How to use a cross trainer properly

How to use a cross trainer properly

elliptical cross trainer elliptical trainer elliptical machine

 We found more and more people begin to discuss the cross trainer (elliptical trainer, or elliptical machine), it got a lot of sports fans love apparently. Usually there is cross trainer in the gym.

So what is cross trainer? How to use a cross trainer properly? Next we will answer the questions about the cross trainer in details.

Cross trainer movement patterns similar to cross-country skiing, so the cross trainer are also known as the “elliptical cross trainer”. Although the cross trainer was introduced only a short time ago, it developed rapidly due to its popularity. Unfortunately, so far, there is not much information about the physiological response to this new exercise tool in the professional books related to exercise physiology.

1. Simple knowledge about cross trainer

I. The resistance source of cross trainer

Generally speaking, the core of the cross trainer is composed of a flywheel and a magnet. Adjust the resistance by changing the distance between the magnet and the flywheel. The resistance depends on the strength and the number of magnets, not on the size of the flywheel or the level of resistance. The more components of the magnet, the greater the magnet’s suction, and the greater the resistance.

II. Type of cross trainer

Cross trainer can be divided into front drive elliptical trainer and rear drive elliptical trainer, which is generally based on the location of the flywheel. The flywheel of the front-wheel drive is at the front of the machine, and the flywheel of the rear-wheel drive is at the back.

III. What are the differences between the front drive type and the rear drive type?

  1. Common rear drive elliptical trainer: foot pedals are on both sides of the machine. The width of the pedal is too large, and the legs are not vertical when practicing. The pace is small too, it is hard to take the first step.
  2. Commercial rear drive elliptical trainer: there are fewer nodes, no track, and big inertia. In the case of no resistance, it is very easy to step, but it takes a long time to exercise to be effective.
  3. Front drive elliptical trainer: there are more nodes, with a resistance bonus. Even if you do not add any resistance, it is easier than the rear drive elliptical trainer to step up, the effect of exercise is much better.

IV. Pace adjustment principle

Track length and pedal adjustment can not change the pace. The pace distance is adjusted by the crank of the rotary table of the cross trainer: the longer the length of the crank, the larger the pace distance; The shorter the crank, the shorter the pace. Use a simple formula to express:

  • Pace = crank length *2.
elliptical cross trainer elliptical trainer elliptical machine

2. Benefits of cross trainer

The biggest feature of the cross trainer is that when you exercise with it, there is no force point on the knee, which means that the cross trainer will do little damage to the user’s knee. Using cross trainer to exercise, not only can alleviate the pain of cervical spondylosis, periarthritis and back pain, but also avoid the impact of running, and protect the joints better. Cross trainer stimulates sciatic nerve, enhance the endurance of core muscle and strength, produce stimulation to hip, ham, waist and abdomen, and achieve the effect of weight loss.

In a word, the cross trainer can let you exercise at home move gracefully. If you don’t want intensity and you want full body movement, the cross trainer is for you.

Note that both the treadmill and elliptical cross trainer are full-body exercises, so it doesn’t matter which is better. In theory, the treadmill is a little more intense in unit time. Of course, the elliptical cross trainer can be just the same effective as treadmill if you increase the resistance. If you want to lose weight quickly, I suggest you to choose a treadmill. But if you want to get a full body workout and lose weight easily, I recommend the elliptical cross trainer.

As an instrument that can effectively enhance cardiopulmonary function, the elliptical cross trainer has been loved by many amateurs and professionals. The machine’s slope design, resistance regulation, programmed patterns and ability to work lower-limb muscles make it a common exercise device in professional gyms and families. Although different types of elliptical cross trainer vary in quality and comfort, there is no doubt that the machine is a good aerobic training tool for exercisers.

3. Use method and notice of cross trainer

Many people take the elliptical cross trainer home and after only a few uses, they start complaining of leg pain, discomfort, high resistance, hard to keep going on, etc. This will affects individual fitness plans seriously.

In fact, 99% of the beginners or novice users do not know how to use the elliptical cross trainer. If you don’t know how to use it, you’re bound to encounter some worries I mentioned above. So how exactly should you use the elliptical cross trainer? Now we will give you a detailed analysis to make you fall in love with the elliptical cross trainer!

  • Warm up

    Many people do not warm up before using the cross trainer, which is very bad. Warm up before exercise is very necessary, it is recommended to warm up for 3-5 minutes. The warm-up sends a signal to the body: I'm going to start working out! Warm up to wake up the muscles in your body, which is a good way to avoid all kinds of injuries during exercise. Warm up is not limited to one form, such as jumping and stretching training can be used to warm up.

