The elliptical machine is easily one of the most popular machines in the gym, but does this machine truly merit the fame? Are people just mindlessly lining up behind the ellipticals because that’s the only thing they’ve ever known? Luckily, you don’t have to worry about the elliptical machines being all hype, because there are a variety of great benefits.
1. It’s a low impact way to get cardio
Not everyone is an athletic beasts training to compete in fitness competitions and marathons, so it’s great to know that there are machines that are designed so that anyone of any fitness level and benefit from. For individuals with bone or joint conditions, the elliptical is a great choice because it’s low impact on the joints. Unlike the treadmill, your feet generally do not leave the floor on an elliptical so there is no harsh impact on your joints and bones.
2. It works your calf and hamstring muscles
A fun fact about elliptical machines is that may of them also go backwards. If you have ever tried moonwalking, you may have noticed that it utilizes different muscles than walking forward. The same concept is true of ellipticals that allow you to go backwards. While going forward on an elliptical will also work your calf and hamstring muscles, backward movement will put more emphasis on these muscles.
3. It also works your gluteus maximus and hip muscles
The elliptical is a great machine to firm up your behind and get strength in your hips, which is important for basically any daily activity. While the gluteus maximus does get a lot of emphasis and attention in the fitness world, the external hip muscles are a little more under the radar. Using an elliptical is a great way to strengthen both of these very important muscles.
4. It’s a full body exercise
Another positive of an elliptical machine is that many of them have movable arms which allows for a full body workout. A full body workout not only burns more calories, but it also works to tone and firm the muscles in your arm. An elliptical with movable arms will not only work your legs, but your chest, shoulders and arms also. This allows for a quick full body cardio workout.
5. Workouts are full customizable
This depends on the type of elliptical you have, but in general, most ellipticals have a variety of settings. The most common one being resistance. Adjusting resistance will increase or decrease the level of difficulty to properly suit your goals. Many ellipticals also have built in workout routines which are tailored for whatever you are training for.