An elliptical trainer or cross-trainer (also called an X-trainer) is a stationary exercise machine used to simulate stair climbing, walking, or running without causing excessive pressure to the joints, hence decreasing the risk of impact injuries. For this reason, people with some injuries can use an elliptical to stay fit, as the low impact affects them little. Elliptical trainers offer a non-impact cardiovascular workout that can vary from light to high intensity based on the speed of the exercise and the resistance preference set by the user.
- Safely mount the elliptical by placing one or both hands onto the handrail as you step up into foot pedals. If the machine has free-moving arms, there is typically a stationary bar situated at the bottom of control panel that can be used for support.
- Begin the circular rotation of the pedals with the legs. This must be done in order to program the machine to the desired levels. Most machines will require a certain pace in order to continue programming.
- Always keep your feet flat on the foot pedals. You do not have to lift your feet off the pedal at any time during your exercise routine.
- Try not to rotate or swivel your waist to mimic the movement of your feet. A cross trainer will show the best results if you face forward all of the time. Stand as straight as possible and let the machine guide your movements.
- The arm levers are there for a reason. Use the arm levers to provide the maximum amount of resistance as this will improve the quality of your workout.
- Have a varied programme. You can use your cross trainer to provide a full selection of different exercise routines depending on your fitness level as well as the type of exercise you want to do.
- You can vary the programmes so that you do some cardio exercise by using the sprint programme and then do a steadier hill climb setting if you want to tone and shape your body.
- Always warm-up before you exert yourself. Cool down at the end of your workout and consider stretching.
- Dress appropriately for the ambient temperature and make sure you don't have any loose clothing (or longhair) that could become caught in any moving parts.
- Ensure you drink enough water before, during and after exercise.Start your exercise programme slowly and build it up progressively.
- If you are over 35 or not currently taking regular exercise, consult your doctor before beginning an exercise programme.
- Use correct posture when exercising, with shoulders back, head and chin up and tighten your abdominal muscles. Your body should be in an upright position so that your back is straight. Look forward, not down, keep your head up to minimise neck and upper back strain.
- Don't lift your leg while exercising. Make sure your foot is placed flat.
- Don't over exert your self if your have any prior heart condition or you start feeling uneasy while exercising.