Elliptical machines are great for low-impact training. Learn how to get the most versatility and value from yours.
How To Buy An Elliptical Crosstrainer
Elliptical crosstrainers offer a zero-impact aerobic workout. They have become popular as home exercise equipment because of their versatility and value.
How They Work
- An “ellipse” is an oval shape, roughly describing the path your feet take when you walk or run
- The machine enables your feet to move somewhere between the circular motion of a bike and the flat motion of a treadmill, thereby easing the strain on your joints
- The primary motion is a forward ellipse, but some offer a backwards motion as well
- It adds variety to your workout and allows different leg muscles to be used
Types of Elliptical Machines
Elliptical machines either have independent or dependent action.
- Independent action machines
- They make you work more efficiently by forcing each leg to move in a forward sloping motion with the pedal
- Dependent action machines
- The force of one drives the other, allows for less impact on the joints
- Dual action models
- These offer movable bars with hand grips to work the upper body at the same time
- One other feature on some is an adjustable incline ramp that allows you to concentrate on different leg-muscle groups