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.

One of the main advantages of the cross trainer is that anyone can use it. It doesn’t matter how fit you are. The movement is easy on your joints and you can set your own pace.  As you get more confident you can peddle against a heavier weight, meaning muscles are worked harder and aerobic stamina increases. The journey from beginner to advanced is yours for the taking and people are shedding pounds through cross trainer usage – so get in on the action.

Introduce yourself to the cross trainer on a low level for 5 or 10 minutes. Once you are happy with the movement and your capacity to complete the session, you can increase both the level and time on the machine. 

If you cross train for 30 minutes on a moderate speed you can easily burn 200 calories. Once you feel ok with that keep moving up the levels. Some people move through the levels during the session, increasing it by a couple of levels every few minutes. The Cross-Trainer is flexible and you can set your own regime. Make better use of your 30 minutes by putting more effort in. 

If you can increase the time spent on the Cross-Trainer you are going to have a positive effect on your body. More advanced users of this workout machine can burn well over 1000 calories in just 30 minutes, so it’s easy to see why this form of exercise is getting more popular every day.

Finally, make sure you eat a balanced, healthy diet to fuel your cross training sessions. The more effort you put in, the more calories you will burn, the more your muscles will be tested and the better your overall workout will be.