Elliptical Trainers are one of the most popular forms of cardiovascular exercise since they offer low impact aerobic training but still maintain the benefits of a weight bearing exercise. Standing while exercising (versus being seated on a bike or rower) is twofold in its advantages. First, the heart has to work harder to pump blood against gravity through the entire length of the body, which results in more calories burned during the time spent exercising. Second, a body in standing position needs to support its own weight while moving, leading to stronger bone structure and less loss of bone density over time (known as osteoporosis). Because the feet do not physically leave the pedals and strike downward with force, there is no jarring effect on the joints and spine, namely the lower back, hips, knees, and ankles. This makes using an elliptical trainer much more “forgiving” on the body versus using a treadmill or pounding the outdoor pavement. Because the body is in more comfort and takes less punishment, the exerciser can more easily sustain longer workouts leading to higher fat burning, better circulation, and strengthened cardiovascular health.
What are the advantages of different kinds of elliptical trainers? Most ellipticals will have moving handle bars that work in sync with the pedals. This allows the exerciser to get the upper body in motion in stride with the legs, creating a more natural, fluid momentum similar to walking or running. Getting more of the body involved in the workout, along with an elevated arm position, will also get the heart pumping harder to increase calorie expenditure during the workout. This is also where the nickname “cross-trainer” comes from, since the exerciser is working multiple muscle groups across the body in coordination. Some people prefer a fixed handlebar, meaning they can do other things while exercising such as read a book or magazine, or use a tablet, since the hands are free and there are no moving parts of the machine near the reading rack on the console that would interfere with such activity. All elliptical machines will have variable resistance which allows you to increase or decrease the intensity of the pedaling motion or speed of movement. Some ellipticals will also offer a variable stride length, or a variable incline. Adjusting the stride length not only helps fit users of different heights to their most comfortable pattern of movement, but can also change muscle focus for faster and slower movements (such as running versus walking). Adjusting the incline will result in the exerciser stepping up higher with each ellipse in motion, engaging more of the glutes and hamstrings (similar to going uphill or using a stairclimber).
What’s the best value to be found when shopping for elliptical trainers? For classic models at value-driven pricing, look to our wide selection of refurbished Precor EFX Ellipticals, Star Trac Natural Runners, Cybex Arc Trainers and Life Fitness elliptical crosstrainers, all refurbished to like-new condition. All remanufactured ellipticals offered by Ironcompany.com® were originally manufactured in the United States, qualifying them for GSA open market purchase under the Buy American Act. Purchase of certified and tested refurbished commercial cardio trainers made in America will save you hundreds if not thousands of dollars over purchasing new, allowing your fitness club, military base or government facility additional budgeted funds to spend towards other fitness equipment. Now that’s a bang for the buck!
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Need help with finding the right elliptical crosstrainer for your needs and budget? Let an Ironcompany.com fitness equipment expert assist you today at 1-888-758-7527.