The two most popular options for cardiovascular workouts are treadmills and elliptical machines. However, running on a treadmill can inflict a jarring impact on the back, hips, knees, and ankles. Elliptical machines eliminate the potentially damaging impact on joints because the user’s feet never leave the pedals. Unlike treadmills, ellipticals usually have handles and thus provide both an upper and lower body workout. Now that we’re in full holiday party mode, investing in a cardio machine to help shed those extra holiday pounds is a good move. If your New Years’ 2019 Resolutions list includes cardio, you’ll be all set if you have an elliptical machine set up and ready to use.
Elliptical machines have foot pedals and usually include handles for your arms, so you get both an upper and lower body workout. Elliptical training works the glutes, quadriceps, hamstrings, calves, and anterior tibialis. Also, ellipticals work your quadriceps and hamstrings harder. When you use the moveable handles on most ellipticals, you also exercise your triceps, biceps, and shoulders, which doesn’t happen with most exercise bikes.
Using an elliptical allows you to follow the natural path of your feet and legs when they are in motion. The motion that your ankles, knees, and hip joints make during walking, jogging, or running is the same motion that an elliptical makes. Also, ellipticals provide a weight-bearing exercise, which is essential to prevent the onset of osteoporosis.
Since ellipticals exercise more muscles simultaneously than other cardio exercises, you can burn more calories and fat in a short period of time. Studies have shown most people report that they didn’t think they worked as hard during workouts with an ellipitcial machine as when they were on a treadmill. This means that you are actually working out harder than it feels like you are.
Many elliptical machines today feature menus of challenging exercise programs that mimic hill climbing or interval training, which can make workouts more enjoyable and less repetitive. Many machines also have heart rate monitors and controls that allow you to optimize your workout based on heart rate control.
As you can see, there are many benefits to investing in an elliptical machine. There are hundreds of brands and elliptical machine models, but we have you covered. We’ve put together a list of some great deals on ellipticals for your home gym — some even double as an exercise bike. Also, be sure to check out our fitness equipment deals page for other items to round out your home gym.
Digital Trends may earn commission on products purchased through our links, which supports the work we do for our readers.