Elliptical trainer – the fat-burning workout
Elliptical trainers for low-impact cardio training
If you want gym standard training in your own home, elliptical trainers are the best option. These devices allow both the upper and lower body to be trained at the same time, making them ideal for weight loss as well as for targeted cardio training, or just for providing a release from the stress of everyday life.
How do elliptical trainers work?
Like cross trainers and ergometers, this fitness equipment also has a flywheel. In modern equipment, this is installed at the front. The flywheel connects with both the pedals and handles, resulting in a movement similar to cross-country skiing. To achieve a smooth motion, the user must actively use and coordinate both the legs and the arms at the same time. Once in motion, it is important to maintain an even rhythm in both the upper and lower body simultaneously. This provides comprehensive, low-impact and effective training, and also improves coordination skills.
How do elliptical trainers differ from cross trainers?
Both cross trainers and elliptical trainers feature a very similar design, but they differ in the shape of the movements: while cross trainers enable circular movements, elliptical trainers use elliptical movement patterns. This ensures a higher cadence and is easier for some users than a round movement. In addition, each of these devices has a slightly different design: In a cross trainer, flywheel and housing are more likely to be situated between the pedals, while in elliptical trainers they are placed in front of the pedals. This allows a greater stride length and a closer spacing of the pedals.
What can an elliptical trainer be used for?
They can be used for a variety of fitness goals. They are considered ideal for reducing body weight: their simple operation makes it easy and comfortable to lose weight. A great advantage is their low-impact training style, which protects the joints and strengthens the muscles. Even individuals with knee problems can use these devices for endurance training – because this low-impact sports equipment is gentle on the joints, significantly relieving the knees. These devices are less suitable for targeted muscle building, as they are intended more for endurance than strengthening exercises.
In general, the muscles of the legs, buttocks and upper body can be trained with the help of an elliptical trainer. This helps to combat postural defects and tension – and is a flexible way of balancing training and stress management. As a device for endurance sports, elliptical trainers are used mostly for cardiovascular training. Whether cardio training, stress reduction or weight loss: the training options are diverse.
What should I consider when purchasing an elliptical trainer?
When buying an elliptical trainer for use at home, there are a number of factors for fitness enthusiasts to look out for. The stability of the device plays an important role: the sturdier the frame design, the more comfortable the workout. These fitness aids can weigh up to 100 kg. Another important factor to consider when making a purchase decision is a shallower movement, which can be identified from the height of the ellipse. Shallow movements with ellipse heights of 18 to 20 cm are particularly ergonomic and gentle on the joints. Another important item on the check list is the stride length: taller users in particular need a long stride to train comfortably and effectively. A stride length of approximately 50 cm is recommended for users with a height of 1.90 m.
The inner distance between the pedals is also important for training comfort. This distance, also referred to as the Q factor, should be as small as possible and optimally ranges between 5 and 10 cm. The flywheel weight is less important for the operational comfort of an elliptical trainer: devices with a high flywheel weight are considered to be particularly quiet. Yet factors like the Q factor are also important for the smooth running of the machine. The stability of the frame design, the Q factor, the ellipse height and the flywheel are all important factors effecting the overall comfort of the device.
Different models of modern elliptical trainers offer a range of pulse measurement options: from chest straps and ear clips to hand pulse sensors, there is enough variety for every user to find a system that suits their needs. However, pulse measurement using a chest strap is considered to be particularly precise.
When choosing an elliptical trainer you should also consider the variety of training options available. With higher quality equipment, more diverse and individual programs will be possible using the training computer. Users with more demanding requirements, for example, will appreciate programs with cardio options that automatically adjust the necessary effort to the athlete's heart rate. Pulse-controlled training programs are therefore standard in cross trainers today.
An article about our AsVIVA test winners in the elliptical trainer category:
ExpertenTesten.de – Test 2016 • The 10 best elliptical trainers in practical tests
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