The Benefits Of Using The Elliptical
If you find yourself often waiting in line at the gym to use an elliptical machine, you are not alone.
It is among the most sought-after machine in most cardio fitness centers. If you are looking for a low-impact yet effective cardio workout machine, consider buying an elliptical.
The following are reasons to use an elliptical trainer:
Eating Right To Protect Your Knees
There are two types of tears in the knee one is a meniscus tear and the other is a ligament tear. The main thing you can do to help prevent injuries is to keep good cardiovascular shape by doing cardio workouts like running, swimming or biking.
If and when you do start weight-lifting make sure that you focus on leg and hip muscles as well as trying to avoid putting excess pressure on knees by using machines with large pads such as those used during squats.
As for what foods reduce knee pain, foods like fish oil , ginger root extract, bromelain , chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine, MSM are all great supplements that help reduce pain in knees.
Is Elliptical As Good As Cycling
Both cycling and the elliptical machine are considered low impact cardiovascular activities.
Since your feet are in contact with the pedals during the entire workout, both cycling and elliptical training are easier on the joints than running or other high intensity workouts .
If youre using an upright or recumbent bike, you can regulate the resistance to get a cardiovascular workout and calorie burn similar to those of the elliptical.
However, comparing outdoor cycling with an elliptical is a little more challenging.
There are more variables like hills, uneven terrain, trails, and traffic when you head outdoors. This often results in a workout thats more interval-based than a consistent, moderate intensity session on an elliptical.
Outdoor cycling also requires your body to adjust to varying conditions. In that sense, cycling may be a better workout, especially if youre looking for a more functional workout that replicates the movement patterns you do more regularly.
Plus, findings from self-reported data show that ditching motorized transportation in favor of cycling to work may result in less weight gain over time (
This translates to 30 minutes of moderate intensity exercise 5 days a week to hit the 150-minute goal. If you dont have 30 minutes to spare, up the intensity and do 20 minutes instead.
Working out at a higher intensity is a time-efficient method for improving your cardiovascular health and boosting your calorie burn.
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Targets Specific Leg Muscles
You can change both the resistance and incline of the foot pedals on an elliptical. By doing this, you can target different muscles in your lower body, including your quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves.
Plus, since the foot pedals also move in reverse, you can change the direction of your stride and focus more on your hamstrings and glutes.
Can Elliptical Damage Knees
Elliptical machines are low-impact, and science tells us that low-impact exercises are less damaging to the joints. That means your elliptical shouldnt give you any pain in the knee area if youre using it right.
However, getting that diagnosis from your doctor is crucial because not all knee pain is created equal.
For example, people with arthritis can thrive on ellipticals. In fact, this type of exercise can genuinely alleviate their aches.
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+ It Allows You To Alter The Intensity Of Your Workout
As a beginner or on days when you feel weak and exhausted, you can start slowly over a short while, and then add speed and time to improve intensity.
Start with a 20-to-30-minute workout, after which you can add one minute as your fitness improves. You can also try switching high intensity for two minutes followed by medium intensity work for five minutes twice, then end with a five-minute low-intensity workout.
When your fitness improves and you are feeling much stronger, you can move up to an interval training routine. Pedal at low intensity first for 10 minutes, switch three times between two-minute high-intensity and two-minute low-intensity pedaling, then cool down by pedaling at low intensity for 10 minutes.
Treadmills Are Tough On Joints And Posture
As effective as treadmills are for cardio, strength, weight loss and stamina building, theyre notoriously tough on your body.
To avoid posture problems, make sure the size of the belt is right for you. If belt width is too wide it can create unnatural walking/running postures which puts unnecessary strain on muscles and tendons.
Treadmills are high-impact exercises. But with an understanding of how they affect knees, you can practice better treadmill running habits.
Using an elliptical trainer instead can keep knee joints healthy. Low-impact cardio workouts increase blood flow to your knee cartilage, which helps strengthen the surrounding muscles. This is important for arthritic knees or joint pain sufferers.
Tip: Always adjust the machine to fit your body type. Set your desired knee range motion and resistance levels for pain free use. The higher the knee bend increase, the more pressure on your joints.
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Exercise With Elliptical Trainer
Its a common mistake to do exercise as a convenient way for reducing knee pain. A lot of stress puts on your knees during exercising which tends to increase knee pain. So, a question is arising: how can exercise help reduce knee pain?
Workouts can help reduce knee pain by reducing body weight. But you have to do the proper workout with the right equipment in the appropriate way. If you have any history of knee pain, conventional exercise like cycling, running, jumping, etc., cant help you. Here an elliptical machine can give you a better solution. The elliptical machine is a particular type of equipment that has a low impact on the knee during exercise. If you do exercise with an elliptical machine, you can get positive results from exercise. Here we will discuss some models of elliptical machines for your kind information.
