calorie burning while saving your knees and lower back at the same time. Stationary bikes and treadmills give you good workouts but the bikes don't burn as many calories and treadmills can be tough on the knees and lower back. Rowing machines are hard on the back as well.

The health benefits of the elliptical are similar to other cardio exercises. Heart and lung fitness is increased; immune system function is enhanced along with improved cholesterol levels while lowering the risk of heart disease, diabetes, strokes, and some cancers.

In addition to the overall health benefits elliptical training is great for increasing muscular endurance in the quads and glutes which combined together are the largest muscles in the body, as well as the thigh biceps or hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors when performing the exercise on an incline. If you are exercising on a unit that has the arm attachments for upper body work you will also receive endurance benefits in your pectorals, triceps, and anterior deltoids on the pushing portion and the lats, biceps, rhomboids, and rear delts on the pulling motion. The benefit to using a machine with arms is an increase in heart rate but the same thing can be accomplished with increasing the incline.

Many models do not offer the availability of the incline patented by Precor, the industry leader but those that do have an incline range of 13-40 degrees along with electronic pre-set workouts. Just remember that the higher incline increases the stress to the knees and lower back.

The main two variables offered with all elliptical trainers are resistance and speed. It is advisable to set the resistance so that you are able to maintain a pace of 120 to 200 strides per minute without straining.

Another great benefit to the elliptical trainer is the fact that so many workout choices are offered. Being able to adjust the speed, resistance, incline, and also having the "arms" for the upper body may make designing a workout a more thoughtful process but it definitely eliminates workout boredom.

As with any exercise program see a physician before beginning a rigorous fitness regimen.
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