Side Effects of Elliptical Machines

Side effects of elliptical machines

Today we will be addressing the main side effects of elliptical trainers. Among cardiovascular equipment, elliptical trainers have grown in popularity more than any other since they were introduced in the mid-1990s, according to the American Council on Exercise. An elliptical machine provides a motion similar to running and cycling. Although elliptical machines have many benefits to your exercise routine, they may not be suitable for everyone and are not likely to be effective as your only source of exercise.

Unlike running, elliptical machines cause less joint impact. This makes them a great way to burn calories.

What is an elliptical trainer and why practice on it?

Also called elliptical machine, or cross trainer is very popular for its universality. Elliptical is a stationary exercise machine used to simulate walking on a staircase, walking alone or running without causing excessive pressure on the joints. In a number of models of ellipticals, the so-called “movement of the legs along the elliptical path” is created during the exercise, which is unusual for the musculature and thus particularly intensely stimulating.

Thanks to the high-quality ergonomics of the elliptical movement of the stepping surfaces, it allows a comprehensive and very effective strengthening of the heart circulation. It also engages most muscle groups at once, which is one of the main differences from other aerobic machines. The legs, hips and buttocks are loaded. If you involve your hands in the exercise, you will also strengthen your shoulders, arms, breasts and back. In general, the elliptical helps to increase physical fitness and reduce fat.

Before starting training on any trainer, you should first consult your health condition with your doctor and make sure what level of load is suitable for you.

How the elliptical trainer works

Several different names have come to be used for the elliptical trainer. All of them reflect the typical elliptical movement that is performed on this type of trainer during exercise. The most commonly used orbiter, elliptical and elliptical cross trainer or just abbreviated cross.

An elliptical is a stationary exercise machine simulating a specific movement that can be described as something between walking, running, climbing stairs and running on cross-country skis. When exercising, it engages all muscle groups.

The unusual elliptical movement allows you to intensively exercise the whole body and burdens not only the buttocks and legs, but also the muscles of the upper half of the body. At the same time, however, it is gentle on the joints and the musculoskeletal system in general.

✔️ Positive Side Effects of Elliptical Machines

Let’s see the positive side effects of elliptical machines:

Low impact exercise

Elliptical bikes are an exercise without impact and without discomfort for the joints, avoiding dangerous movements for the joints and back, so they allow you to exercise the muscles without suffering injuries or feeling pain in the joints.

Ideally bent spine (and we mean it in a good way)

Compared to running on a treadmill (or perhaps on a forest path), elliptical trainers are naturally designed to give you increased flexion and rotation of the spine. If your back pain problems don’t get worse due to forward movements, an elliptical trainer can be a great way to strengthen your back. In any case, consult this exercise in advance with your orthopedist, especially if you have been treated for back pain for any reason in the past.

Improves coordination and balance

The exercises performed on elliptical bikes allow to improve coordination and the sense of balance, which makes them very suitable for older people or people with mobility problems.

Ideal for weight loss programs

Since elliptical bikes allow you to work both lower and upper train, it intensifies the work and the burning of calories without increasing the impact, so they are ideal to combine with slimming plans and for the training of obese people.

Full body workout

Elliptical bikes bring together in a single movement the effects of various physical activities such as walking, rowing, cycling or exercising with the step, so they allow you to exercise and tone 80% of the muscles, including the thighs, buttocks, calves, arms, shoulders, pectorals, abs and obliques.

Great cardiovascular exercise

The intensity of the exercise performed with elliptical bikes is higher than other gym equipment, so they represent a magnificent cardiovascular exercise being necessary less time to achieve the same cardiovascular results, since by involving the upper and lower train increases the workload.

Great for rehabilitation programs

Elliptical bikes are well suited for rehabilitation, recovering from injuries, varying training or resting from the season, as they allow aerobic, cardiovascular and muscular work with minimal impact.

Easy to use

Elliptical bikes are easy to use machines, which makes them suitable for older people as well as for those who start with an exercise routine.

Great for home workouts

Elliptical bikes are machines that support domestic use, especially folding ones, which makes them an excellent option for practicing fitness at home.


❌ Negative Side Effects of Elliptical Machines

The elliptical bike is one of the most used devices in any gym. The simplicity in its use and the ability to adapt to the needs of each person make it increasingly used to get in shape or simply lose those extra kilos.

However, this aerobic machine also has a number of disadvantages that must be taken into account.:

Effortlessly brings hardly any results

One of the first disadvantages of the elliptical bike is that you impose the rhythm and intensity of it through the movement of the hands and the entire lower train. For this reason, it is easy to fall a little into the routine without achieving visible results in the short medium / term.

It is uncomfortable to use in small spaces

If you finally decide to install an elliptical bike in your home, you will realize that you need considerable space to use it comfortably. And it is that this type of machines are of great dimensions, while they need to be connected to the electric current. For this reason, it is sometimes somewhat uncomfortable to use in flats or in houses that are too small.

We are prone to making mistakes

Due to the fact that an elliptical does most of the work for you, it’s easy to form bad habits when working out. Keep these things in mind:

  • You have zero resistance, so there’s little to challenge you.
  • Standing straight is difficult for you because you slouch.
  • To challenge different muscles, you do not switch from forward to reverse.
  • You never change your workout.
  • Your feet may feel numb if you press on your toes.
  • Exercises that make a lot of noise indicate you are going too fast for the equipment.

Not adjustable

Unlike static bikes, elliptical bikes cannot be perfectly adjusted to the height of each individual. For this reason, it is possible that an tall person may suffer from back pain due to over-slouching. Conversely, a small user could suffer discomfort in the neck and shoulders after continuous use.

It can be somewhat boring

The elliptical bike is an aerobic machine that always offers the same pattern of movements. Therefore, it is quite common for anyone to fall into a certain monotony or boredom with the passage of the sessions. To avoid this, you can always bet on exercises of different intensity with the aim of making a greater effort and burning more calories in a shorter space of time.

Not very economical

Another of the great handicaps of the elliptical bike is that any basic model can perfectly exceed three figures in any store. In this way, it goes without saying that it is an unaffordable machine for some and that is why many people discard it to bet on cheaper options. 

An Elliptical trainer may not be for everyone

In conclusion, it should be said that people who have chronic problems with the lumbar spine are advised to avoid elliptical trainers. The reason for this is that their difficulties usually worsen when they are forced to lean forward significantly. And since training on an elliptical cannot do without bending forward, doctors recommend choosing a rather different device to maintain the form, for example, a stepper.

In addition, it is good to keep in mind that the pressure exerted on the lumbar spine during cross training on an elliptical trainer is very similar to walking or jogging on a treadmill. Therefore, if you feel an unpleasant pain in your back during training on the treadmill, you will most likely feel it on the elliptical trainer. BUT! If none of the above conditions apply to you, an elliptical trainer can be a great way for you to get in shape quickly.

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