Be Aware Of Your Physical Health First
Something else you should be concerned about is your physical health. As much as ellipticals are perfect cardio machines with low impact on your knees, using them in the wrong way could do more harm than good.
Here are several ways that they do hurt your knees:
- The motion of an elliptical is different from how youd move while walking or running. Normally, the feet rest on the pedal rather than raising as it would while walking. In the long run, there is a biomechanical compensation via the joints. This could then result in joint wear or muscular imbalances.
- Its a good thing that ellipticals have a low impact on your joints. There is, however, a downside to this since the motion does not allow for any weight-bearing pressure on the joints as you exercise. At the end of the day, you wont increase your bone density.
- As compared to natural walking or running, ellipticals put more pressure across your hip and knee joints which may wear them down in the long run.
- If you dont have a proper fitness base and jump into an intense workout too quickly, you could develop overuse injury on your knees. This mostly happens when one does high-intensity interval training on an elliptical.
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Get A Proper Diagnosis
As knee injuries and conditions are different for every person, the use of an elliptical machine might not always work for some patients. The best way to determine if this exercise equipment could make your knee injury worse is to get a proper diagnosis. Your doctor may also advise you regarding which exercises to avoid and which to follow, so you can improve your condition rather than aggravate it.
If you get your doctors approval to use an elliptical machine despite your bad knees, youll need to find the right equipment that fits your requirements based on your doctors recommendations. You also have to learn how to properly use an elliptical, as faulty mechanics might result in displacement, lack of control and unequal weight loading on your knees.
Best Exercise Machine To Strengthen Knees
Elliptical workouts provide a great health benefits. Its low impact offering makes it a better alternative to a high impact cardio machine like a treadmill or rower. Using a cross trainer is less stressful on hips, knees and back. You can use the elliptical motion to your advantage by pedalling in reverse which uses hamstrings and calves, taking the pressure off the knees.
Remember to maintain good posture while using across trainer, keeping the shoulder back and head up. Use the upper body handles to move the machine rather than your using your legs, this relies less on bodyweight and is much better for your knees.
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Gliding On An Elliptical
Also referred to as cross trainers, ellipticals have pedals like recumbent bikes. An elliptical machine’s pedals mimic the motion of running by gliding in an elliptical pattern instead of up and down, a movement that is coordinated with handlebars moving back and forth as well. This allows for a comprehensive form of exercise that not only targets leg and butt muscles but also upper body muscles, especially shoulder and abdomen muscles. Resistance is adjustable feature with an elliptical trainer, which makes gliding harder to perform according to the level of intensity.
Continue Learning About Exercise Equipment
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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Three Reasons Why An Elliptical Hurts The Knees
Users who complain that the elliptical hurts the knees during and after a workout often have other issues with the pedaling motion, including foot numbness, as well as soreness in the Achilles tendon.
If youve experienced similar pain or discomfort, lets look at a three reasons why this might be happening.
When Should I Wear A Knee Brace
In some physical activities it is not necessary to wear knee braces. It is only necessary to use the product if the exercise involves the use of sufficient knee strength.
Knee braces are usually more for defending knees that are not young or recovering from an injury.
However, some versions are for protection, regardless of age or knee conditions, for example, janitors knee braces and protective knee braces for workers.
There are dance exercises and some functional sports practices that make the knee more vulnerable with every movement. In these cases, the use of kneepads is indispensable.
Today there are a variety of sports that require a good knee brace to play safely: running, walking, athletics, heavy weight exercises in the gym, tennis, crossfit, indoor soccer, football, basketball, baseball, softball, hockey, volleyball and golf .
Modern knee pads are made of strong, elastic materials to allow knee movement without injury. The weight of the knee brace can vary from 50 to 600 g. Most current versions are unisex.
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Is The Elliptical Trainer Or Treadmill More Joint
But which one is less stressful on your ankle joints, knees, hips and back?
These are two of the most common cardio machines in gyms. Whilst the treadmill is typically a better calorie burner, an elliptical trainer causes less strain on your knees and joints.
If youre looking for a low-impact, high-result workout, consider investing in an elliptical trainer. Heres how to determine which is right for you.
How Can Bad Knee Problems Be Cured With Elliptical
Knee problems can be painful and frustrating at the same time. On average, about one in four adults has been facing aching knee problems in the US alone. On a global scale, the figures are truly alarming.
But, how can I know that I have knee problems and not just a temporary aching phase just because the tree I was trying to climb was slightly higher than I expected? Well, this is a great question. The only way you can be sure about this if you consult a certified physician or physiotherapist. Only the professionals can tell whether it is just a temporary pain or any torn ligaments involved.
Now, think about this. Your knee is already aching, but you must get your knee moving gradually so that you can recover as soon as possible. But, whenever you try to work out a little by using a stationary bike or even a treadmill, the joint impact is too much to be borne by your already aching knee. That is where elliptical trainers come to the rescue with their low-impact machine schematics helping you to work out as smoothly and as painlessly as possible.
