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Filter: All types Articles Slideshows Videos Sort: Most relevant Most popular Most recent No articles available No slideshows available No videos available How Elliptical Machines Work Elliptical Machine Reviews How to Use Elliptical Trainers How to Build Leg Muscles How Can I Work Out My Arm Muscles? How does using an elliptical compare against a treadmill and other similar cardio exercises? Physical exercise can be grouped into 3 different types based on the kind of changes it makes to your body. Flexibility is also determined by a key factor, which you can change; the length of your muscles that surround your joint(s). As you age you will generally become less flexible, this is caused by a combination of joint deterioration and shrinkage of muscle from lack of usage. Aerobic exercise otherwise known as Cardio, is movement performed at the relatively low intensity of 60% to 80% of your maximum heart rate.
Increasing the number of red blood cells in your body, these transport oxygen to your muscles, so the more red blood cells you have the more you can work your muscles harder and for longer.
Increased speed of your muscles’ aerobic metabolism, meaning a larger percentage of your energy during intense exercise is generated aerobically. Your body is built in such a way that performing aerobic exercise improves your ability to perform aerobic exercise.
This means you will not stay in anaerobic exercise mode for long at any one period, typically from a mater of seconds up to 3 minutes, after that your body will move back into aerobic mode. Stretching is often performed before any of these exercises, which can increase flexibility, for example during the course of a martial arts class stretching is often performed. When using the elliptical machine you are driving with both your arms and legs, engaging your shoulders and hips and then using your core muscles stability, this give you a full body workout.
A good circuit training session will be specifically designed to focus on different muscle groups, so as you complete the circuit you will be working all the major body areas. In a martial arts class you focus on different body areas as you perform different techniques. Rowing is a full body exercise, simultaneously pushing out with your legs and pulling with your arms engages all those muscles as well as your core for stability.
During a running session you will be working your hips and legs and relying on your core for balance and stability. Depending on the stroke being used you can focus your swimming muscles on one area more than another but in general swimming is a good all round body exercise, engaging your shoulders and arms to pull you through the water, your hips and legs to push you and your core muscles to keep your body flat and streamlined in the water.
Walking similar to running will primarily be focusing on your hips and leg muscles, while also using your core for balance and stability. Here’s a comparison of the calories burned during performing all the aerobic exercises from above. Now you can see the number of attainable calories burned through one hour of aerobic exercise is broadly similar, so it now becomes a decision about which one works best for you. Here’s a look at how the relative prices of the exercises compare against each other, both taking the budget approach to each and the deluxe approach to each. So in summary; we looked at the areas of the body which will be worked by an elliptical vs treadmill or other exercise types, we found using an elliptical machine will work your whole body, as would Zumba, martial arts, circuit training, rowing and swimming, whereas cycling,  or using a treadmill for running or walking will only work your legs, hips and core. You could expect to burn a similar number of calories with an elliptical machine as rowing or cycling, more calories than walking or starting martial arts and slightly less than running, swimming, Zumba or circuit training.
When taking the budget approach to exercise, buying an elliptical machine is broadly similar cost to running, walking, Zumba, rowing, cycling or circuit training and much cheaper than swimming or martial arts.
When taking the deluxe approach to exercise buying an elliptical machine is more expensive than cycling, similar price as running, walking Zumba or rowing and much cheaper than circuit training, swimming or martial arts.
If you’ve decided you want to buy an elliptical head over to our Elliptical Machine pal to find which one is right for you. If you didn’t read it yesterday, read this post on how to tell the difference between true physical hunger and cravings–it could very well save your waistline and your life!
Do not let your shoulders round forward, nor should you lean your body AT ALL on the machine! If you can carry on a jolly, awesome conversation while on the elliptical, you’re not working hard enough.
Brace your abs to get some nice abdominal strengthening work (balance + extremities moving)!
I have always loved the elliptical machine because I get a good workout, I sweat buckets, I can read on it (while still working hard, trust me!), and I vary the speed, incline, and, level so it’s always a different workout.

