If you ever went to the gym you might have wondered what this spaceship style workout machine is called. Well let me tell you, it’s called the elliptical trainer.
What is the elliptical trainer?
The elliptical trainer, also called the elliptical machine or cross trainer, is a stationary workout machine on which you can stand on two small pedals. You have to move the pedals back and forward in order to move.
The modern ellipticals all have a display on which you can adjust a lot of things. You can move at your own pace or select one of the workouts. There are usually a lot of workouts you can choose from. The display also shows you a variety of different metrics, like; calories burned, current pace, elapsed time etc.
The elliptical trainer is a hugely popular home cardio machine. It’s the second largest category of cardio equipment for home use.
The successs of the machine is mainly caused by the fact that it’s a very effective low-impact workout. During a training on the elliptical you use your whole body. For example, if you would compare this to a stationary bike on which you mainly use your lower body the elliptical is much more effective.
The inventor of the elliptical trainer is called ‘Larry Miller’. He invented the machine to help his daughter who was a high school tennis player. He wanted to help her to improve her fitness level in a way that wouldn’t put a lot of pressure on her joints.
That’s why he made a low-impact workout ‘machine’ from some basic materials. As you might have guessed, it didn’t look like the machine you and I know as an elliptical. But it certainly did do the job.
The machine Larry Miller had invented caught interest by a company called ‘Precor’. They were interested by the idea of a low-impact workout machine. In order to prove if this is something that would benefit people in a way Precor thought it would, they worked with Dr. Barry bates and the University of Oregon.
The outcome of the research proved that the assumptions were correct. So Precor started to build their first model. The first model was called the ‘EFX 544’ (Elliptical Fitness Crosstrainer). It was the first exercise machine which allowed the foot to move from your heel to your toe.
That’s how the elliptical trainer like we know it nowadays was invented.
Who can benefit from using the elliptical
The real beauty of the machine is that a lot of people can benefit from it. Beginners, people who try to recover and fitness professionals can all benefit from using the machine.
- Beginners can benefit from it by building up their condition and strength. Due to the fact that the machine has such a low impact it’s perfect for people who have just started their fitness journey. You can just go at your own pace and build it up from there.
- People who try to recover from an injury can benefit from the machine as well. It has a much lower impact on your bones and joints then for example running.
- Fitness professionals can also benefit from the elliptical by working out on the machine. They can for example use the elliptical machine at a much higher intensity or to recover from their normal training routine. Using the machine is usually a good addition to their normal workout routine.
If you are recovering or suffer from a medical condition it’s very important to check with your healthcare provider before doing any type of exercise.