Health conscious people have always preferred exercise as a key to remaining fit. But nowadays people have become very busy in their professional life. Many can’t manage time for exercises like walking, swimming, hiking jogging. So everyone is getting dependent on various machines for their routine exercise. An elliptical trainer is one of them. Again different types of exercises have a different impact on human body. For strong muscles and bone, Weight Bearing Exercises are perfect. I came to know that one of my friends had a good chance of Osteoporosis and it was a critical condition of bone- as said by his doctor. And he suggested my friend workout on elliptical two hours daily. Now the confusion lies between whether ellipticals are Weight Bearing or not? I hope this article will help you to get the answer.
What is elliptical?
Let me first describe you the functions of an elliptical. An elliptical is a stationary machine. It’s called so because while working on it, your muscles move in elliptical motion. It can be considered as a hybrid of the treadmill and upright bike. Running an elliptical is like you are climbing, walking and skiing at the same time. But it has effectiveness over both treadmill and upright bike. When you are exercising on an upright bike or a treadmill, only lower portion of your body is active. Pressure is mainly exerted on your legs. But elliptical works on your body’s upper as well as the lower portion.
What are the Weight Bearing Exercises?
In Weight, Bearing exercises your bones have to work against any kind of resistance. For example, we can talk about weightlifting. To lift a weight, your muscles have to work against gravity. Walking, running, climbing, tennis, aerobic dance are good examples of weight bearing. Swimming, bicycling isn’t so good as Weight Bearing. While swimming you have to work against water resistance. But yet many don’t consider it as Weight Bearing because the resistance amount is very little in this case.
How does Elliptical Work?
It has long flat pedals. A crank is attached at the front end of pedals. When you exert pressure on the crank, the front of pedal starts to rotate in the circular motion. At the same time, the back end of pedal moves with linear motion. The combination of this two motions produces elliptical movement.
Do ellipticals work on which part of your body?
Upper body part: Elliptical works mainly on the lower portion of a body. But the upper body parts also get benefited. Although at a less extent. The organs on which elliptical mainly works are-
- Upper arms
- Front of upper arms
- Deep core muscles
Lower body part: This portion is the main target to tone. Following are the toned parts.
- Front and back thighs: Elliptical simulates running and climbing. Thus it put more pressure on hamstring muscles.
- Claves: when you hold the handlebar and push your legs with energy, you are working on your legs. You are driving foot pedals backward with your heels.
- Lower shin
Elliptical machine-Weight Bearing or not?
From the above discussion, you may have a clear idea. When you push the pedals down with your legs, it propels you with a resisting force. At the same time, you are pushing or pulling body-arm also. And to do so, your whole body bones and muscles are working. There is some other resistance that is featured while manufacturing elliptical. And all these special features double the activity of elliptical. And it establishes Elliptical as Weight Bearing machine.
Advantages of Elliptical over other Weight Bearing Exercises:
- Treadmills: Treadmill strictly works on the lower part of a body. But elliptical works on both upper and lower portion. Again elliptical can be moved in reverse motion. And doing so you add variety to your workout. It leaves an impact on different muscles. You can always choose which level you want to work out. Also, it takes less space and is easy to operate than a treadmill.
- Walking: An elliptical exercise less impact on your knees, back, and hips. This is because you never leave your feet from pedals. Thus, it’s a plus point when you are injured. You can still workout on it. Though both are Weight Bearing, walking emphasizes more pressure on your muscles. That’s why elliptical is always preferable to those who have medical issues.
- Climbing: Stair climbing or hill climbing is more sensitive to your feet. But, elliptical is more friendly. Besides you can work on elliptical in reverse. But in stair climbing machine or hill climbing, you can’t move backward easily.
Benefits of elliptical as Weight Bearing:
- Cardiovascular activity: You have the scope to adjust the inclination. Doing so your heartbeat raises up. That’s considered as a cardiovascular exercise. And by adjusting the resistance level, you are raising your heart rate. While using different parts of an elliptical, you are engaging different muscle groups. Moving handlebars engage your arms. Stationary handlebars target your lower body. Thus burn more calories.
- Burning calories and weight loss: By working on elliptical, you’ll be able to burn more calories. For example, the 30-minute walk will burn 152 calories. On the other hand, it’ll burn 335 calories in case of elliptical.
- Muscular Endurance: You can exercise on an elliptical for a long period. Also with low resistance. Thus it will increase your muscular endurance.
- Remedy from joint pain: Joint pain is related to bone, so a Weight-Bearing like elliptical can also work on that. While working on an elliptical, all lower and most of the upper joints move in a harmonic way. So joints become more active than before.
I think elliptical as a Weight-Bearing is just awesome. I have come to this conclusion not only after analyzing its function. But also I have used it myself. So it became my favorite gym instrument. Now I can easily compare elliptical with other Weight Bearings. And obviously, it serves me better. So why just reading? Use it yourself, and you’ll surely know the difference.