Pros & Cons of Elliptical Machines

April 25, 2013 3:51 pm
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Pros & Cons of Elliptical Machines

Elliptical machines, when they made their entry into the gyms around the mid nineties, caught the imagination of most health conscious people as they provided alternative means to get smooth and effective cardiovascular workouts. In contrast to treadmills, they were low impact in nature and this appealed those with issues in their joints. However, as times have passed, there have been talks about some disadvantages of elliptical trainers also. It is a known fact that there is no single fitness machine that can be termed as the best for all the people. Are these exercise machines losing their sheen? Let us find out in this article by highlighting both the pros and cons of elliptical machines.

Pros of elliptical trainers

Low impact workouts

This is probably the best feature of elliptical trainers, especially for those who are old or having issues with their joints. As your feet remain firmly on the foot pedals of elliptical machines, your joints are not subject to any strain and wear and tear as is the case with other physical activities like running and stair climbing. There are no jerks to be handles by the knees and ankles and yet your lower body muscles are able to get the entire workout they need to be toned up. Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical Trainer is one elliptical machine that has become very popular among the users because of its ability to provide very effective and smooth workout without putting any pressure on their joints. If you suffer from arthritis or any other joint problem, an elliptical machine is your best option.

Great cardio workouts

The ability of cross trainers to deliver smooth and very effective cardiovascular workouts is among major elliptical machine benefits. Elliptical trainers provide aerobic exercises that can help in raising your heart rate to give it the desired workout. These machines are helpful in keeping your heart healthy with their cardio workout. Without moving out of your home to run or cycle, you are able to get sufficient cardio workouts to keep your heart in good health. Schwinn 431 Elliptical Trainer is one fitness machine that has become extremely popular among the masses because of its ability to deliver very smooth and effective cardio workouts.

Build up stamina and burn calories at the same time

Elliptical machines are so easy to use that people find exercising on them fun filled and not boring as is the case with other fitness equipment. The result is that they are able to continue for long time periods as there is no tiredness or exhaustion. This helps in building up the stamina levels of the users as their muscles and bones gain strength. By increasing the resistance levels of these trainers, it is possible to get challenging workouts to burn calories at a fast pace to lose weight also. Schwinn 460 Variable Stride Elliptical Trainer is one fitness machine that not only helps in gaining muscle strength but also in weight loss endeavors by the users.

Cons of elliptical machines

Low impact is not always good

Though elliptical machines are great for people having problems in their joints, their ability to provide low impact workouts are not always good for the bones of the users. Scientists say that weight bearing exercises provided by walking, running, and stair climbing are good for increasing bone density and increasing the strength of bones to avoid problems at later age.

Pains and aches

Many people complaint of pains and aches in their back, hips, and other muscles after exercising on elliptical trainers. This is both because of improper postures while doing exercises as well as choosing the wrong model for one’s use.

Emphasis on lower body muscles

It is clear that elliptical machines are good at providing cardiovascular workouts and lower body muscles. But they are found lacking when it comes to similar toning of upper body muscles. Though there are models with moving handles that claim equal workout for upper body muscles, experts feel that elliptical trainers are not all that good when it comes to strengthening of upper body muscles is concerned.

Fewer exercise options

This is another limitation of these expensive exercising machines as one can only pedal forward or backward to get toning of muscles and cardiovascular workouts.

Elliptical machines are great to improve fitness levels at home though like every other equipment; they are not perfect or ideal.

  • You get low impact workouts;
  • You get great cardio workouts;
  • There is lack of weight bearing exercises;
  • There are limited exercising options;
  • These machines are good for toning of lower body muscles though they are found lacking when it comes to upper body muscles;
  • They can be used to build up stamina and also for weight loss endeavors.
  • Elliptical trainers are very easy to use for people of all ages.
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