The Elliptical trainer was invented by Precor in 1990. It is an exercising machine used to simulate walking, running or stair climbing. This trainer is designed in such a way that no pressure is exerted on the joints while exercising. It does not pose any risk of injuries to the body so that people can do it without fear.
People of all ages can use an elliptical trainer as it helps in improving the complete body. It is also very useful for people with cardiovascular problems, but the intensity of the machine should be set up according to the requirement of the person. The machine can function from light to high intensity depending on the preference set by the user.
Types of elliptical trainers
Most of these Elliptical trainers work on the upper and lower body. These machines can be manually operated, and a few basic settings need to be done for the supply of motion. There are three types of Elliptical Trainers.
Rear drive – This is the oldest type of a trainer
Front drive – This is the second type of trainer
Latest trainer – This is the center drive.
Benefits of elliptical trainers
In a few models, the incline beneath the pedal links could be varied accordingly to make different pedal-motion paths. This allows a user to alter his or her workout for lower body muscles. Some of these elliptical trainers also enable exercisers to preset programs that automatically vary incline or resistance during their workout. They can also be moved in front or backward directions.
How to use elliptical trainers
Elliptical trainers are designed in a way to work on the users’ legs. They have handle levers attached to each pedal link which moves with every leg motion. These pedal-links are to be held by the user below shoulder height, and every step moved on the pedal also gives movement to the handle levers thus benefitting in exercises of the arms and shoulders. Moving your feet on these trainers back and forth in oscillating motion improves leg stability and also improves arm and shoulder strength. You have to choose a good machine by checking that the balance between the movement of your feet and the movement of the arms should be synchronized and should put a slight pressure on the shoulders and arms.
An elliptical Vs treadmill
A treadmill and an Elliptical trainer are very similar. The difference between the two is mainly in the movement of the upper body while moving the feet in an elliptical trainer. A treadmill is a stationery walking path, but an Elliptical trainer also works on the arms and shoulders because of the handle levers.
Calories burnt on an elliptical trainer are same as those burnt on a treadmill. Professor of exercise physiology refers an elliptical trainer but also suggests that the resistance on the trainer should be set relatively higher than a treadmill setting to achieve better results. These settings should be done depending on the age and the requirement of the user.