How to Burn More Calories with an Elliptical Trainer
We are all familiar with the benefit of a good cardio workout. But over time, you will begin to notice the negative effect that high-impact activities such as running can have on your body, which is why you might want to consider an alternative in the shape of an elliptical trainer.
Burning calories, building up endurance and strength are all possible to achieve by finding a good balance of parameters such as incline and resistance. Another problem with cardio exercises is that people don’t perform them properly and therefore reduce the positive effect they have. In order to maximize the efficiency of your cardio workout, have a look at a few useful tips that will make your workout routine much more effective.
Increase Resistance for Extra Burn
Find the right incline and resistance to raise the intensity of your workout. You can target a specific muscle group or increase the number of calories burned by adjusting the incline. To make sure you are not using momentum to perform the routine, you should increase the resistance level, which also allows for more calories to be burned and increased body strength.
Customize the settings to your size. When choosing the incline and resistance, you should also factor in your height. For instance, if you adjust the incline to its highest and you happen to be short, you will not be able to perform the exercise properly. You will still be able to do it by using momentum, but that will reduce the number of calories burned.
When you are choosing an incline, remember that the driving force for the foot pedals should be your effort instead of the momentum of your weight. If you need to shift your entire weight from one side of your body to another during a single cycle of the foot pedals, or can’t keep your knees slightly bent, you’ve chosen too high of an incline and you need to reduce it.
Use Interval Training on the Elliptical
Introducing high intensity intervals into your elliptical trainer workout can do wonders for the number of calories you burn during your exercise routine and it can temporarily boost your metabolism, as well. Once you raise your exertion rate to a level that is extremely difficult to keep up over a long period time, your body will take slightly longer to return to its normal expenditure rate.
You can do this by working out for 2 minutes at the exertion rate of 5-6 out of 10, followed by 1 minute at the exertion rate 8-9. If you keep this up for 20 to 40 minutes, you will burn more calories when to compared to exercising at a steady rate. Interval training is a great way to get a high intensity workout when time is short.
Stay focused. Working out can be become boring and monotonous but elliptical trainers might just be the most interesting way to workout. On the other hand, you can easily lose focus, since it allows you to watch television or read a book while you work out. If that’s the case, perhaps you should resort to listening to music, which will keep you motivated and entertained, but not to such an extent that you lose focus.
Full Body Workout
Find an elliptical trainer that engages your upper body. Some models have only static handlebars which to me is a total waste of resources. By exercising your upper body at the same time as your lower body you will engage more muscles which results in a higher energy expenditure rate. If you have an elliptical with static bars, try to shift the focus of the exercise to your core muscles by letting go of the support bars. If you don’t feel stable enough to let go of them completely, rely on them lightly at first, until you improve your balance. Once you feel comfortable enough, move your arms along with your body, just as you would do when running. I always recommend buying a machine with moving handlebars to maximize your workout – getting the best cardio workout you can!
Set Your Goals
Before each workout set a target to aim for. Mix it up to keep things interesting varying between time, heart rate, distance or calories. Once you’ve set a specific number for one of these parameters, you are more likely to work harder to achieve them. Having a goal will push you to do more, as opposed to working without one. For instance, if you choose a distance goal for a 30-minute workout routine, and you happen to fall behind, you’re going to have to put in additional effort to make it.
Elliptical machines offer a really unique form of cardio exercise which is fantastic for burning calories. Everyone has different goals for their workout routine – from just wanting some gentle exercise to pro athlete levels. Increasing your calorie burn rate means increasing intensity and / or the time spent on the machine.
The more expensive ellipticals tend to have more resistance levels and automatic incline adjustment, making them perfect for more custom workouts. If you want to have more flexibility and control you will need to shop for a high quality machine.
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