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The Elliptical Machine | What Does It Do & The Benefits

The Elliptical Machine | What Does It Do & The Benefits

When it comes to stationary cardio machines or mobility machines for cardiovascular endurance and a tool to help promote fat loss, often times the treadmill is the most praised and discussed machine. However, many athletes and other members of the fitness industry will praise the Elliptical as the best stationary cardio machine to help speed up the process of fat loss and calorie burning.

What Does The Elliptical Do?

The elliptical machine operates in a similar fashion when being compared to the treadmill. Both machines are electronically controlled and monitored and allow the operator to control both the speed/pace at which he/she is running at, as well as the incline degree at which the operator is running at. The one major advantage that the elliptical offers over the treadmill, is that although both machines will cause the effect of burning calories, the elliptical allows one to burn a higher amount of calories in the same amount of time when compared to the treadmill, while also only requiring a partial amount of effort. Its because of this major note that is why many people often prefer to perform a cardio session using the elliptical machine instead of the treadmill.

ellipticalIf you are a seasoned runner or a marathon athlete, the treadmill will be the better option for it has a closer resemblance to the motion of running outdoors on the concrete or flat ground. However, since most people are not active runners performing marathons or other races incorporating running into the event, the elliptical would be the better machine to perform your cardio routine on if the option is available.  However, when you compare your strides on both machines, the treadmill is a flat surface without a resistance to your body. The elliptical, however, has a resistance force on the struts that act like a piston, causing your legs to force the machine down which will result in a greater force being exerted with each stride. This extra force will result in greater calorie expenditure as well as a greater increase in strength in your leg muscles from being worked harder.

On a treadmill, the benefits for using this machine is that it does closely resemble the feeling of running outside. The downside of the treadmill is that is also enables a higher amount of stress and force on your joints by an increase in pressure with each stride since your body is forcing down harder with each stride. Although it may not seem like this is a large amount of force, you are still causing your knees to be compacted into your joints and muscle tissue with each stride. Over time, this may add up and can cause potential problems that may need medical treatment. The elliptical, does not have this issue. If you are a seasoned runner, instead of choosing between the elliptical or treadmill, you should instead consider running outside for the best results.

The Benefits of the Elliptical

If you are looking for a indoor cardio machine, the elliptical is one of the best tools that is available for someone to use. The elliptical offers the athlete the ability to burn a much higher amount of calories when using the same energy expenditure as if you are on the treadmill. The best way to burn the maximum amount of calories on the elliptical when using it, is to make sure that you have the intensity maximized to help increase your heart rate. An increase in heart rate results in a higher increase in body temperature, which results in greater calorie burning in the end of the workout. To use the elliptical, simply step onto the machine as if you would a treadmill or stair climber.

How To Use The Elliptical

Power the machine on and either set up the machine manually to a desired preset workout option available in the menu, or simply click Quick Start to begin running instantly and use the options on the menu/screen to adjust your workout from there. On the machine you will have the adjustment options to increase or decrease your speed from 1.0mph to up to around 10mph or sometimes more. You will also have the ability to change the elevation in the incline in which you are running at from flat ground to around 15% inclination. The greater the speed at which you are running at and the greater the inclination, the greater the overall calorie burn will be at the end of your workout. This is due to your body requiring more energy and heat to be exerted with each step when compared to being on a flatter motion at a lower intensity.

Is The Treadmill or The Elliptical Best?

If asked which machine is better to use, they both offer advantages. If you are training for a marathon or are a seasoned runner, the treadmill is your better option. If you are only looking for a higher calorie burn during your workout, the elliptical is the machine I would recommend for you to use instead. I hope this helps answer any questions you have had about the two machines.

Logan Berman

Logan Berman

Writer and expert

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