When it comes to cardio workouts, the two most popular options are treadmills and elliptical machines. Running on a treadmill can inflict a jarring impact on the back, hips, knees, and ankles. Elliptical machines eliminate the potentially damaging impact on joints because the user’s feet never leave the pedals. Unlike treadmills, ellipticals usually have handles and thus provide both an upper and lower body workout. With the holidays right around the corner, investing in a cardio machine to help shed those extra holiday pounds is a good move.
Elliptical machines feature pedals for your feet and handles for your arms, so you get both an upper and lower body workout. Elliptical training works the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and anterior tibialis. When compared to walking, using an elliptical works the quadriceps and hamstrings harder. While using the moveable handles on the machine, the triceps, biceps, and shoulders are also exercised, which cannot be achieved on an exercise bike.
Using an elliptical allows you to follow the natural path of your feet and legs when they are in motion. The motion that your ankles, knees, and hip joints make during walking, jogging, or running is the same motion that an elliptical makes. Also, ellipticals provide a weight-bearing exercise, which is essential to prevent the onset of osteoporosis.
Since ellipticals exercise more muscles at a time when compared to other cardio exercises, more calories and fat are burned in a shorter period of time. It has also been found that there is a reduced perceived rate of exertion when using an elliptical for exercise. This means that you are actually working out harder than it feels like you are.
Many ellipticals on the market today feature a variety of challenging exercise programs that mimic hill climbing or interval training, which can make workouts more enjoyable and less repetitive. Many machines also have heart rate monitors and controls that allow you to optimize your workout based on heart rate control.
As you can see, there are many benefits to investing in an elliptical machine. There are hundreds of different brands and varieties of elliptical machines out there, but worry not. We’ve put together a list of some great deals on ellipticals for your home gym and some of them even double as an exercise bike. Also, be sure to check out our fitness equipment deals page for other items to round out your home gym.
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