Elliptical Machines – Who Should Use Them

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By Natalie Martin

Elliptical machines are not always taken seriously by athletes, “hardcore” trainers and even some fitness enthusiasts, and this is a shame since these are also a few of the people that should be using them. Adults over 50 can also benefit from getting in a workout on an elliptical.

If you are one of those people that should consider including an elliptical in your workout schedule, it might help to convince you if you knew why these machines are so often recommended by experienced trainers and licensed physicians.

  • Runners and cyclists can target their external hip muscles and glutes, which are notoriously weak in these athletes to safely improve strength without irritating the hamstrings.


  • Since elliptical machines are extremely easy on the joints, it is an ideal workout for older adults who might be suffering from arthritis. This also makes it a good choice for athletes recovering from joint or muscle injuries.


  • Fitness enthusiasts will appreciate being able to get in an upper body and core workout at the same time on an elliptical trainer.


  • Athletes that are looking to strengthen their quadriceps and hamstrings should consider training on a top rated elliptical.

According to most licensed physicians and physical therapists, there really isn’t anyone that shouldn’t use an elliptical. It is safer and more effective than a treadmill, and an elliptical machine can even give you a complete full body workout if you take advantage of all of its options. Best of all it is also easy and convenient to use.


Why an Elliptical is an Effective Workout Machine


There are several reasons why training on an elliptical is effective, starting with its ability to provide you with a full body workout. This also helps to save time. Since the incline and resistance can be easily adjusted the difficult and intensity of the workout can be increased or decreased depending on your fitness level.

If you’re still not convinced that an elliptical machine isn’t a great choice for anyone looking to get in or stay in shape, here are 6 reasons why we think everyone should give one a try.


  1. Same fitness level as a treadmill with less impact on joints.

Very few people know that the elliptical was designed to replicate the motion of running. The inventor modeled it after watching his daughter run alongside of a car. This resulted in an exercise machine that is just as effective as a treadmill with significantly less strain on your joints.


According to a study conducted by the University of Missouri heart rate, perceived exertion and oxygen use on an elliptical were identical to those on a treadmill, while joint impact was noticeably less.


  1. Can safely strengthen weak quadriceps.

Several studies have been conducted comparing quadriceps and hamstring activity patterns in people walking on the ground, using a treadmill or stationary bicycle, along with an elliptical trainer. All found that the elliptical had a higher usage rate than the other forms of exercise.


An additional study performed at Willamette University noted that users pedaling backwards on an elliptical had an even great usage of quadriceps and hamstrings.


  1. Strengthen commonly weak muscles in cyclists & runners.

The gluteus maximus and vastus lateralis muscles are often weaker in runners and cyclists. Also known as your derriere and external hip muscles, an elliptical trainer can safely strengthen them without aggravating your hamstrings.


  1. Training can be easily maximized by increasing stride length.

Just by increasing the length of the stride on an elliptical, you can burn more calories without having to work harder. This is according to a study conducted by the University of Idaho. It should be noted that not all elliptical trainers allow you to adjust the stride, and it is something you’ll want to consider when you are shopping around.


  1. Work the upper body and core muscles.

It can often seem like there is never enough time in the day to get in a complete workout. Over time this can make it a little more difficult for you to stick with your fitness routine. Not being able to get in a complete workout will affect your results, and when you’re not seeing any it is really tough to stay motivated.


This isn’t a problem with an elliptical, if it comes with moveable arms. Using the arms along with the pedals will provide you with a full body workout in less time than other exercise machines. With an elliptical machine you can work on upper and lower body muscle endurance, along with improving cardio and core fitness all at the same time.


  1. An elliptical trainer takes up less room than other exercise machines.

One of the advantages of choosing an elliptical over other types of fitness trainers is the simple fact that it takes up noticeably less space. This makes it perfect for use in any home gym, even if it is located in the corner of a room.


Ellipticals are less bulky than treadmills, which makes them easier to move. Some even come with a wheeled based for improved movability. If you are really limited for space you can also find elliptical trainers that fold down. There are also portable models that easily fit in the truck of your car so you can take it with you almost anywhere. Often designed to fit under a desk, this also makes these ellipticals a great choice for anyone that wants to get in a little exercise at the office.


Now that you know why you should use an elliptical; it is capable of providing you with an effective low impact workout in a short amount of time, it should be easier to understand why everyone should consider using one.

Athletes recovering from injuries can safely work on strengthening damaged muscles and tendons, and adults over 50 will also benefit from the lower impact on their joints. Fitness enthusiasts can easily get in a full body workout on one machine, and since it saves time there is really no reason why you can’t get your daily workout in.




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