There are two factors that make an elliptical trainer so attractive. It offers low-impact exercising, and it works out both the upper and lower body simultaneously. The low impact function of an elliptical trainer reduces the strain and stress on your body, particularly your ankles, knees and lower back. Your legs work in an elliptical motion. They never leave the foot pedals and there never is any reverse action.
In contrast, when you walk or run your feet impact on every stride. For runners that impact can be as much as 2.5 times your weight. For people who are overweight, the impact from just walking can be very detrimental and result in injuries and strains. Elliptical trainers can substantially reduce the potential for injuries.
Weight Loss Benefits from Upper and Lower Body Workout
The other appealing feature of elliptical trainers is the upper and lower body workout. There are two benefits from working out your upper and lower body simultaneously. Not only do you build muscle density throughout your body, but you also burn calories more efficiently.
When you exercise on an elliptical trainer you utilize the chest, back, quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, triceps and biceps. There is no other machine that offers this benefit. You are not only exercising more muscle groups, you are also optimizing your energy expenditure. That means it takes less time to achieve more results, like burning calories and increasing your cardio capacity.
It has also been suggested by certain experts that this dual action process reduces the perceived rate of exertion. In other words, you are burning more calories without a noticeable difference from a less strenuous workout.
Of course, it is important that you apply a reasonable amount of resistance when you exercise. It is also necessary to equally divide the exercise between the upper and lower body.
There is a tendency to let your arms follow the motion of the handlebars, and let your legs absorb most of the resistance. It is important to transfer some the resistance load to your arms and distribute the exercise more evenly. This once again will result in more efficiently burning calories and reducing your weight.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to try out an elliptical trainer I suggest you get to your local health club or fitness equipment store and give it a spin. You’ll be amazed how easy they are to use, and with regular use you’ll not only reduce your weight, but keep it off.