What Is the Difference Between a Cross Trainer and an Elliptical Trainer?

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Is an elliptical the same as a cross-trainer? Though the construction and concept seem similar, the major difference between an elliptical trainer and a cross trainer is its workout.

Cross trainers offer full-body workouts, and elliptical offers only lower-body workouts.

Using the bars provided on a cross-trainer, you can tone your arms by engaging them in pulling and pushing motions. At the same time, elliptical trainers come with a static handle limiting your activities to only the lower body.

Cross trainer works out both your upper body and lower body and engages your core, giving your abdominal muscles a good exercise. Ellipticals offer excellent workouts to your legs.

With a cross trainer, you can opt to work out only with legs or both the legs and hands.

Cross trainers come with flexible handles that facilitate the movement of the complete body, whereas the static handles of an elliptical limit the movement to legs only. If you plan to work out your arms, you should prefer a cross-trainer over an elliptical.

Benefits of Elliptical Trainer

  • While elliptical trainer offers only lower body workouts, it does have advantages of their own. Individuals with upper body issues find the stability of the handlebars of an elliptical assuring enough to keep them balanced.
  • The adjustable incline facility allows you to vary the difficulty level to perform challenging workouts.
  • Few ellipticals come with custom training programs that target specific muscles such as glutes and hamstrings.

Advantages of CrossTrainer

  • The full-body workout offered by a cross trainer, with the dual action of forwarding and backward movement, mimics natural running or walking movement.
  • They work with various leg muscle groups, abdominal muscles, and the major muscle groups in your arms.
  • The flexible handles can give you a cardio workout that involves your complete body.

How to Get the Most out of an Elliptical Machine and a Cross Trainer

You should make sure that your weight is distributed equally on the handrails. Individuals working on a cross-trainer or an elliptical should remember to hold the handles lightly.

If you grip them tight, you might not be able to achieve the right balance required for proper balance.

When held lightly, it is possible to perform a good leg workout. If you are working with moving handles, ensure that you first become familiar with leg movements before aiming for full-body workouts involving arms.

These machines need you to extend your knee and hip to get your thigh and buttock muscles involved. You get to target the lower body muscles such as quads, glutes, hamstrings, lower shin, and calves.

With Cross Trainer, you also target biceps, triceps, abdominals, and chest muscles. As they offer low-impact exercise, you can keep your joints stress-free and have minimal impact. Since they offer weight-bearing exercise, the calorie-burning rate is higher than on a treadmill, and exhaustion is low.

Aerobic exercise provides a good workout to your legs and heart. When you perform a regular aerobic activity, it boosts the amount of oxygen that enters your bloodstream. You also enjoy the action of endorphins released due to the workout.

They help boost your mood, relieve stress, and as a natural pain reliever. Scientific research says that such activity is vital for living a healthier and happier life.

Finally, both elliptical trainers and cross trainers offer low-impact, high-intensity workouts. You only need to choose based on your body flexibility and the result you would like to achieve.

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