I love doing a nice elliptical workout before doing hardcore weights or teaching BodyPUMP because it’s not as high impact on the body and joints (like running or jumping are), and thus am not beating my body up every day!
I pretty much always do the elliptical before Bodypump, unless I’m teaching spin beforehand.
I didn’t run for 3 months this summer because of my IT band, and I LIVED on that elliptical! I found that when I used to get on an elliptical, I would get bored quickly and rarely pushed myself like I could. I am very genuine and magnetic on camera, and have made numerous videos on my own for clients and other organizations that I'm affiliated with. The elliptical trainer is a cardiovascular machine that has two poles with handles and two foot pedals. Conventional cardio exercises like running, walking and biking all have the same effect on the body as elliptical training from an aerobic standpoint.
The lower body muscles targeted with elliptical training are the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves and anterior tibialis.
Stretching involves slowly expanding your muscles near their maximum length, holding them at that length for a period of time then slowly letting them retract.
While using an Elliptical machine will not increase your flexibility from current levels, it can help keep your muscles and joints active and prevent further the loss of flexibility, particularly in your shoulders, arms and hips.
Aerobic exercise depends on the use of oxygen to meet your body’s energy demands during exercise. The experience with any cardio exercise is similar, it will be difficult at the beginning, but as long as you are working out at least 20 minutes a session, 3 or more times a week, you will find it easier and easier as time goes on and will be able to push yourself even harder and longer. At this activity level your body can’t get oxygen to the muscles in time and at the level required to work aerobically so instead your muscles start using sugars stored within the cells of your muscles as a fuel.
The buildup of lactic acid is the burning feeling you experience in your muscles when you push them to your max. However in general the performance of these exercises like using an elliptical machine, will not increase your flexibility levels but can prevent you from losing any more flexibility. Some individual sessions may focus on one body area rather than another but over time you should be engaging all major muscle groups. Kicks will concentrate on your hips and legs, blocks and strikes work your arms and everything will build your core either engaged for balance or in order to drive techniques from waist rotation. Although you may be moving your arms when running, this offers no resistance and the impact is fairly negligible.
Most who complain about the machine are not doing it right, are not changing it up in their routine, or are probably too lazy to figure out various ways to move on that thing.
Remember, if the workout felt way too easy while reading, get rid of the reading and turn up the volume on your music.
On a scale from 1-10, with 1 being very sllloooww walking (and hardly an increase in heart rate from sitting), and 10 being the most intense thing you’ve ever done, use the scale to rate yourself during the workout (on the right side of the column I give a suggested idea). I always just do a preset thing on the elliptical which does involve various intervals, speeds, and levels, but I like the idea of manually changing it! I actually was faster when I started running again because of how hard I worked on the ellipitical to make up for not running. Hip extension is actively used in elliptical workouts, especially when the machine is placed at an incline.
Pulling muscles include the biceps, which are involved in elbow flexion, and the rhomboids, which pull the shoulder blades together in the back. If you avoid holding on to the machine for balance, your deep core muscles will be active during your workout. I also have a degree in Sport Management, and multiple certifications to back up my validity. To operate the machine, you move the handles back and forth while you move the foot pedals in an arc, or elliptical, motion. By taking your hands off the movable poles and placing them on these handles, you can eliminate the upper body from the movement. Doing this repeatedly over a period of time gradually increases the length of your muscles, which in turn provides you with greater flexibility. A by product of using these sugars as a fuel is the production of lactic acid, lactic acid works as your body’s safety throttle mechanism; as lactic acid builds up in your muscles it causes the anaerobic process to become less efficient forcing you to slow down to a point where your body can catch up and start supplying oxygen to the muscles again to work aerobically. While using an elliptical machine if you push yourself you will start to perform anaerobic exercise in addition to aerobic for short periods of time, however the majority of the exercise will be performed aerobically.

Like using an elliptical machine, all of these forms of exercise can work your body aerobically and anaerobically depending on your intensity level. Some elliptical exercise machines have a mechanism that allows you to increase its incline, which simulates hill climbing.
Since the elliptical machine involves straightening the legs, it works the quadriceps, but don't be surprised if you don't feel them. The triceps, found in the back of the arm, and the pectoral muscles, which are the muscles supporting the chest, are considered pushing muscles. I've also been featured in three different exercise infomercials and had a speaking role in a National Lampoons movie. Not only does the elliptical improve your aerobic capacity, but it also targets multiple muscles. This places more emphasis on your glutes, hamstrings and quads if you are trying to specifically target these areas and not your upper body. Being that elliptical exercise is done for long periods of time with light resistance, it builds muscular endurance.
This will cause increased flexion of the legs, providing even greater use of the hamstring muscles. Unlike the stationary bicycle, which puts most of the work in the quadriceps, elliptical machines provides an equally effective workout for the hamstrings, gluteals and , in some cases, the upper body. The triceps, which are on the back of the upper arms, get worked in unison with the pectorals as you push the handles forward.
You can also change the direction of the elliptical and glide backwards to target your muscles differently. Being that you work your upper and lower body muscles simultaneously on the elliptical, you can easily get a full body workout in a matter of 30 minutes. Elliptical machines that allow you to move in reverse will put more emphasis on the hamstrings.
Because the other muscle groups are sharing the load, you are less likely to feel a considerable amount of work in the front of your thighs. The quadriceps are on the front side of the thighs and they get worked when your knee extends your lower leg. To challenge your balance and place more emphasis on one side of your body, glide with one foot in the air behind you. Using an elliptical machine is less stressful on your knees, hips and back than is running on a treadmill. The calves are on the back part of the lower legs and the tibialis anterior runs down the front of the shins. This makes it possible for people with joint conditions to not only burn calories, but also strengthen their muscles without compromising the health of their bones and joints.
About us Use of this site constitutes acceptance of the Terms of use, Cookie policy, and Privacy policy of eHow. Both of these muscle groups contract throughout an elliptical workout to stabilize the lower legs.
The rectus abdominis and obliques are core muscles that contract to keep the body balanced and in proper alignment.
The elliptical is great because all of your muscles are engaged and I have got my little program set here on the machine. A lot of it is also dependent on the machine that you are using but I am going to show you a couple of things.
First of all going forward on the elliptical what you are doing if you are constantly engaging your pull muscles in your back and your bicep, lock your shoulder girdle and pull on those upper handles then down below you are really feeling a burning in those quads and calves because you are extending your ankle and flexing almost like a walking running motion.
Just make sure that you are conscious of both of those things and you have got a lot going, reverse the direction and you can get a push with your upper body, just tense and again you can adjust the tension setting on the machine, dig down on your heels and feel your hamstrings and gluts work. So it's up to you, push and pull, hamstrings and quads and those are the muscles you will burn working on the elliptical.

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