An elliptical trainer or cross trainer – is a stationary exercise machine used to simulate walking or running without causing excessive pressure to the joints and thereby decreasing the risk of impact injuries.
Elliptical trainers offer a non-impact cardiovascular workout that can vary from light to highly intensive based on the resistance preference. Most elliptical trainers work the user’s upper and lower body, although some models don’t have moving upper body components. However, using an elliptical trainer is designed to elevate the heart rate as opposed to building muscles.
Some elliptical models, have an incline of sloping roller ramps under the pedal-links that can be adjusted to produce varying pedal motion paths. The result of such an adjustment changes the burden on various muscle groups in the legs. Some models can be varied both on the incline and resistance over the course of a workout according to a pre-set program. Some elliptical trainers can be driven in a reverse and forwards direction.
Elliptical trainers are primarily driven via the users legs by manoeuvring the pedals back and forth, and most machines are a combination of handle-levers attached to each pedal-link for the purpose of enabling a burden on the arms and provide a secondary source of driving power. The user grips the handles below shoulder height and pushes and pulls them while shuffling the feet back and forth within the “elliptically” shaped route.
The oscillating handle motions are coordinated with the constrained pedal motions. Some machines are poorly designed and too dependent on the user’s leg power, producing excessive handle speeds as a result of mechanical ratios that do not provide enough advantage to the handle-levers. Consequently such machines feel to the user like their arms are simply going along for the ride, rather than sharing in the work. The better models offer a harmonious combination of arm and leg exercise in the correct ratios.
There are many models and price-tags to choose from – but you do get an all-round, great workout with elliptical trainers.