If you are on a search for a piece of exercise equipment which will give you a great cardio workout as well as improve your strength and muscle tone, the elliptical machine is your go-to machine. Producing a motion which is best described as ‘like cross-country skiing’, the elliptical machine targets almost every major muscle group in your body. This includes your arms, shoulders, back, thighs, calves, abdominals and – of course – your butt.
Unlike running, the elliptical machine doesn’t place anywhere nearly the exact same amount of stress on your joints. And when utilised at a high level of intensity, it can burn up to 38 kilojoules (9 calories) per minute. However, this does not imply you can jump on an elliptical machine and reap the rewards. More than any other exercise machine, you really need to focus on the exercise that you’re doing in order to get the benefits.
Unlike the treadmill – where you can set the speed, incline and allow your mind to wander while your legs keep pace – the elliptical machine requires constant effort on your behalf in order to maintain your speed as well as keep the momentum going.
How Can You Describe The Movement On An Elliptical Machine?
The elliptical is a movement of the whole body that takes place in a sagittal plane about a transverse axis and mainly uses the muscles of the legs while the arms will be your secondary muscles. Your core is the stabiliser. The movements are the same as with running with the only difference being that the involved joints and muscles do not reach their full range of motion.
The actions use multiple joints, namely the hip, knee and ankle. During the upward phase of the leg movement, there is extension that is brought about by the gluteus maximus, medius and iliopsoas muscles. The knee (which is a hinge joint) causes extension.
At the ankle (which is a hinge joint that is formed by the tibia and calcaneus) there is plantar flexion, brought about principally by the action of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles. During the downward phase of the leg swing, at the hip, gluteus maximus and medius and bicep femoris, and iliopsoas muscles cause flexion. At the knee, the bicep femoris, semimembranosus and semitendinosus muscles cause flexion. At the ankle, there is dorsi flexion that is brought about principally by the action of the gastrocnemius and soleus muscle
Aerobic exercise, which is also termed as cardio, is a key part of a balanced exercise routine. When you perform aerobic exercise, your heart and lungs need to work harder in order to provide your muscles with more blood as well as oxygen. The elliptical machine gives you the opportunity to get a good aerobic workout, which can strengthen your heart, lungs as well as muscles. This, in turn, can assist with building your stamina and endurance. With an elliptical, you can perform both high-intensity interval training as well as steady-state cardio workouts.
Keen on learning more about exercise? Keen on being able to teach people how to exercise properly? If you answered yes to these two questions then you need to become a personal trainer. Check out our Personal Training Diploma and see how you can become a world-class fitness professional with this qualification.