I use the elliptical or arc trainer only as a warm up to my strength training program for about 10-15 minutes. I personally like to run for my cardio workout and even though I burn fewer calories, it's something that I enjoy and want to do long term.
I love the elliptical and its my goto machine when I have to workout inside. Which is a lot since its the 1st of spring and its snowing here. I usually do an hr a session but sometimes mix it up with treadmill and biking
Fitness Minutes: (83,883)
3,412 3/20/13 8:57 A
100-120 min at the highest level. I was a runner so this is a spin off from my 8 miles
I love my elliptical. It is the only machine I use for workouts, as I would end up on my face then into the wall if I tried to use a treadmill, as my knee loves to give out in the middle of a workout, if I were on a treadmill or out running I would be on my face. But with the elliptical I can quickly shift my weight to my other leg and keep going. I do 48 minutes after Jillian Michaels 30 Day Shred. Before starting Jillian I was up to 90 minutes.
Fitness Minutes: (15,602)
474 3/19/13 7:57 P
I like the elliptical. Proud to say I am up to 8 minutes. New knee doesn't mind. I started with 30 sec. to 1 minute. Took me longer to crawl on then to use it. It has taken over a month to get to that point. I find that it is the only thing that brings my heart rate up to my old level. I can't do most aerobic stuff yet so that is great. My butt hurts so that is good too. Goal is 10 minutes and hope to get there next week. Haven't put any resistance on it yet. Noted that by the time I was up to 5 minutes at a good clip my heart rate was up and that it continued to stay up during other slower exercises for the workout.
I like the elliptical but agree with Sargentmajor that it would not replace walking, steps etc. I also use the bike, row machine, steps, ball, swimming, weights, etc. I do two or three exercises for legs, then upper body, then core, then back around. My personal trainer is guiding me in this adventure. New knee does not like the treadmill yet or even walking in the gym. No impact stuff yet. My focus is flexibility and strength. All in good time.
I wear a heart rate monitor and my elliptical pushes me harder than my treadmill. I do crank up the resistance to get a good, high heart rate and push myself out of my comfort zone. It works my full body in a low impact way which I love & prefer to running. I spend 20-30 minutes on my elliptical at a time.....it's also good for circuits, squat-sprints, and a zillion other types of fitness.
"Elliptical machines are designed to simulate walking, running, and stair climbing without the impact."
Walking, running and stair climbing all engage the quadriceps and hamstrings to pick the leg up to have the foot break contact with the surface then do not have you swing your legs back and forth in an arc using the hip flexors. Please check any text on kinesology to review the bio mechanics of the above activities and the muscles activated and involved.
@SERGEANTMAJOR That's pretty harsh and not entirely accurate. Elliptical machines are designed to simulate walking, running, and stair climbing without the impact. How does that not carry over to using your body in a functional manner? Also, you have to add resistance to overcome momentum. If you're doing it right, you are doing work. The same goes for running on a treadmill - you have to add a little bit of incline so that the belt isn't propelling you. Regardless of your opinion of this equipment, it is still cardio exercise.
I use the elliptical for about 30 minutes after strength training. If I'm not strength training, I try to go for at least 45 minutes.
Edited by: STEPH057 at: 3/19/2013 (12:07)
Fitness Minutes: (6,555)
2,198 3/19/13 12:05 P
I'd vote yes because an elliptical forces you into a stride pattern that is not necessarily your own. For example, how many elliptical models out there let you adjust the stride length and distance between the pedals. While your stride does shorten while on a treadmill, at least your legs and feet are moving in their own relatively natural tracks.
As for the original question, if I just need a quick warmup before ST, I'll hit the rowing machine for 5 mins.
Never, it is a bio mechanical aberration with no carryover application to any way you use your body in a functional manner. The theoretical amount of work you do is aided by physics, specifically Newton's First Law of Motion. Once the arcs are established they will continue to move due to their mass and the nature of the motion of a pendulum.
Fitness Minutes: (102,440)
13,144 3/19/13 8:17 A
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