Even if it’s your first visit to Womens Fitness Clubs of Canada, you’ve probably heard of or used the elliptical trainer (also called the elliptical or cross-trainer) before. What you might not have known that the elliptical as we know it was patented by a dad – Larry Miller – who used video of his daughter running to design a machine that simulates the same motion, without the strain on the joints. The resulting machine, patented in 2004, provides a low-impact cardio workout similar in effectiveness to running, walking or stair climbing and lets the user choose the intensity level.
Here are four of our favourite ways to work out on an elliptical! Try a few, and choose the one that works best for you. If you have any particular needs or injuries, make sure to consult with one of our personal trainers or kinesiologists before you work out.
1. The Steady State Five: The American College of Sports Medicine recommends spending just over four hours a week doing moderate intensity exercise (55-70% of maximal heart rate). Five minute warm- up. 50 minutes of steady state exercise on the elliptical. Five minute cool-down. Five times a week.
2. The Four Day Work Week: AllEllipticals.com recommends doing this
workout four days a week: Warm up for five minutes. Then spend five minutes at each of these levels: low, easy, moderate, hard (reach your target heart rate), moderate, easy, low. Cool down for five minutes.
3. Shifting Gears: The Mayo Clinic recommends this exercise for burning fat, as you’ll burn plenty of calories without getting bored. Warm up for five minutes. Sprint forward for 30 seconds. Pedal backwards at a slower speed for 60 seconds. Alternate between forward sprints and backward rotations at least 10 times. Cool down for five minutes.
4. Pump It Up – Weight loss expert Dr. Chris Mohr recommends this high-intensity workout for efficient elliptical fat-burning. Warm up for five minutes. Adjust the elliptical’s resistance to high. Pump your arms and legs at top speed for 45 seconds then rest for 90 seconds. Pump it up and then rest 10 times. Cool down for five minutes.
Although the elliptical offers a low-impact working that is less likely than running to cause injury, if you are new to the machine or have recently started your exercise program, start with The Steady State Five and gradually work your way up.