It is not only the bad knees that you can rehab with an elliptical workout, but elliptical workout benefits are also unlimited. Shedding extra pounds to build muscles can be used for a variety of jobs.
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Burns A Lot Of Calories
If youre looking for a way to crush your calorie burn in a short amount of time, jump on the elliptical.
Depending on how much you weigh, this cardio machine can burn about 270400 calories in 30 minutes .
The lower end of the range represents a person weighing 125 pounds while the higher end is for someone weighing 185 pounds .
Burning more calories than you consume can help you lose weight. To boost your calorie burn, consider increasing the intensity of your elliptical workouts.
How Do You Choose The Right Kind Of Exercise Bike
Start by trying different seats or saddles to find one that is most comfortable and whose seat height is adjustable. You also need to take note of its dimensions so that it fits your home gym or flat. If you have back issues, choose a bike with a backrest.
If the handlebars are adjustable, this is a considerable bonus because it will minimize the strain on your wrists. Moreover, one whose resistance is adjustable allows you to work out both when you are strong and fit and when you are feeling rather weak without straining.
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Tips For Using An Elliptical
Follow these tips for a safe and effective elliptical workout:
- Warm up. Dont jump right into a workout first thing in the morning or immediately after a few hours of computer work. After prolonged periods of laying or sitting, loosen up stiff joints with simple stretches. Walk a lap around the block or gym.
- Wear the right footwear. Pain or stiffness can affect your gait and posture. Sneakers with a strong arch support or an orthotic insert can help keep the hips and knees in proper alignment.
- Check your posture. Dont slouch over when you start to fatigue. Keep your body straight and shoulders back.
- Use the handlebars. The handles can be helpful for balance and even for offloading the lower extremity if painful. An important caution, however, is to avoid excessive stress on the hands/wrists and upper body, advises Michelle Dolphin, DPT Associate Professor of Physical Therapy Education at SUNY Upstate Medical University in Syracuse.
- Start slow and listen to your body. Exercise is your friend, but it can also be your foe if you push yourself too hard or too fast. Prior to starting any new exercise, a health clearance should be obtained, says Typically, a new exercise may start with 5 to 10 minutes and progress to 20 to 30 minutes several days per week.
Exercising With Knee Pain
Knee pain shouldn’t stop you from getting enough exercise. Here’s how to have a healthy, active lifestyle.
If you have knee pain, exercising may be the last thing on your mind. And you’re not alone in fact, only 13 percent of men and 8 percent of women with get the minimum recommended amount of weekly exercise, experts say. But exercising could be the best thing you can do for your knees.
Exercise is good therapy for knee pain, but it needs to be the right kind of exercise, says Steven Stuchin, MD, director of orthopedic surgery at NYU Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York City. Pounding your knees with high-impact exercise or overdoing it during workouts could make your knee pain worse. But its easy to avoid problems by following these dos and donts for exercising with knee pain.
Do exercise in the water. If youre worried that exercising will be too hard on your knees, try exercising in water first. Waters buoyancy will take the load off your knees, allowing you to exercise with less pain and stress on your joints, says Dr. Stuchin.
Don’t participate in high-impact activities. Basketball, tennis, racquetball, squash, soccer, and football are hard on the knees because they involve sudden starts, stops, and turns, as well as jumping . Avoid any type of exercise that involves jumping if you have knee pain, recommends Stuchin.
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Keeping Your Knees Strong And Healthy
We need our knees to function daily without feeling limited or frustrated. Dont take them for granted. Finding exercise that feels good and helps you stay fit is crucial for living a life free of unnecessary knee issues. An elliptical is a great potential choice, especially when combined with other forms of exercise, to keep your knees in the best possible shape for years to come.
Knees And The Elliptical Trainer
Although elliptical trainers are considered weight-bearing exercise tools, they offer a low-impact form of activity that is easy on the knee joints and the associated ligaments and tendons. It should not cause knee pain if you are using it correctly. The biggest advantage of elliptical machines is their variability: You can adjust the resistance and even do reverse movement , so you can work multiple muscles. For this particular reason, elliptical trainers can produce more strenuous workout and higher fat-burning effects than stationary bikes.
Although you can alter the resistance of an elliptical machine to reduce any discomfort, the gliding motion, in fact, puts slightly higher pressure on the knees compared to the counterpart, you are working against gravity after all. Another key disadvantage of an elliptical trainer is that learning to pedal the specific movement correctly can be difficult in some cases. While bicycle motion may be easy to you, using an elliptical may require a learning curve. Additionally, if you are more than 50 pounds overweight or a beginning exerciser, an elliptical trainer may be too strenuous for your knees, especially in case you have an underlying joint pathology.
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