  • Using

    Check before use: such as whether the machine is placed smoothly, whether there is derailment and so on. Get up from the lower side of the machine and start exercising. For beginners, I recommend not using the built-in program. Instead, start with the basic manual mode and adjust the resistance to make it easier to work out.

  • Posture

    When you step on the pedal, your toe had better press against the most front end of the pedal, prevent slipping in the exercise. Step on the pedal with both feet in the same position. Put your hands on the handlebars, and look ahead with your body upright to the pedal. Remember not to bend over, not to tilt from side to side, and don't lift your heels when exercising.

Basic movement

The exercise is simply divided into four words: “push, pull, tread and wiggle”. The elliptical cross trainer is a whole-body exercise tool. These words can be said to completely contain the whole movement process. Simply put, the upper extremity is “push, pull”, the waist is “wiggle“, and the lower extremity is “tread”.

“Push and pull” : when you’re doing exercise, one of your arm is pushing forward and the other is pulling back. This exercise can train arm, pecs and shoulder, it can still exercise the back muscle effectively, achieve the purpose that gives upper body to lose weight. At the same time, this can also avoid excessive use of the strength of the legs, keep the training balanced.

elliptical cross trainer elliptical trainer elliptical machine

“Tread” : what we say here “tread”, is not use foot to send force, use thigh to send force, drive crus with thigh. That is to say, use your thighs to step on instead of your feet. So what does the foot do? In a word: don’t let your feet off the pedal. Once the foot is off the pedal, you’ll be on tiptoe, which can cause damage over a long period.

elliptical cross trainer elliptical trainer elliptical machine

“Wiggle”: so which part of your body should you wiggle? Of course is waist and butt! We can refer to the picture below. Like dancing on an elliptical cross trainer, wiggle your waist as the elliptical cross trainer moves. Does the muscles in your butt contracting? Is the fat in the waist and abdomen burning? The good thing about wiggling like this is that it’s easier for your feet to press the pedals and not lift your heels.

elliptical cross trainer elliptical trainer elliptical machine
  • Resistance selection

    If you are a newbie, the front drive elliptical trainer is recommended to choose no resistance or 1-2 level. Step by step, stick to three to five days, and then slowly increase resistance. For the large resistance elliptical trainer, if you can stick to the highest level of resistance, then you can adapt to the elliptical trainer. Pay attention to not pursue large resistance deliberately, you should choose the right resistance. If you get too much resistance, you'll get tired and probably give up at last.

  • Duration of exercise

    There are always people think that the longer you practice, the more fat you'll burn. There is no scientific basis for this claim. Overtraining is not only ineffective, but also causes many side effects to the body. I recommend starting from the first week and training 3-4 times a week for about 20 minutes. After you're acclimated, practice at least five times a week for 40 minutes to an hour.

  • Speed

    Don't go too fast. The training of elliptical cross trainer is aerobic exercise, too fast speed is easy to become anaerobic exercise, it's unable to achieve the purpose of burning fat. And too fast, will also cause slip, knee and ankle wear and other problems. Experts recommend keeping the elliptical trainer exercising at about 30-40 laps per minute.

  • Push the boundaries

    This threshold appears three to five minutes after the start of the exercise. For the starter, this period is very difficult to get through, it is easy to give up. So when we are at exercise, we have to break through this boundary, stick to it, and you will find that the exercise will be very smooth after you get through it.

  • After the exercise

    Many people go straight to the shower or take a break after training. This may cause some problems, and here is my advice. After the workout, you can do some stretch for a minute, which will help ease the pain of Lactic acid accumulation and allow your body to relax further.

The consequence of incorrect posture

  • Knee and ankle pain.
  • Weight loss has no effect, you’ve only done useless work.
  • You may feel very uncomfortable.
  • Long-term incorrect posture will cause sports injuries.

Teaching video

To make sure that you can use the elliptical cross trainer correctly, we found a lot of teaching videos on YouTube. The tutorials in the video may have some differences from the ones in this article, please judge it according to your own situation.

4. Conclusion

If you ask me whether the elliptical cross trainer works or not, my answer is: “of course it does!” Though elliptical cross trainer is good equipment for weight loss, its exercise intensity is not very high, so you need to stick to a period to see the results, you need to stick to it!

When you’re at exercise, you need to maintain the correct posture; After exercise, you need to take nutrition and get enough sleep. If you feel uncomfortable during exercise, then you should stop practicing immediately and consult your doctor.

Let’s look at the best-seller elliptical cross trainer on Amazon now! This machine is not so hard to assemble by yourself and your family, and it has a detailed instruction, even a 46yr old lady can do it! The delivery is quick as well. The most amazing thing is that it can connect with your phone very easy! It has almost everything you can imagine, a 3-speed fan, Phone and iPad holder with USB port, speaker, etc.

It will be a good choice if you’re really considered buying an elliptical cross trainer


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