Using the Elliptical Correctly – Do’s and Dont’s

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Elliptical machines can be found in most gyms. Lots of people who enjoy working out choose to use them due to the many benefits they have. As you may know, you don’t get explanations on how to use an elliptical properly. This is a reason why they are often used incorrectly. Here are the things you should do and avoid for a more effective workout.

Have a healthy posture

Nicole Palacios, a certified personal trainer explains: “People get tired after a period of time and start to shift their weight forward to alleviate the stress from their legs,”.

When you repeat a movement over and over, you want to do so in good alignment to protect your joints and muscles and this may be a problem. Palacios advises: ”Stand tall and place equal amounts of pressure on your feet and legs,”. “Your upper body should not be taking the brunt of your weight.”

A piece of important advice to take into consideration: Keep your shoulders back and down. Palacios says: “People will use their arms to push and pull, but keep their shoulders raised up in a defensive posture,”  “This causes bad posture, a tight neck and traps and possibly even headaches.”.

Adjust your resistance level

The resistance option is there for a reason and can help make your muscles and joints stronger, in addition to your cardiovascular system,” affirms Sheri Saperstein, a certified personal trainer.  “By staying at the lowest resistance level during your workout (or by staying at the same level the whole time) your body will adapt and become more efficient over time, resulting in less of a calorie burn, muscle building, strength, endurance and tone.”

Mix speed and multidirectional intervals

Adding different types of intervals, mainly going faster and pedaling backward, you can keep your body guessing and progressing (and avoid boredom).

Saperstein points out: “When you change it up by incorporating timed intervals of harder and more dynamic moves, your body is always challenged and your muscles are forced to adapt at every change,”. “High-intensity intervals are also great for improving aerobic capacity and burning more calories in less time, as well as after the exercise session is completed.”

Don’t put all your weight in your toes

Kristin D. Mercurio, a certified trainer and corrective exercise specialist affirms: “Unfortunately, pushing too hard with your toes can not only compromise your posture but also exponentially increases the pressure put on your knees at a detrimental angle,”. “As a result, this can greatly increase your risk of injury. To correct this issue, you have to focus on shifting the weight back toward the midsole of your foot, keeping more contact with your whole foot throughout the stride and maintaining proper posture. 

Take this piece of advice in consideration the next time you go to the gym and use the elliptical.

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