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Elliptical Machines vs Other Exercise Equipment

Monday, April 19th

Elliptical Machines Vs Other Exercise Equipment

The options for exercise equipment are quite overwhelming. It seems as though every month a "cutting-edge, must-have, fat-burning, muscle-toning" piece equipment hits the market, promising fast results. So what makes the elliptical machine stand above the rest?

The elliptical machine has so many advantages that can't be found in other equipment. It is a high cardiovascular workout with extremely low impact to your joints and body. No other exercise equipment offer such a low impact workout, protecting the body from more injury due to arthritis, ankle, knee, hip or back problems. It also can exercise both your upper and lower body at the same time.

Elliptical machines combine the natural movement of a treadmill with the simple ease-of-use of a stair climber. Because you stand straight in a natural position, your back does not have the unwanted stress from pulling when using a rowing machine, or leaning over with some bicycles.

Check out these comparisons

Elliptical vs Treadmill - This is probably one of the most compared pieces of equipment. The elliptical wins out. With the ease of use using the elliptical machine, you are actually burning more calories and fat in less time and with less of a feeling of exertion that you would with a treadmill. You are actually exercising harder than you perceive. This can be more encouraging because you are seeing results that keep you motivated to stick with your workout program. While running on a treadmill is a little less jarring than running on pavement, there is still a very high impact that can easily injure your joints. One of the best benefits of the elliptical is it's very low impact. Also elliptical machines have the moveable upper handles that allow you to exercise both your upper and lower body at the same time.

Elliptical vs Exercise Bike - The Elliptical is a weight-bearing exercise while the stationary bicycle is not. Weight-bearing exercises are important to increase bone density and prevent the onset of osteoporosis.

Elliptical vs Running - Running isn't a piece of equipment for comparison, but since it is many people's go-to cardiovascular exercise we wanted to examine this comparison as well. Every step that you take jogging or running jolts your body. It is suggested that runners impact their body up to 2.5 times their body weight. No matter your size, this is a lot of pressure that affects the joints in your legs and your lower back. As stated above, the low-impact, high results of the elliptical is one of the best selling points. If you use the machine correctly, you are protecting your body from injury.

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Elliptical Machine FAQ

An elliptical machine is a low-impact stationary cardio trainer that combines an upper and lower body workout. The user stands on the pedals, holding onto the handles with both arms outstretched, and moves his or her feet along the track in an oval-like (or "elliptical" ) path.
Some ellipticals are more expensive than others depending on their features - such as whether or not they include a touch screen, workout programs or tracking capabilities - and how long they are built to last. The most inexpensive ellipticals out there are priced around $350, but for a quality trainer that will last you for years, expect to pay at least $500-$1,000.
Ellipticals are predominantly cardio machines. Increasing the resistance and using the handlebars of your elliptical will engage, strengthen and tone nearly every muscle group, but if you're looking to build real bulk, you should probably look elsewhere.
Scientists have debunked spot-reduction weight loss. Only by creating a caloric deficit can you lose weight, and that weight loss will be distributed across your entire body. That being said, elliptical workouts are a fantastic way to create a caloric deficit and tone up at the same time.
In flywheel ellipticals, resistance is created by friction. The heavier the flywheel, the stronger the resistance and the smoother the movement. Magnetic resistance ellipticals are able to increase resistance levels with more accuracy and require less maintenance than their friction-dependent flywheel counterparts. Magnetic resistance ellipticals are quieter than flywheel ellipticals, but they are also typically more expensive.
Elliptical training cannot improve your running form or posture, but it can help you prepare to transition to running outdoors or on a treadmill. When done regularly and with enough intensity, elliptical training can increase your strength and stamina.
When compared to a high impact exercise like running, yes, elliptical training is much gentler on knees and joints. However, many elliptical users still report feeling pain or discomfort in their knees and feet as a result of pushing themselves too hard or having poor form.
As with any piece of fitness machinery, regular maintenance is necessary to prevent injury and to keep your machine functioning properly. Depending on how frequently your elliptical is used, you should have your elliptical serviced every 3-6 months. Check your user manual for more information.
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