cross trainer

Using Cross Trainers to Lose Weight

Cross trainers are a very popular, low impact machine that can help you burn those calories either in your home or at the gym. See how they can benefit you.

If you're feeling like you want to make a change, get fit and burn some calories, then for your indoor workouts, why not consider a cross trainer as an alternative way to train? When you head to the gym, along with exercise bikes, treadmills, cross trainers are some of the most used pieces of equipment for many.

But have you ever wondered whether the cross trainer is actually the best piece of equipment for you?

What's Unique About A Cross Trainer?

Also known as an elliptical trainer, you get the advantages of an arm and a leg workout, with a low impact exercise that's easy to operate. Unlike a treadmill, your feet remaining planted to the steps and you also have the 'ski pole' arms to work either your triceps or biceps (or a bit of both). The machine provides a similar action to cross country skiing and that's why you see a good calorie burn when using correctly.

So if you are tired of running in the rain, tired of pounding on a treadmill trying to lose weight and want a change, then consider the cross trainer.

Why a Cross Trainer not a Treadmill?

The cross trainer started out in 1995 and was developed to provide a low impact workout. This means is is less stressful on the joints and due to the heels being in contact with the pedals, there is also less muscle stress.

Its beauty also lies with the cross training element - an upper and lower body workout. In fact you can also change whether you want to work your biceps and chest or triceps and back depending on whether you pull or push the arms.

Will it Definitely Help Burn Calories?

It is suggested by the AHA (American Heart Association) that we should be doing around 30 minutes of exercise at least 5 days a week in order to get fit and stay fit. This exercise can be anything from walking to jogging, swimming to cycling. 

So if someone that's 70kg (about 11 stone) works out for around 30 minutes on a cross trainer, you will burn about 355 calories. We can work this out as a percentage of your daily requirements. If you are a 35 year old woman that's 70kg then you will need around 2000 calories a day. So this 355 calories that you have just burned off will represent about 17.5% of your daily intake requirements. Nice!

So make sure that you are using the elliptical in the right way and you should see some dramatic results in just a few short weeks, especially if you are eating sensibly.

Is There a Best Way to Train?

When you're working on the cross trainer you can train in a number of ways. From interval training through to increasing the resistance. Putting a plan in place, rather than just turning up each time and just 'doing it' will definitely help you stay motivated.

When we talk about interval training, what we actually mean is that you have short bursts of near maximum effort (for say 1,2 or 3 minutes at a time) followed by much longer periods of recovery at a slower more steady pace. This will mean your heart rate increases and therefore you will burn more calories, if you stay within your target heart rate zone. As a guide, you are likely to burn twice as many calories in the same amount of time using interval training.

Another great tactic to keep your body guessing (and therefore maximise your training) is to undertake a mixture of intervals and increased resistance. This will challenge your body more and is also a lot more interesting from a training point of view.

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