What is an Elliptical Trainer – and Why Do I Need One?

If you’re looking to get fit, loose weight, and feel better, cardio workouts are a great way to achieve those goals. But, there are a multitude of different types of equipment out there to choose from, including elliptical trainers. If you’ve never used one before, there are a number of benefits to using an elliptical trainer – here’s some details as to what an elliptical is, and why you may want to consider one for your home workouts.

What is an Elliptical Trainer? – An elliptical (also called a cross-trainer or an X-trainer) is a stationary exercise machine used to simulate stair climbing, walking, or running, all without causing excessive pressure to your joints, which can help decrease the risk of impact injuries. For a more detailed explanation of what an elliptical trainer is, visit Wikipedia’s entry about ellipticials.

What are the benefits of an ellptical?

They are easy to use. – All you need to do is step on the pedals, grab the handles, and then just walk or run. And, unlike a treadmill, since your feet never leave the pedals, your body isn’t subjected to the repeated impact that you would get running on a treadmill. Your workout is quiet, comfortable, and doesn’t leave you feeling beat up at the end of your workout. Plus, if you have bad joints, it may be safer and less stressful on your body as well.

You get a full body workout – Since you’re moving both your arms and legs, you’re working your entire body. You develop muscle strength and endurance, while also improving your mood, reducing stress, and strengthening your bones as well.

You strengthen your muscles. – You work your quads, glutes, and hamstrings – and to a lesser degree, your calves as well. You can also pedal backward for additional varity – and by using the handles, your arms and upper chest muscles gain strength as well.

An Elliptical is great for weight loss. – As you exercise all your major muscle groups, you’re also exercising your heart. All that exercise also means you burn calories. According to Harvard Health Publications, if you weight 185 lbs. you can burn about 800 calories per hour on an elliptical trainer. But since you control both your own pedaling speed and the machine’s resistance, you determine your workout intensity. Harder workouts mean more calories burned. Burn 3,500 more calories than you’ve taken in, spaced over as long a time period as you like, and you will have burned the equivalent of 1 lb. of body fat.

Elliptical trainers were first introduced in the 1990’s by Precor. At Fitness 4 Home Superstore, we carry Precor’s full line of elliptical trainers, as well as ellipticals from TRUE Fitness and Spirit Fitness. With multiple models to choose from, you’re sure to find an elliptical to fit your budget. Visit any of Fitness 4 Home Superstore’s 3 Phoenix-area locations to see our full selection!

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