As loads of trainers and online fitness magazines would tell you, elliptical trainers are one of the easiest to use and effective cardio machines found in most commercial and home gyms but working out with the right technique and taking safety measures will keep off injuries, make your workouts more effective and also increase machine durability.
So here are few tips to safely workout using an elliptical trainer.
1. Take it slow
If you’ve never used the machine before it’s important to get used to the movement of the trainer and for that, it’s important to take it slow at first. So for the first 10-15 minutes take it super easy. Let your muscles warm up and your heart pumping and then steadily get faster and keep the pace for the next 20-25 minutes.
Once the workout ends to give your body enough rest time. Later you can switch to more advanced workouts.
2. Carry a water bottle
With any fitness, routine hydration is as important as the diet or the workout itself and dehydration can result in dizziness, lack of vision, weakness, make you feel nauseated etc. Most high-end elliptical trainers come with a water bottle holder for easy access.
Water would be our preferred source of hydration or you can opt for any of the protein shakes your trainer has recommended. Avoid any sugary juices or sports drinks.
3. Adjust the resistance
The resistance plays an important role in every workout and not only does adding resistance make the usage safer, it also takes your workout to a new level.
Most of the trainers use a flywheel to add resistance and leaving to low means it spins using your body’s momentum. Increasing the resistance level makes the spinning slower and thus requires more effort from your hands and legs, in turn, engaging more muscles.
4. Keep track of your heart rate
Most of the high-end ellipticals come with a heart rate monitor and in case yours doesn’t come with an inbuilt one ensure it supports an external heart rate device especially if you’ve been diagnosed with heart conditions in the past.
Knowing your heart rate helps determine the intensity of your workout, acts as a motivator and also helps you make necessary changes to your workout. In case of breathlessness stop your workout immediately.
5. Maintain posture
A bad posture means a bad workout and in the worst case scenario can also mean a serious injury or muscle soreness and pain. Always keep your back straight while working out, your shoulders slightly backward and your head straight.
Place your feet at the center of the pedals or inwards. Don’t hold the handles too tightly and when you start moving the motion should be similar to walking. Avoid placing too much weight on the toes.