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  • Sheehy Ankle & Foot Center

Elliptical Machines

Updated: Oct 4, 2023

Considering adding elliptical exercises to your workout regimen? Learn more below.

Man workout out on elliptical machine.

Elliptical machines, also known as cross-trainer machines, are a type of exercise equipment that can be found in many gyms. Elliptical machines provide a full-body cardio workout, but unlike treadmills, they are considered lower in impact.


What are elliptical machines?


Elliptical machines are exercise equipment that come with foot pedals and swing handles. They were designed to imitate the movement of the human body while climbing steps or jogging. Power comes from either a magnetic resistance system or a flywheel motor, similar to some exercise bikes.


Many ellipticals come with a dashboard to adjust inputs such as resistance level, speed, and incline. Furthermore, they may even be able to track performance statistics such as heart rate, stride, calories burned, and distance traveled.

Fit woman working out on elliptical machine.

Advantages and disadvantages of ellipticals


An obvious advantage of elliptical machines is their low impact. Compared to other cardio machines such as treadmills and activities such as running and jogging, ellipticals place less stress on your joints. This allows you to work out even while recovering from an injury.


Ellipticals also allow you to work out both your upper and lower body. If you have the right form, your weight tends to be evenly distributed throughout the arms, legs, chest, back, and core muscles.


Moreover, ellipticals offer many of the benefits of other cardio machines, such as burning calories, improving your stamina, and being highly customizable according to your fitness level.

However, one disadvantage of elliptical machines is their relatively complex or unnatural movement. Many sports involve running, and athletes training for such sports may benefit more from treadmills.


Should you get an elliptical machine?


If you wish to exercise at home and are looking for a cardio machine, ellipticals are not usually cheap. However, they provide the convenience of indoor training, just like exercise bikes or rowing machines. Otherwise, consider joining a gym near you, where you can choose between various cardio machines.


If you are recovering from a foot or leg injury and wish to have a customized fitness plan, visit us soon!

Multiple people working out on a group of elliptical machines in the gym.

Article provided by LRW Media. Images provided by Pexels/ Shotpot, Jonathan Borba and Andrea Piacquadio, and Pixabay/ janeb13.

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