Elliptical trainers are reputed for their cardiovascular workout and are preferred by many users for the fun movement they provide. However, if you do not use it properly, there is a risk of injury. This machine simulates stair climbing movement with a low impact on your joints.
It makes sure that your knees or ankles are not subjected to extra stress or pressure, which happens during natural stair climbing. So, even people with injuries find it excellent to use. It is also a perfect muscle toning and strengthening machine, along with giving you wonderful fat-burning results.
All these advantages are fully gained only when you follow these simple rules that ensure your safety and provide optimal benefit.
Warm-up and Cool Down
Like with any other exercise routine, even ellipticals require a good warm-up for your muscles to loosen them up and keep them receptive to further movements easily. As you step on carefully and slowly onto the elliptical, hit the start button once you stabilize your position.
Start with slow movements and pick up the pace after 5 to 10 minutes. Continue working at a higher pace for 30 minutes and then again slow down for cooling your body for 5 to 10 minutes before you stop.
A little resistance challenge can go a long way in burning extra fat. That kind of workout cannot benefit you much when you can move with ease on the elliptical and feel no difficulty. It works well only when you find it hard to push the pedals, and you need to use your energy to do so.
However, remember not to push very hard but to understand and pay attention to how your body is responding. It must be challenging and doable but not overexerting and painful.
Check Heart Rate
Another good indicator of proper resistance is heart rate. By monitoring the heart rate, you will easily understand if you are using the right level of resistance. For instance, if your heart rate drops after working using the same resistance for few weeks, it indicates that you need to up the resistance.
You can keep it in check by setting your target heart rate and start working. Whenever you feel weak or breathless, in this process, you should stop right away.
During the workout, you lose a lot of body fluid in the form of sweat. This makes you dehydrated if you do not supply your body with the required liquid content. Dehydration leads to tiredness, dizziness, blurred eyesight, confusion, and weakness.
Especially if you are feeling lighthearted or dizzy during your routine without any other specific reason, then you need to understand that your body needs fluid replenishment. So, always having a water bottle handy will help you to keep up with the required water levels.
Your blood plasma is made of a lot of water, and when you do not have enough of it, your heart works harder since blood pressure and volume drops, causing dizziness.
Distribute Your Weight
Proper weight distribution is necessary to avoid injury. Do not try to lean into a side or favor one side of your body to another to bear your weight on the machine. If the weight imbalance occurs, you may injure yourself or tip over the machine injuring even others around you.
Grip the Handrails Lightly
Handrails offer support to your body and help it stay in proper posture while you exercise. However, you need to hold them lightly, i.e., with just enough grip to use the support but not tightly that adds to the tension in arms.
Keeping it right will help you relax your arms and do not put extra pressure on them. If you do not find arm support or feel uncomfortable, you can work arms-free. But make sure that you maintain a straight back while you do so. This position even works your core.
Maintain Proper Posture
As already mentioned, it is important to maintain a straight back. Along with that, remember to keep your head high and shoulders back. This body posture not only optimizes your benefits but also saves you from the stiff body post-workout.
It is easier to maintain a perfect stance when you keep your core tight. Mimic the walking action to use your feet and place the weight on your heels, roll it to the middle, and end with toes. Also, keep your feet closer to the inside of the pedals.