Somewhere in your local gym, probably behind the rowing machines, bikes, and treadmills, is an awkward looking contraption known as the ‘Cross-Trainer’, also referred to as the ‘Elliptical’. You’ve probably wondered what all the fuss is about, but haven’t felt confident enough to get onboard.
If you haven’t used this machine as part of your fitness routine, take another look because there are few better all round exercise devices. You can get an entire body workout from the Cross-Trainer, because it’s designed to tone various body parts with a fluid, low impact motion. Health benefits include heart healthy, cardiovascular conditioning, bone strengthening, and increased lung capacity.
Often people believe mistakenly that the elliptical is an easy exercise that's inferior to running or rowing, but that’s not the case. The elliptical isolates certain muscles, so that they get a more focused workout. Running impacts on your joints, and bad form with rowing machines can lead to back strains. With the cross trainer you get a less stressful workout session.
When cross training, the combined effect of working your lower body, arms, and shoulders means that many other muscle groups are needed as well. The elliptic movement and handles require effort from the calves, quads, biceps, triceps and even your core. Cross training is a great toning exercise that requires aerobic activity. As you get used to each program you can increase the levels much like the traditional treadmill.