Elliptical trainers are coming to the forefront of modern thinking in the exercise and fitness world and leaving other equipment such as treadmills and static bikes trailing behind. Sales of treadmills are still higher but the gap is closing as elliptical prices become more competitive and general recognition of their advantages becomes more widespread. Elliptical machines such as the Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine reviewed below, offer a less strenuous and more comfortable workout for people of all age groups and bring a number of clear benefits to the efficiency of more established workout routines.
You will see from the video that two important areas of advantage particularly stand out:
1. Low impact exercise
Many people look upon walking or running as a simple, medium energy way to keep fit and take exercise. Most however are not aware, or just accept, the extra physical stress that this imposes on the body by way of the continual impact shocks received each time a foot pounds the ground (usually concrete or tarmac). These repeated jolts can result in serious injury or wear on joints over time. The impact can equate to two or three times personal body weight at each stride and can result in injury to ankle, knee or hip joints, together with potential back injuries as each shock reverberates through the body.
This issue is also prevalent when using a treadmill. Although the moving belt is designed to absorb some of the hard impact under foot, the body still suffers the jolt with each stride as the full body motion is identical to walking or running in the open.
This under foot impact 'jolt' is basically eliminated in a properly designed elliptical trainer as the feet remain firmly on the pedals throughout the workout program. The elliptical motion is designed otherwise to mimic the full body motion experienced while walking or running by simulating the natural path of the ankle, knee and hip joints. Thus it provides the benefits of a full workout with a much diminished risk of injury through shock absorption by the joints.
2. Upper and lower body workouts
Other exercise equipment tends to favour workouts for one part of the body at a time. With treadmills and cycling it is mainly lower body and other methods such as weights are geared to particular body ares each time. With an elliptical trainer it is possible to exercise upper and lower body areas at the same time. This helps optimize a coordinated full body workout for most muscle groups. An incidental advantage is that the total effort required in the full workout is less than that required when carried out as two separate exercises.
In working out with both upper and lower body on an elliptical machine you can successfully exercise the back, chest, glutes, hamstrings, biceps, triceps and quadriceps.
When compared to other methods, elliptical trainers can provide better workouts that result in more calories used, more fat burned in less time, improved fat mobilization overall and a build-up of muscle endurance.
In addition to the above specific workout advantages, studies have shown that the perceived effort required in elliptical workouts is far less than other more strenuous equipment, yet can offer better fitness outcomes. This is presumably due to the cumulative psychological effect of the two advantages mentioned above.
The advantages and benefits of the elliptical trainer are resulting in a rising popularity for both gym and home use.
Should you be considering the purchase of an elliptical, or just want to find out more, than I recommend a visit to the Best Elliptical Trainers website which reviews a number of top line machines.
If you haven't tried an elliptical exercise machine yet, it might be worth visiting a gym or going down to your local store for a 'look-see'.