These days, more people are beginning to see the benefits of exercise, and what better way to have a workout so accessible at any point in time than in your home? Not only does having a home gym save you money in the long run from paying gym membership fees every month, personal trainer fees, and gas in your car just to get to the gym, 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 many 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 from impact.
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.
Of course, with an elliptical workout, you’ll also target the muscles in your lower legs in addition to your glutes.
Keep Your Workouts Interesting
Elliptical trainers make it easy to keep workouts varied and interesting, which may make 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 improve physiological response to training as compared to continuous training.
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 easier to keep yourself stable and upright without the need for as much concentration, so you may be able to enjoy a little multi-tasking while you 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 calorie-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.
Heart rate monitors used for exercise such as the wireless heart rate monitoring chest strap are not medical devices, and their accuracy may be affected by a number of factors. They are also not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
Regain Range of Motion After an Injury
For those who have recently suffered from hip, leg, or foot injuries, many doctors may 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 a significant amount of calories per half hour on the elliptical.
To put that number into perspective, you need a calorie deficit of 3,500 calories to lose one pound. 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 and burning off calories. All of this, in addition to their versatility, makes an elliptical trainer a great addition to any home exercise space.
DISCLAIMER: This post is not intended to replace the advice of a medical professional. The above information should not be used to diagnose, treat, or prevent any disease or medical condition. Please consult your doctor before making any changes to your diet, sleep methods, daily activity, or fitness routine. NordicTrack assumes no responsibility for any personal injury or damage sustained by any recommendations, opinions, or advice given in this article.