Weak knees and sports injuries are just a few of the reasons why you should learn how to work out on an elliptical machine. Having a physical therapist or trainer demonstrate the benefits of working out on an elliptical machine is beneficial to adding variety to your workout regimen. Injuries notwithstanding, there are a number of reasons why you might find yourself foregoing your usual cardiac training in favor of a workout on an elliptical machine. It offers a brisk cardiac session that works both the upper and lower body, with less impact than traditional treadmills. Although it may seem a simple matter of jumping on and working the pedals, there is a correct form to be learned in order to correctly work out on an elliptical machine.
To work out on an elliptical machine, you will need:
- Athletic shoes
- Workout attire
- An elliptical machine
- Wear the correct clothing. When preparing to work out, dress appropriately by wearing socks, well-laced athletic shoes and, if wearing sweats, choose ones that fit and are not so long as to hinder free movement.
- Step up on the platform pedals and set your workout. Place your feet firmly on each of the pedals. Set the type and duration of workout that you wish to perform and begin a forward motion of your feet, gaining momentum as you go.
- Keep your shoulders back and look forward. It's important to maintain good posture while working the pedals. Pull your shoulders back to pull yourself straight, tighten your stomach and look straight ahead.
- Grip the poles firmly. Most elliptical machines have some form of handlebars or poles to give your upper body a workout as you exercise using the elliptical machine. Grip both poles, one in each hand, firmly and move steadily in rhythm with the movement of your feet.
- Keep your movements smooth. Don't making jarring movements when going in either a backward or forward motion with the foot pedals. Instead, make smooth movements while keeping your body balanced to give your core muscles a workout and to prevent injury.
- Keep your heels down. When doing a workout on an elliptical machine, decrease the chance of straining your knees by keeping heel lift to a minimum.
Before learning how to work out on an elliptical machine for the first time after an injury, contact your physician to ensure that it is safe to do so. Add variety to your elliptical routine by moving the pedals in a backward motion.