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How Elliptical Machines Work
If you’ve jumped on an elliptical trainer, you know how great a workout you can have on this newer fitness machine. With its smooth, rhythmic motions, the elliptical trainer is the ideal workout for anyone looking for a high cardiovascular exercise—without the impact of stress and pressure on your joints and back.
Purchasing an elliptical trainer can be tricky, but with a little help, you can make the right decision for you. Knowing how an elliptical works will influence which style you purchase—as well as which model you are willing to buy.
Similar to most stationary bikes, when you get onto the elliptical trainer and begin to move, the program will immediately start. Underneath the foot platform is an array of mechanical accoutrements that make your workout experience a great one. As you push the pedals in an oval, or elliptical, pattern, the machine starts, offering an array of fitness programs. You can adjust the fitness level with a mere push of a button on the display panel in front of you. The pedal position gives you a choice of moving strokes to work out various muscle groups on your body.
Manual resistance is the key component in an elliptical trainer. As you glide methodically along, you can control fitness levels that offer more resistance for a higher-intensity training experience. A user’s body is placed over the center of the drive wheel for the most natural ergonomic positioning possible. This natural position leads to extended times on the machine, as well as a more comfortable experience throughout the length of the workout.
The base of the machine is a crank arm attached to a bar. The bar moves in a linear fashion, side-to-side, on one end, while moving in a circular pattern on the other. This results in an exercise that is elliptical. The motion of the pedals is similar to the stationary bike, but feels more natural and less jarring.
Because the movements are so natural, the fitness user can easily reach a heart rate of 160-175 bpm (beats per minute), which encourages high cardiovascular activity and ultimately, a rewarding workout. A heavy flywheel magnetic system offers a very smooth, frictionless movement and virtually silent operation. The upper body handles move in pattern with the lower-body base and bars to give you a great workout. Minute after minute, the upper body works in tandem with the lower body pedals to give you a full body workout and smooth, rewarding fitness experience.
Since the pedals are available to be used in two different fashions, a fitness user can enjoy two distinct types of exercise routines. If you pedal forward, you will feel a strong workout in the glutes, quadriceps, calf muscles and more. Pedal backwards, however, and you can feel a stronger burn in your quadriceps and calf muscles within minutes. Either way, the elliptical trainer is versatile and strong enough to handle the routine and the user can experience a challenging and rewarding workout.
The elliptical trainer has only been around for a few years, so we can expect to see great advantages in the years ahead. The fitness industry is a demanding and competitive industry, which is excellent news for fitness enthusiasts. As the competition grows, the need for greater and greater machines is imperative. Already, we have seen more fitness programs, smoother workouts on pedals and increased resistance for a more intense workout.
From beginners to advanced fitness buffs, the elliptical trainer provides an outstanding workout each time the user jumps on board. Although critics initially scoffed at the elliptical trainer, saying that the machine would only be around temporarily, the prediction has not come true. This so-called “fad” trainer has evolved, grown and exerted its influence into public gyms and private home gym environments alike.
Where will the machine go from here? Today, the range of benefits and features are limited only by what a user is willing to pay to purchase his or her own machine. Fitness manufacturers, such as the original Precor, are helping to set the stage to bring more and more exciting features to the fitness landscape.
Next time you jump on an elliptical trainer, you will be able to experience a great workout—and have a better understanding of the intricacies of the machinery underneath your body. Enjoy a strong workout and a leaner body when you work your lower and upper body muscles simultaneously. Jump on board an elliptical machine for your next fitness workout today!
About the Author: Jennifer Dennis is a successful author and regular contributor to http://www.solutions-in-elliptical-trainers.com - a fitness and treadmill industry resource that features treadmill reviews, guides, product descriptions and articles.