Elliptical machines are popular choices due to their ease on joints. If you’re following a weight loss plan, an elliptical workout can help you burn calories while protecting your body from high impact stress. But unfortunately, a lot of people are using elliptical machines incorrectly, which minimizes their effectiveness and actually increases the risk of injury. Here’s what you need to know about elliptical workouts, so that you can perform this exercise safely and correctly.
Posture is everything. Resist the urge to lean forward or lean on the machine as you exercise. Yes, the temptation is normal but slouching forward will disrupt your posture and cause your muscles and joints to work incorrectly. Stand up straight and place the majority of your weight on your feet, holding your shoulders back and down. Check in on your shoulder position periodically to ensure that you’re not raising and overworking them.
Adjust your resistance. Start off your workout slowly, and then gradually increase the resistance of the machine. You should be breathing hard enough that it would feel difficult to hold a conversation, but not so overworked that you feel lightheaded.
Change your speed and direction at intervals. Challenging your muscles to work harder will increase your calorie burn, and also keep your workouts more interesting.
Pay attention. Sorry, but looking at your phone throughout the workout will take attention away from posture and breath. Avoid distractions and focus on your workout.
Focus on how you feel. After a workout, you should feel exhilirated, perhaps a bit tired, and proud of your progress. Don’t worry too much about the calorie burn displayed by the machine (which is often inaccurate). Over time, you will notice that your energy levels increase and your workouts feel more comfortable. These are the most important results! And yes, you will notice success with your weight loss plan as well.
If you need any assistance with your exercise regimen or weight loss plan, call our office to schedule an appointment. We will answer your questions and offer the support you need at this time.