What Is an Elliptical Cross Trainer? Your Complete Guide to Exercising Properly

Sirena V
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What is an elliptical cross trainer? While this fitness machine may seem like one of the most commonly found pieces of equipment in gyms around the world, the question still begs to be answered. To ensure that you know everything that you deserve to know, we have put together this complete guide to help answer all of your elliptical related questions!

what is an elliptical cross trainer

What Is an Elliptical Cross Trainer?

The elliptical cross trainer, sometimes referred to as just “elliptical” or “cross trainer” is one of the many stationary exercise machines that take up much of the fitness world.

These machines give users the opportunity to exercise in various ways. You’re able to climb, walk, or run with this equipment. Another benefit on most elliptical cross trainers is the ability to work out your upper and lower body with moving upper body components.

What Are The Benefits Of An Elliptical Cross Trainer?

Like all pieces of exercise equipment, the elliptical cross trainer comes with plenty of benefits for your health and fitness journey!

The first and most important benefit of the cross trainer is that it’s easy to learn how to use. There is not a huge learning curve to it, as you just need to nail the posture and get to moving. Keep your back straight, your shoulders back, and hold your head high. You’ll be using it perfectly in no time!

Still not nailing the posture? Take a look at the video below to see a proper form in action! Take specific note of the positioning of the shoulders and lengthening of the torso.

Weight loss is a primary goal of many people who wonder “what is an elliptical cross trainer?” Fortunately, it delivers!

The elliptical cross trainer helps you burn calories with ease. In fact, you can burn up to 400 calories after only 30 minutes of use. This will, of course, depend on your speed, resistance settings, and your own body weight.

Burning calories is one of the easiest ways to calculate the ability to lose weight through exercise. Though, readers will be pleased to know that this machine also helps burn body fat, which in turn can impact weight loss. Your muscles will tone up quicker, especially after some intense workouts on the machine.

Are you curious about the specific body parts that are exercised during the use of an elliptical? The list is pretty long, as this machine works your upper body, lower body, and core. Some of the various muscles that will be exercised include:

  • The glutes
  • The hamstrings
  • The quads
  • The chest
  • The back
  • The biceps
  • The triceps
  • Core muscles

An additional benefit of the elliptical machine is that it can help boost your stamina. Since it is an aerobic exercise, you’ll be exercising your heart and lungs. They’ll be working harder, and therefore strengthening them. Your stamina and endurance levels will thank you later!

Finally, your balance may be improved by using this machine! Try exercising without using the upper body components to boost your balance skills. You’ll help engage your core and other muscles involved in balance. If this is your first time trying to balance on the elliptical, make sure that you start at a slower pace and with less resistance as you get used to the movements.

Elliptical Use For Your Joints and Recovery

Now that we know more about what is an elliptical cross trainer, we can explore even more benefits. Anybody can benefit from an elliptical. No matter where you’re at on your fitness journey, whether it’s at the beginning or years deep into a heavy workout regime, you’ll find some perks.

Despite being for everybody, there are some people who can benefit even more from elliptical use! Namely, those with joint problems and those recovering from an injury.

Since the user is stationary and suspended, this is considered a low impact exercise. There will be minimal stress placed on the joints, especially at lighter intensities. If you have bad knees or bad joints in other parts that are usually sore from other exercises, trying the elliptical might just change your life!

The elliptical is significantly safer for those with joint injuries compared to the treadmill, another popular fitness machine.

Due to this machine’s status as a low impact exercise, it’s also beneficial for people recovering from injuries. It is typically safe to use after an injury (though, you may want to consult with your doctor first.) Continuing to work out while recovering can help speed up the recovery process and keep you in shape while you stay away from other workouts.

How Long to Use an Elliptical

So, you may be wondering by this point whether you need to spend all day every day on the elliptical in order to gain all of these amazing benefits! Luckily for all of us, the answer is no.

It is recommended for most adults to spend 150 to 300 minutes per week exercising at a moderate pace. If your using the elliptical as your sole piece of fitness, you could spend 30 minutes on the elliptical five days per week.

If you don’t want to spend so much time exercising, you can also do the recommended 75-150 minutes of more intense exercise! This would mean about four days of using the elliptical for 20 minutes each time.

What is an elliptical cross trainer? One thing is that it’s also a fabulous activity to use in addition to other exercises. Combining it with strength training is especially beneficial, as you’re combining different types of exercise.


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Have we finally answered the all-too-important question of “what is an elliptical cross trainer”? In short, these are wonderful fitness machines that let you mimic walking, running, and climbing. They can help you lose weight, burn fat, and build muscle. So, what they really are is a machine that you should start using right away!

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