Getting an elliptical is the first important step on your road to fitness. The second is learning how to use it properly.
When you’re looking at other people using these machines at the gym, the motions seem relatively natural. And yes, ellipticals are fairly intuitive compared to other gym equipment.
But newbies can make mistakes.
That’s why this article discusses how to use a cross trainer for beginners, analysing specific newbie problems/challenges.
Keep reading below!
How to Use a Cross Trainer
To use the cross trainer properly, follow the steps below:
1. Climb on the Elliptical Carefully and Slowly.
Otherwise, the pedals can move too much, and you can lose your balance. Hold on to the handlebars tightly to avoid falling off the machine.
2. Turn on the Machine.
If you don’t have a button for that, take a few steps on the pedals to start the elliptical automatically.
3. Start with a Standard, Easy Workout.
Keep the same pace while you’re pedalling, and remember that when one arm goes in front, the opposite foot is in the back.
4. Strive to Maintain a Correct Posture.
Keep a slight bend in your knees and your shoulders down. If you notice yourself slipping back to an incorrect form, correct your posture immediately.
Don’t despair, though. It’s normal to need some practice before the proper form feels natural.
5. Spice up Your Training.
Once you feel more confident, increase your elliptical’s resistance to work out your muscles better. Also, try to pedal backwards to exercise your hamstrings and glutes harder.
Warning: This motion is tougher on the knees. If you have a preexisting injury or chronic pain in this area, keep pedalling forward.
You can also increase the elliptical’s speed and incline if you’ve bought a rear-drive unit.
Consider structuring it on alternating high and low-impact intervals to make the most of your workout. These HIIT routines ensure maximum calorie burn before and after your workout, unlike steady-state cardio that can slow down your metabolism.
How to Make the Most of Your Elliptical
If you’re a beginner, you have to find out how to use the cross trainer efficiently. Your goal is to work smarter, not longer. So, follow the tips below:
- Lean back on your heels and push your body weight through them instead of your toes. That gives your glutes a more intense workout so that you can get a bigger bum.
- Sit up straight and contract your core. As a result, you will gain more definition in your abs.
- Vary your workouts. Doing the same exercise every day gets you into a weight loss plateau. More dangerously, you can strain your muscles and injure yourself.
- Take a few minutes to add the stats required by your elliptical, such as your weight and age. That way, you’ll get more accurate calorie readings.
- A beginner workout should be 4-6 on the perceived exertion scale. So, try not to get your heart rate over 120-130 bpm to begin with and limit your first few workouts to 20 or 30 minutes, including your warm-up and cool-down.
Using an elliptical is much easier than using other fitness machines. By comparison, rowers are more complicated because you’ll have to do your movements in a precise order and hold specific postures throughout your routine.
However, not all cross trainers are created equal.
As a result, some ellipticals are more challenging to use than others. For example, beginners may prefer more workout options and programs, accessible settings, and quick adjustments.
As a beginner, you don’t know what suits you and you need your machine to guide you.
So, if you’re thinking of getting an elliptical that’s great for beginners, read this article. We discuss several cross trainers that suit different fitness levels, teaching you how to interpret their features through the lens of your needs.