Most of you would have come across a machine with two long handles at the cardio zone of your local gym. It is a piece of Equipment that looks like a cross between an exercise cycle and a stair climber. Well, this is the cross trainer or elliptical bike. The best cross trainer combines the benefits of a treadmill, exercise bike and a stair climber all into one. ideafit.com states that when you exercise on a cross trainer, you can combine the benefits of biking, hiking and cross-country skiing.
What does the Cross-Trainer do?
When you work-out on a cross trainer, your legs travel in circular motion. This circular motion differs from that of a regular exercise bike, in that it is elongated and stretched. It’s similar to using a cross-country skiing machine. Unlike a skiing machine, where your legs move forward and backward, on a cross trainer your legs are forced to move in an oval path. Hence it gets the name elliptical trainer, since your legs travel along an elliptical trajectory.
Now, let’s look at some major reasons why your workout is enhanced and becomes more effective when you throw some cross-training into the mix.
1. Reduced Impact
The major benefit of using a cross-trainer is the reduction of impact on your joints. It provides the benefits of jogging minus the wear and tear of your bones and joint. Due to your body weight, jogging causes huge stress on your joints and back. Regular joggers would know that jogging can take a toll on the ankles, knees and shins over time.
However an elliptical trainer limits the impact on your joints, since your arms and legs are in continued contact with the machine. Hence, the cross-trainer is a boon for people who can’t exercise regularly due to arthritis and weak joints.
2. Burn more Calories
When compared with an exercise bike or a treadmill, the cross-trainer helps you to burn off more calories. Though you have burned the calories of a swift run, you feel like you are walking at a brisk pace. Cross-trainers can help you burn off around eight to twelve calories per minute, that is pretty high when compared to other cardio equipments.
3. Workout for the Whole Body
An elliptical trainer with two handle bars can help you workout your whole body. However, if you do not hold the bars, then it is a great way to shape the abs. Working out without holding the bars, requires extra effort to stabilize your body. This is a great way to tone your abs.
4. Easy way to Train at High Intensities
One great feature of a cross-trainer is that you can move at a speed that is comfortable for you. Also, you can workout at high intensities for short bursts of time.
5. Safe and Economic to Use
The speed of a cross trainer is determined by the effort you put in. Also, it doesn’t have a motor or other machinery and hence it requires very little electricity. Hence it is economical as well as easy to use.
If you are looking for the right piece of equipment for your home gym, then a cross-trainer is the right way to go.