What is an Elliptical Trainer?

Michael Giuffre

Treadmill machines give their users a great cardiovascular workout. However, the impact on joints when using a treadmill can be quite damaging. If you have suffered knee or foot injuries, treadmills may not be an option for you. An elliptical trainer often proves to be a much better choice.

Those who want to get cardiovascular exercise that is easy on their joints might want to use an elliptical trainer.
Those who want to get cardiovascular exercise that is easy on their joints might want to use an elliptical trainer.

While a dedicated runner or jogger is better off using a treadmill, for those not looking to run a marathon, but only looking to get a good workout and build some endurance, the elliptical trainer is a great option. Elliptical machines that utilize moving handlebars as well as moving foot pedals provide the user with a full body workout. Treadmills, on the other hand, focus mainly on the lower body.

Studies have shown that the elliptical trainer allows the user to burn the same amount of calories as on a treadmill, but with much less effort. This should appeal to anyone looking to burn those excess calories and lose some weight.

An elliptical trainer is perfect for seniors whose joints could not endure the impact of a treadmill, or for those in rehabilitation with leg, foot or joint problems. These machines also have the ability to add variety to your cardiovascular workout. Not only do many elliptical trainer machines allow the user to increase or decrease the incline and intensity but they also allow the user to exercise in a reverse motion as well as forward. Each direction targets a different set of muscles, giving the body a fuller, more thorough workout. This versatility adds a dimension to the elliptical trainer that is unparalleled by treadmills.

The elliptical trainer is a great machine for anyone looking to get in shape or rehabilitate an injury. As the popularity of these workout machines increases they can be found in larger numbers in more and more gyms. Many gyms offer free trial memberships--taking advantage of this might be a good way to become personally acquainted with an elliptical trainer.

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Discussion Comments


As well as impact being reduced/almost eliminated with ellipticals, they are also so much more efficient at burning calories than treadmills. The best way of deciding what model to get, is by reading reviews preferably written by customers. Amazon's a great place for this.

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