Elliptical Trainers – The Popularity Is Growing

Buying an elliptical trainer may be the solution to your exercise problems. Elliptical trainers are easily one of the best pieces of exercise equipment on the market today. According to fitness club owners, most people head for an elliptical trainer first when they hit the gym. These fascinating machines first hit the exercise market in the mid 1990s. Since then, they have only increased in popularity with exercisers. It is not difficult to see why, either. Ellipticals offer more benefits than most traditional stationary exercise machines.

Reviews indicate that trainers are popular for several reasons. One of the most popular elliptical benefits is the prevention of sore joints or to help people workout who already have existing joint problems.

Elliptical review after elliptical review indicates that people also love ellipticals because of the complete workout they receive. These machines were built for cross training. Ellipticals work for target muscle groups like your calves and your thighs while providing cardio training for the most important muscle, your heart. Ellipticals will not only help with things like weight-loss goals, they may also improve your overall health and quality of life.

People also love these trainers because they're not just for a tri-athlete or a fitness trainer; anyone can use an elliptical cross trainer. They're a simple, fun way to get in the workout zone. With their popularity, the price of home models is inching downward, making them affordable for everyone. The popularity also means that there are a number of name brand used ellipticals for sale like the Proform elliptical trainer, Precor ellipticals, and Life Fitness ellipticals.

Some Elliptical History

The first elliptical crosstrainers hit the market in 1995. The idea was to be able to workout in an upright position with very little impact on the joints but still be able to get a serious workout of your cardiovascular system as well. The first ellipticals worked the muscles of the lower body very well. However, the upper body remained stationary during the elliptical workout. The trainers had handlebars that wouldn't move. However, as the popularity of this piece of equipment increased, fitness professionals began asking for an effective upper body workout with an elliptical as well. In 1997, Smooth Fitness took out a patent for an elliptical that connected the handles to the pedals, offering a full body workout like no other.

Why Now?

Over the course of the last fifteen years, many people have engaged in scientific studies of the benefits of ellipticals. The conclusions and results have been overwhelmingly positive. Ellipticals are safe machines for people with health problems. Trainers are also a good way to get a solid cardio workout. Moreover, ellipticals can give you a total body workout without the need for other cross training equipment.

How Do They Work?

An elliptical works through the help of several major systems. The drive system, the resistance system, and the stride length are the major features of any elliptical machine.

Drive Systems
There are two types of drive systems are rear and front drive in an elliptical. Rear drive systems are, easily, the better of the two systems on any trainer. They offer a smoother motion to the elliptical workout which results in more comfort for the person exercising. Rear drive, though, is more expensive than front drive in an elliptical and is usually only found on high end elliptical machines. Front drive systems are a bit rougher, and can be found on the cheaper elliptical machines.

Resistance Systems
The resistance system on an elliptical controls the level of your workout. There are three types of resistance systems: manual, motorized, and eddy current braking system. The cheaper the elliptical machine, the more likely you are to end up with a manual system that you will adjust by hand. You can, though, find some inexpensive elliptical machines with a motorized resistance system. The best ellipticals, though, make use of an eddy current braking system which provides for the smoothest, most reliable form of resistance.

Stride Length
Stride length can either be preset at the factory or changed by the elliptical user. Again, the lower the price of your elliptical, the less likely you are to be able to adjust your stride length. The best and most expensive trainers, though, offer you completely adjustable stride length, which makes the entire elliptical workout process a bit better.

More Options Than A Value Meal

In addition to the major systems, each elliptical comes with its own option combinations.

The control panel is standard on most trainers with any type of electronic functionality. It is usually battery powered, and can provide anything from biofeedback to guidance on your elliptical workout. Your control panel may also display the elliptical program you are working with. Some come with a few preprogrammed elliptical workouts, and others allow you to program your own workout sessions.

Most elliptical control panels will also have some sort of heart rate monitoring system display. This can help you reach the optimal heart rate for exercising, which can help you burn more calories. Depending on the trainer, your heart rate could be monitored through a wireless connection, a wire that runs back to the elliptical, or handgrips. Options that are frequently not displayed on the elliptical control panel include an adjustable incline and an adjustable stride length.

Elliptical exercise machines are an excellent choice for the person looking for a low-impact workout that delivers superior results. Consult our elliptical guide for buying tips when you're ready to purchase your elliptical online.

Next > Elliptical Trainer Benefits



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    Just thirty minutes a day of any exercise, especially with a Life Fitness elliptical, can help you. Experts suggest everyone should engage in at least thirty minutes a day of moderate physical activity. This can be hard to do because our lives increasingly mean that we will sit behind computer screens or in front of television screens for more than fifteen hours each day. This inactivity can have poor consequences like obesity, heart problems and high cholesterol. All of these can lead to a shorter life span and other diseases.
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    Use elliptical trainers for preventing sore muscles. If you are new to the world of elliptical trainers, you begin using an elliptical by placing your feet on the machine's footpads. The elliptical footpads are usually both cushioned and rubberized for a non-slip surface. You then place your hands on the handgrips of the elliptical, which may or may not be stationary depending on the model you buy. The elliptical exercise is quite similar to jogging or walking.
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    When buying an elliptical trainer, the price tag isn't the only thing you should consider. Cheaper models of these fitness machines tend to be made of lower quality materials. This means that inexpensive ellipticals will probably wobble, changing the quality of your workout. A trainer is supposed to offer you a smooth ride. A cheap trainer imitating a trainer will not.
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