Elliptical trainers and exercise bikes are 2 great ways to keep fit. And you don’t have to go to the gym because they are easily used at home.
Elliptical trainers provide tremendous benefits to users, including:
- Weight Bearing Exercises – Fitness experts agree that a weight-bearing workout is the best way to improve conditioning, increase bone density, strengthen muscles, and burn calories efficiently.
- Low-Impact Workout – Despite providing a good weight-bearing workout, an elliptical cross training machine is very low impact. This means less stress on your joints during cross training exercises because your feet never leave the pedals and therefore do not experience high impacts.
- Cardiovascular Workouts – An elliptical machine or cross trainer provides an excellent cardiovascular workout, a key part of overall fitness. Whether you want to lose weight, firm up your body, or a combination of both, incorporating cardiovascular exercise into your workout routine is critical to your long-term success.
Anyone who has ever gone through the cycle of starting and stopping an exercise routine several times will tell you that one key to sticking with your routine is to find something that gives you maximum results in the shortest amount of time. Elliptical cross training fits the bill perfectly. Most people live busy lives and do not have several hours per day to devote to total body exercise, so an elliptical machine lets them get in a good workout in a minimal amount of time.
Motivation to exercise is a big issue for many people, but most elliptical machine users will tell you that they have an easier time staying motivated to get on their machine. This is because you can vary your workout tremendously, depending on the amount of intensity you want, and also do other things like read or watch TV while on your elliptical machine. This helps reduce boredom and increase the likelihood that you will use your elliptical for low-impact cross training regularly.
Proper Technique and Motion
Any exercise or fitness equipment can cause injury or discomfort when used improperly, and elliptical cross training machines are no exception. They are among the easiest pieces of equipment to use, but still require you to use proper techniques for maximum safety and fitness benefit.
Here are a few key tips to remember:
- Adjustment – Make sure the elliptical machine is adjusted properly to your size and range of motion. For most people, a step length of 18 to 24 inches is recommended to start.
- Intensity – Familiarize yourself with how to change the intensity of your elliptical cross training. You may be able to increase resistance, increase the incline, or a combination of both. Remember that it is better to exercise at a lower intensity until you have built up the strength and stamina to a more intense regimen.
- Posture – Always maintain an upright posture while on an elliptical workout machine or cross trainer. Keep your shoulders back, chin up, back straight, and abdominals tight. Do not lean forward over the balance bar or handles; instead, make sure your body weight is being carried by your lower body throughout the exercise.
Exercise bikes are a hreat choice if you are looking to burn some extra calories and improve your fitness within the comfort of your own home. They get your heart pumping, they place no pressure on your joints when you cycle and they’re also a surprisingly good way to tone and strengthen your legs.
Here are some reasons why you should consider adding an exercise bike to your home workout collection.
- Lower Back Support – One of the best things about exercise bikes is that they’re the only cardio machine available that provide lower back support. Elliptical machines, steppers and treadmills all require you to stand up and if you have lower back problems, exercising on them can be difficult or even impossible. Rowing machines are slightly different and allow you to sit down but don’t provide you with any lower back support while you are sitting, so can still be very uncomfortable. Therefore, if you have a lower back problem that prevent you from using most traditional cardio machines, a recumbent exercise bike may be exactly what you need. The unique seat design on recumbent exercise bikes gives full support to your lower back and keeps it straight at all times while the pedals allow you to get an intensive workout without placing any stress or strain on your lower back.
- Multi-Functional Workout – Another great thing about exercise bikes is that they allow you to build up your leg muscles or enjoy a lung busting cardio workout using just the one piece of equipment. If you want to strengthen and tone your legs, you simply crank up the resistance as high as you can manage and then cycle away. Alternatively, if you want to increase your cardiovascular fitness, you can use a lower resistance setting and focus on speed instead of power. With the exception of steppers, no other home cardio machines allow you to strengthen and tone your legs like this while also boosting your cardiovascular fitness. This means if you’re training for a sport that requires strong, powerful legs and a high level of cardiovascular fitness (such as ice hockey or soccer), exercise bikes are an excellent choice that allow you get the most out of your workout sessions.
- Exercise Bikes are Compact – In addition to the benefits listed above, exercise bikes are also a lot smaller than treadmills and elliptical machines, so if you don’t have much spare room in your home, they’re definitely a cardio machine you should consider purchasing. On average, exercise bikes are around 10 inches shorter in length than treadmills and elliptical machines, so they take up a lot less floor space. In addition to this, many of the exercise bikes available for sale can be folded when not in use to save even more space. Once folded, you can neatly pack them away in a closet or the corner of the room, so that they don’t clutter up your home.
- Zero Impact Cardio – Exercise bikes aren’t just a good choice if you’ve got lower back problems. They’re also great if you have joint problems. Unlike running on a treadmill which can aggravate your ankles, hips and knees with the impact of each step, cycling on an exercise bike is a smooth, fluid, no impact motion which prevents joint pain and allows you to have an effective cardio workout, even if you’re joints aren’t 100%.
- Low Cost – If you’ve not got much money to spend on a home cardio machine, exercise bikes are something you should definitely check out. Most exercise bikes cost less than $500 and there are very few that cost more than $1,000. When you compare this to treadmills which generally cost $500+, this is quite a big saving and if money’s tight, exercise bikes are definitely one of the more affordable cardio machines on the market.
- Weather Proof – Yet another benefit of purchasing an exercise bike is that it allows you to carry on cycling and keep your fitness sharp all year long. Even if the roads are iced up outside and it’s too dangerous to go outdoor cycling, you can use an exercise bike to maintain your fitness levels and avoid the hazardous outdoor conditions until the weather improves.
If you think an exercise bike is the best cardio machine for you, have a look at the top sellers at Amazon listed below: