The elliptical machine is a popular choice for people who want to get an inclusive workout out of their fitness equipment. This is because this equipment model is easy to use and has a certain ease of access, but also because the device works out the body in a complete way while utilizing a variety of engaged muscle groups to do so.
The elliptical machine uses the way that is engineered to work out the user body in tandem with the forces of inertia and movement and elasticity, combining all of these principles into something greater than the sum of its parts that can provide the person with a good set of physical benefits. The engineering is manifest in every movement that the user makes, allowing for any moving part of the body to receive a good workout, whether the benefit is an active one or a passive one.
The engineering bears close examination in order to understand how the user’s body will receive a benefit while they are utilizing the equipment in their workout sessions. Breaking it down to a smaller level that examines the individual functions of the equipment can prove to be helpful in this situation.
The user places their feet into a pair of foot grips that resemble the natural stride that they would adopt when walking. These grips are attached to a pair of lateral sway bars that rotate around in front of the person, which are primarily powered by the legs of the participant.
The participant pushes with their legs and adopts a gait that resembles a cross between pedaling a bike and the movement involved in powering a ski machine. This floating walk helps the person simulate the natural movement of their legs in a walking or running scenario, and rotates around back into place as they go.
This rotating motion is something that is very important to the process, for a couple of reasons. Firstly, the rotations remove any harmful jolts or strains to the joints of their limbs that the user may encounter if they were to be moving around in the real world.
This eliminates the risk of injury. This also allows the person engaged in the activity to push themselves as hard as they wish.
Next, the rotations of the foot bars also create a certain inertia which helps push the bars back to their original state after every movement that is undergone. This aspect vastly helps in creating many successful repetitions that are easy for anyone to initiate and finish.
Attached to the front of these lateral sway bars is a pair of bars that rise from the front of the foot support, ending roughly at the user’s chest level. These are topped with handlebars, and can be gripped as the session is undergone for balance and support.
These handles move forwards and backwards with the motion that the legs are providing to the elliptical machine. If the user desires, they can manually push and pull these bars back and forth toward themselves, which removes some of the strain that the legs are encountering and transfers it back to the arms.
Whether or not the participant elects to manually push the handles of the machine around, they will still receive a benefit from the workout. This is because of the sheer amount of repetitions that the arms will be engaged in, which will build them regardless of whether the intent is to do so.
The core and abdominals of the participant are also physically engaged in this setting, again because of the repetitions. Both muscle groups are tightened and tested because of the twisting movements of the body and the way that they are engaged whenever they need to draw some of the strain and impact away from other affected muscle groups.
The process by which the elliptical machine works out the user is one that utilizes the engineering of the equipment to use naturalistic processes to aid and improve the user. The variety of muscle groups that are exercised and worked in tandem with each other provide supplementary cross training support, and allow passive benefits to different areas that are not even being targeted by the main focus of the directive.
Jack Landry is a personal trainer and has authored hundreds of articles relating to physical training and elliptical machine. He has been a health expert and physical trainer for over 15 years.
Jack R. Landry