Let me ask you something:
What image comes to mind when you hear the term ‘elliptical trainer’? Is it someone exercising on the elliptical in a standing position?
If that is the case, don’t worry. After all, classic elliptical trainers are incredibly popular, so it’s only natural that you’ve seen people use them.
But, there is another piece of cardio equipment that works just as (if not more) effectively as the elliptical – the recumbent elliptical machine.
Today, we’ll go over seven incredible benefits of using the seated elliptical.
1. They Are Low-Impact And Great For Folks With Joint Issues
Ever since the elliptical trainer came to the world back in the nineties, folks with joint issues from all over the world took notice because the innovative machine offered a new, safe, and pain-free way of doing cardio.
Joints like our ankles, knees, and hips take quite the beating during activities like running, which are only amplified if the person is overweight. The classic elliptical trainer somewhat fixed the issue because it had its athletes plant their feet on the pedals, and had them exercise without pounding the pavement over and over.
But, the classic elliptical still has you exercise in a standing position, which puts some level of stress on the joints.
The recumbent elliptical is incredibly low-impact because you get to exercise from a seated position, which eliminates all of the potential stress your joints would otherwise receive.
So, if you’re a beginner who is looking to shed some extra weight or you have some joint issues, the recumbent elliptical is an excellent option.
2. Recumbent Ellipticals Are Great For Strength Development In The Lower Body
What are some activities that pop to mind when you think about developing lower body strength?
Are sprints, squats, deadlifts, and lunges the activities?
If so, then don’t worry – that’s what most people think of first. And, granted, all of these are great for building raw strength. But, these exercises are also incredibly challenging to master, the risk of injury is higher, and they don’t otherwise burn many calories.
The recumbent elliptical is a great alternative here because:
- It’s incredibly straightforward to learn. Frankly, there are very few simpler activities to learn.
- The risk of injury is almost non-existent, especially if you always make it a point to warm-up well and listen to your body.
- It does a great job of strengthening your lower body, especially your glutes and quads.
- It burns a lot of calories in the process, which is quite beneficial for weight loss.
3. You Get to Train From a Comfortable Position And Prevent Aches From Occurring
Sure, fitness isn’t about ‘comfort.’ We don’t hit the gym to relax or feel good – it’s supposed to be challenging. But, that’s not to say that we should make everything unnecessarily more stressful or dangerous.
For example, the classic barbell row is often deemed dangerous because it puts too much stress on the lower back, as the lifter is forced to keep the barbell off the ground at all times. So, Glenn Pendlay took it upon himself to invent a safer and more effective variation – the pendlay row.
With this variation, the lifter gets to rest the barbell on the floor between each repetition. This drastically reduces the stress on the lower back. In other words, the pendlay row trains the upper back just as good, but without the assisting lower back stress.
So, what does this have to do with the recumbent elliptical?
Well, this piece of equipment does the same – it allows us to train as effectively, but without the assisting stress on our joints and lower back. All of this translates to practical training without the risk of aches and injuries.
4. The Recumbent Elliptical Burns A Lot Of Calories
The recumbent elliptical burns a lot of calories because it engages the whole body.
For reference, a 180-pound man can expect to burn anywhere from 375 to 500 calories in 30 minutes of exercise, and up to 950 calories in an hour of use.
A 120-pound woman can burn between 250 and 300 calories for 30 minutes and up to 600 calories in an hour.
Those are some impressive figures, seeing as recumbent ellipticals offer a lot more safety and comfort when compared to your standard cardio equipment.
5. The Elliptical Develops Endurance and Improves Our Cardiovascular Health
Because ellipticals are inherently designed for low- to moderate-intensity prolonged physical activity, they do an incredibly good job of building up our endurance and improving our cardiovascular health.
All of this means that we can increase our life span, feel better, and be healthier.
What’s more, we can use the improved endurance in our everyday lives – whether that means playing a basketball game with friends, skiing with your family, or participating in different sports events.
6. They Develop Your Upper Body Much Better Than Other Types of Cardio Equipment
Let me ask you something:
What do most types of cardio equipment have in mind?
Exactly – almost none of them involve the use of the upper body and instead only emphasize our legs and, do a degree, the butt.
The elliptical is different and much better in comparison because it also involves the upper body – the back, our shoulders, and our arms. All of this means that we can more evenly develop our bodies with the elliptical and that we can burn more calories while exercising.
7. They Are Great For Maintaining Your Fitness While Healing From An Injury
Let’s face it:
Recovering from an injury can be tough, both physically, as well as mentally. For one, depending on where the damage is and how severe it is, your everyday life can be impaired. Second, there’s also inherent guilt that comes along because you can’t stick with your regular fitness program.
The good news is, all is not lost. You can use a recumbent elliptical to maintain your fitness while healing from almost all injuries.
What makes the elliptical much better than any other type of equipment is the fact that you can:
- Maintain and even improve your endurance and lung capacity.
- Maintain most of your muscle mass (both in the upper and lower body).
- Burn a lot of calories every day and prevent weight gain (if you’re otherwise sedentary).
- Reap many other health benefits of exercise.
- Stay sane and prevent the dreaded guilt that comes along when you’re unable to exercise for a long time.