The Elliptical Machine: 8 Reasons Your Home Gym Needs One
Posted on 2016-09-26
These days, more people are beginning to see the benefits of setting up a home gym as opposed to spending their hard-earned money on a monthly gym membership. Not only does having a home gym save you money in the long run, but the convenience also eliminates any excuses you may have had for skipping your daily workout in the past. If you’re thinking about setting up a gym in your home, there are a few “staples” you’ll want to have access to when it comes to workout equipment. An elliptical trainer is one of those must-haves—and for plenty of good reasons!
Enjoy a Full-Body, Low-Impact Workout
First of all, an elliptical trainer allows you to achieve a full-body workout with one machine. That being said, if you’re only going to add one piece of equipment to your home gym, an elliptical is probably your best bet. Furthermore, unlike other workout machines, the elliptical is completely low-impact. The motions you make while using an elliptical are smooth and controlled, which means you’re less likely to injure yourself during exercise. Ellipticals are especially low impact on the knees. Unlike with running on a treadmill, the fluid circular motion of running on an elliptical saves your knees from the shock.
Target Specific Muscle Groups
An elliptical also makes it easy to target specific muscle groups while you exercise, so you can kill two birds with one stone, so to speak. For example, you can actually add a nice upper-body workout while using your elliptical by using your arms to move the handles as you run. If your elliptical model doesn’t come with moving handles, you can simply pick up some dumbbells and do shoulder presses while you move your legs for a killer upper- and lower-body workout. In this sense, you can enjoy the lower-body workout of an exercise bike and the upper-body workout of a rowing machine with an elliptical. Of course, with an elliptical workout, you’ll also target the muscles in your legs in addition to your glutes!
Keep Your Workouts Interesting
Elliptical trainers make it easy to keep your workouts varied and interesting, which makes you more likely to stick with your at-home fitness program. For instance, many elliptical machines these days come with adjustable inclines and resistance levels, so you can make your workout as easy or as difficult as you’d like. Some elliptical trainers even come with built-in training programs to help you achieve your goals. For example, you may find a “weight-loss” or “fat-burning” program on your elliptical that utilizes interval training to not only keep workouts interesting, but to burn more fat and calories throughout as well. And remember, you can always pedal backwards on your elliptical to target different muscles and switch things up!
Go as Hard (Or Not) as You Want
On some days, you may not feel like hitting it hard on the elliptical, but you still want to get a decent workout in. Maybe you’re going out to dinner with friends in a few hours and you don’t want to work up a heavy sweat that requires you to shower and re-do your hair; an elliptical workout is perfect for that! By simply keeping your incline and resistance levels lower, you can get your body moving and burn some calories without subjecting yourself to a full-fledged sweat session. On the other hand, on days when you’re ready to hit “beast mode”, your elliptical has you covered, too. Ramp up that resistance and bump up that incline for a workout that’ll leave you feeling exhausted and sweaty, yet accomplished.
Multi-Task While Burning Calories
Let’s be honest: it’s easy to get bored during a workout, even when you have your favorite high tempo music to motivate you. An elliptical trainer allows you to get in a great workout while doing other things that you simply can’t on a weight machine or even a treadmill. Read a book or magazine, browse your phone, or even binge watch your favorite show on your tablet while you workout on your elliptical! The pedals and smooth gliding motion make it easy to keep yourself stable and upright without the need for much concentration or coordination, so you can enjoy a little multi-tasking while you blast fat and burn calories.
Get That Heart Rate Going
For those looking to get in a great cardiovascular workout, the elliptical is an ideal option. By adjusting your resistance and incline settings, you can easily work up your heart rate and get into your target weight loss or fat burning zone. Some elliptical trainers even come with a heart rate monitor that you can easily use to track your heart rate and stay in your target zone, though you can always track your heart rate the “old-school” way if needed.
Regain Range of Motion After an Injury
For those who have recently suffered from hip, leg, or foot injuries, many doctors will recommend that you ease back into exercise using an elliptical. This is due not only to the low-impact workout that an elliptical provides, but the wide range of motion as well. Specifically, those who have lost some of their range of motion following an injury can gradually regain it through the regular use of an elliptical trainer. Of course, always speak to your doctor before starting any exercise regimen—especially if you’ve recently suffered from an injury of any kind.
Burn Off Some Serious Calories
When it comes to burning calories, the elliptical is one of the most efficient workout machines out there. Depending on your current weight and height, it’s possible to burn about 400 calories per half hour (or 800 calories per hour) on the elliptical, which is quite impressive. To put that number into perspective, you need a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound. Therefore, by incorporating just over 30 minutes of elliptical training into your day seven days a week, you could lose a pound per week; that’s 4 pounds in one month, just by taking about a half hour out of your day to hit up the elliptical. Of course, your results may vary based on your daily calorie intake and your metabolism. As you can see, there are numerous benefits to adding an elliptical trainer to your at-home gym. Not only are elliptical workouts easy on your body, but they’re also extremely efficient when it comes to increasing your heart rate, burning fat, and burning off calories. All of this, in addition to their versatility, makes an elliptical trainer a great addition to any home exercise space.