8 Tips You Should Know For Your Elliptical Cross Trainer Workouts
Whatever your current view of these machines, there is a good chance that there is still room to improve your workout and make the most of these devices.
Newcomers can learn to embrace motions and options they didn’t know were possible. Old timers can push things up a gear.
Here are 8 tips for your elliptical trainer workouts that could push you to the next level.
1) Start by working on a full body workout for better gains.
A good elliptical cross trainer session should work out different areas of the body for better tone and fitness. There are three different ways to do this.
The first, and one that we think of most, is that dual action of the feet on the steppers and the arms on the handle bars. It helps to find a good rhythm, at a comfortable pace, where the whole body feels in tune. Once you have mastered the basic motions, you can play around a bit with greater emphasis on a certain area.
2) Then pay attention to your legs and feet a little more.
The best place to start is with the feet on the steppers and the movement of the legs. Concentration on the feet helps for a few reasons.
- It makes you more aware of your form and motion. Are your feet planted in the best position on the stepper? Are they moving too much? ar you putting in too much effort for minimal results.
- Full focus on the feet and leg movements means a focus on toning the legs and dealing with a specific problem area.
- Those that work with their arms at their sides tend to have to work a little more on balance and posture. This is turn helps with core strength.
3) Then pay attention to what your arms could be doing.
Then you can work with emphasis on the arms. Take a little weight off the stepper and concentrate on the tension in the arms and their motion. This helps to diversify a workout with different intervals of motions.
It also means that those arm muscles aren’t under worked in that full body workout. Remember, you chose the cross trainer over the exercise bike for a good reason.
4) Take the time to see what motion and options the hardware the machine will allow for.
This is where it is also important to play around with the motions of the machine and understand what it can actually do. There are two key examples that some first time users may not be aware of. the first comes with the handlebars.
- Some machines have stationary bars to hold onto
- Some have moving bars for a better rhythm
- Some have the option to switch between the two.
Don’t waste that opportunity if it is there. A change of approach can help with toning and stop the workout from becoming to monotonous. The other feature that is sometimes overlooked is the backwards motion on the stepper.
This can seem a little weird at first if you are used to a machine that goes forward. It requires a different thought process, good balance and tones the legs in a different way.
5) Also take some time to explore the different settings within the software.
Make the most of all features and settings provided in the machine’s programming and computer. It is too easy to stick to a rhythm with those arm and leg motions and forget about the programmes in the computer.
Change the resistance settings when you are in a rut, or not pushing hard enough. This can help you achieve gals a little faster. Also look into pre-set workouts and interval training for a bigger challenge.
6) Any data from these machines can help with your goal tracking.
At the same time, you should try and make the most of the data on the console about the workout. It is never a good idea to become too fixated on the numbers counting down on a screen. This can make each step seem a little more difficult and time appear a little slower.
Still, the best machine provide great data on your session in regard to length, distance and other factors.
Use this to track progress and improvements. With time, you can plot your journey and have clear data that proves that your are getting stronger and fitter.
7) Keep an eye on your safety while using a cross trainer for the best experience.
Safety is important no matter what piece of equipment you use. However, there are some people that feel a little less secure on this sort of machine than something where their feet are on firmer ground. It is important that your feet are steady in the centre of the plate, with appropriate footwear.
Good workout clothes are also helpful, with loose cotton or Lycra where you wont suffer with perspiration or chaffing. Women also benefit from a good sport’s bra.
There there is the stability of the machine itself. The shape and motion can lead to some unsteadiness in some models. Those working out at home should make sure that the machine is assembled properly and on a flat surface.
8) Finally, look into ways of staying entertained during these sessions.
The final piece of advice in these 8 tips for your cross trainer workouts is one we can all get behind. Data is useful, but you don’t want to find yourself staring at the screen all session. Try and make it a little more fun. These machines may look like torture devices, and in many ways they can act like one.
But, it all depends on our efforts and attitude to the session. Set up the right program in a safe manner, put more attention into the work of the arms and legs, plug into some motivational music or a TV show, then celebrate the achievements at the end.