How to use an elliptical for beginners

What is an elliptical?

An elliptical is one of, if not the most popular exercise machines in the world. Alongside the treadmill, it is one of the few machines capable of providing a full-body workout. Here we give the best methods for How to use an elliptical for beginners that is very effective.

The simplest way to imagine the best elliptical is by thinking of it as an exercise cycle without its seat. Instead of sitting, you stand on two pedals with your hands holding the handles. These handles are also connected to the pedals and perform a complimentary motion.

Benefits of using an elliptical

  1. Full body workout: An elliptical is one of the very few exercise machines capable of providing a full-body workout. This makes sure to assist consistent as well as uniform weight loss. An elliptical is often referred to as a cross trainer, due to its ability to train a high amount of muscles and act as a means of cardio workout too.

Since the elliptical is so good for a cardio workout, it greatly improves cardiovascular health. It helps to improve blood circulation in the body. Since it is an example of elevated heart rate activity, it puts your body into a fat-burning mode.

An elliptical is a machine that requires force to be moved thereby causing your muscles to be greatly engaged, especially the lower body. This coupled with fat burning, helps to lose weight and/or build-up lean muscle mass.

2. Economical: If you are looking to purchase an elliptical to use at home, it will cost you around a thousand to two thousand (1000-2000$) whereas treadmills start at around 1500$. Although the initial investment is large in each case, maintaining an elliptical is much easier compared to a treadmill. The elliptical consists of a lesser amount of moving parts. It doesn’t have components that experience wear and tear like motors and belts.

How to use an elliptical?

Before your first workout

  1. Purchase decision: If you are looking to purchase an elliptical to use at home, you must do your research. Make sure to have a target price in mind and for beginners, it is advised to purchase a base model. This actually helps you save money as well as learn how to use the machine, you can upgrade to a much better variant once you get the hang of it and it benefits your body.
  2. Know where to keep the machine: You need to have sufficient free space at home for the elliptical. We recommend your exercise area has a passage of natural light along with some sort of entertainment like a TV in the room. This helps you look forward to your workout and you don’t get bored while working out too.

Precautions to take

  1. Before working out, see a doctor if you have any health condition. Follow the advice given by the doctor with regards to workout frequency and length.
  2. Make sure to read all instruction manuals and safety guides that come with your machine. Keep these manuals safe for future reference whenever necessary.
  3. Start with a light workout routine. An elliptical targets a wide array of muscles and for beginners, a strenuous workout can cause excess muscle fatigue and injuries. Furthermore, since it is a full-body workout, don’t use the elliptical more than thrice a week at first.

RPE: Rating for perceived exertion, or RPE, is a measure of how intense your workout is on a scale of 1-10. For beginners, it is recommended to keep this measure at a maximum of 4. This can be made sure by maintaining a speed where you can easily engage in conversation without being short on breath.

Your first workout

Make sure you are definitely not wearing any loose or dangling clothing. Wear proper training shoes and keep a towel and water bottle with you. Position your feet rightly on the pedals of the elliptical carefully as they can swing with minimal force.

Start the machine and then slowly increase the speed to maintain an RPE rating of 4. Your feet must make a motion mimicking a cyclist’s motion and your hands need to push and pull the handles. Workout a slow pace for a few minutes.

After your first workout, slowly start increasing your speed and incline levels daily. Progress is the most important aspect of working out thus one must keep pushing their limit. As you get used to the machine, target an RPE of around 7, after an initial warmup at RPE 4 for about 5 minutes.

Make sure to not only increase speed and incline level, but also the duration of your workout and resistance of the machine. Resistance refers to the amount of force you will need to push the pedals and handles therefore higher resistance requires more muscle function. As you increase resistance your speed will decrease and your workout will focus more on muscle build-up rather than fat loss.

Post Workout

Once you have completed your workout, it is good to take some rest and allow your muscles to relax. You may also choose to use whey protein powder around 30 minutes after working out. Whey protein aids massively in muscle recovery after workout thereby encouraging fat loss and build-up of lean muscle mass. It is also advised to take a relaxing shower after your workout to cool down your body.

How to move the elliptical

Most modern exercise machines are easily movable from one place to another. They can also be folded into a form that occupies less ground space. This comes in handy when you don’t have ample space to keep your machine or just need some more space around the house.

Make sure to properly reference the instruction manual provided with your machine to know more about how to safely move it around the house.

How can you get the best results?

We know that workout alone is not enough for weight loss or muscle build-up. One must have a healthy diet to complement it. Make sure your diet is high in fiber and protein. Cut off any processed foods and artificial sugars; drink loads of water to clear out toxins from your body. Adapt a different lifestyle that is both healthy and fun!

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