The 4 Biggest Benefits of an Elliptical Cross Trainer
Cross trainers are just awesome. They give you an incredible full-body workout without the impact that usually comes with it. What more could you ask for? Well, that's where the rest of the benefits of a cross-trainer come from and don't worry, we're here to talk you through them.
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Firstly, and potentially most significantly, one benefit of a cross-trainer over other cardio machines is the low impact. Because of the motion that is being carried out, the exercise's actual mechanics has next to no impact whatsoever on the joints. Impact is one of the biggest downsides to cardio like running or other aerobics (which is why it can be bad for your joints), and it's also light on the knees which even an exercise bike can't always offer you. It's like training on a cloud if you find the right fit.
One of the best things about low impact is not only the comfort and ease of the exercise, but more than anything else, it's the long term health benefits. Cardio can be a big player in joint pain in later life if you're not careful. It's usually from bad technique, but the high impact can do it too. The cross trainer means you can workout 3-5 times per week with little to no concerns. In the long run, it's an awesome way to protect yourself.
The second biggest benefit of the cross trainer is that it's still so versatile. You can use it as a cardio workout and a targeted lower or upper body workout. You choose where you put the emphasis.
This is incredibly useful for deciding which muscle to work on specifically. Using the handles more utilises the whole body from upper to lower and works the chest shoulders and arms as well as the entire leg group. If the handles are not used though, your legs are worked harder, as well as your core to keep you stable. Different movements have different impacts, and it's vital to know.
(Another useful tip to know is that you can put things in reverse to change the game too. Going backwards works the glutes more than the front of the legs. That's a useful tip to remember).
Cardio, HIIT & Strength Training - All in One
Staying with the unique benefits of a cross-trainer that other cardio machines don't have, the cross trainer also has one other unusual aspect. When you stop, so does the cross-trainer. Bikes keep spinning with the momentum, treadmills keep turning, but the cross trainer just stops. That adds a twist to things...
In actual fact, it's amazingly useful for implementing high-intensity workout training. You can go at a steady pace for a while and then really speed things up to build your stamina, endurance, and burn off calories, depending on your workout goals. The cross trainer does exactly what you do. There's no room for cheating, bad technique, or relying on the equipment.
It doesn't stop at cardio or HIIT training either. The cross trainer, like most cardio machines, has another big benefit. Variable resistance, being able to make the exercise as hard or as soft as you need means you can get your strength goals in there too. As your legs have to push even harder to hit more resistance, it becomes a strength workout more than anything else. That's an awesome way to build muscle rather than just lose weight, and it can be a great way to hit your goals in the long run.
The last thing that we'll look at is the convenience of owning a cross-trainer. We don't just mean it's good cardio, but it's an awesome addition to a home gym in terms of space too. They aren't huge, but they do work the whole body. Very few cardio machines can boast the same thing, and that's pretty special.
This makes it a good time saver too. It's quite common to see a cross-trainer as standalone equipment because of this. After all, it's a good choice for people that may not be able to make it to the gym all of the time but still, want to work out.
Essentially, what it really comes down to in terms of the cross trainer's benefits is the low impact movement and high variability the exercise offers. No matter where you are in your fitness, cross trainers are an awesome way to work out; at home or the gym. Give it a try and see how you find it!
If you're not sure what to do, don't forget to check out our 4-week cross trainer workout plan either!
Before beginning any exercise or nutrition program, consult your physician, doctor or other professional. This is especially important for individuals over the age of 35 or persons with pre-existing health problems. Exercise.co.uk assumes no responsibility for personal injury or property damage sustained using our advice.
If you experience dizziness, nausea, chest pain, or any other abnormal symptoms, stop the workout at once and consult a physician or doctor immediately.