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Elliptical Machines

Timeless Fitness Tips...

Elliptical machines first hit the gym scene in 1995, when the Precor EFX machine made its debut. Since then numerous other companies have come out with their own versions of the elliptical machine in commercial and home models.

Elliptical Machines

Since the introduction of elliptical machines to the market, elliptical machines have become one of the most popular machines in the history of the fitness industry. The reason is because elliptical machines give you a fat-burning, aerobic conditioning, muscle developing workout that is easy to learn, fun and entertaining. The no impact elliptical striding motion removes stress on the knees and lower extremities, making it ideal for rehabilitating injuries and safer than aerobics classes or running outdoors.

On an elliptical machine you stride smoothly in a forward or reverse motion while holding the handrails or swinging your arms at your sides. The Stamina In-Motion Elliptical Trainer is compact and lightweight allowing you to keep it for the home or office.The foot-pedal only chassis fits handily under a desk or in a closet. Low-impact design protects back, knees, hips, and ankles. It even has an electronic monitor that tracks strides, exercise time, and calories burned.

The cross training benefits of an elliptical machine with an adjustable ramp are unattainable on any other machine. As the stride changes, the motion targets different lower body muscles, simulating activities such as hiking, cycling, running, walking and cross country skiing. Depending on the angle of the cross ramp and the direction of the striding motion, you can put slightly greater emphasis on your quadriceps, hamstrings, calves or glutes.

The fat burning potential of the elliptical machine is high to very high, but because it's self paced, you must make a constant effort to maintain your speed (rpm's). Interestingly, many people report that their level of perceived exertion on the elliptical machine is lower than on other machines at the same heart rate. In other words, the elliptical machine feels easier at a heart rate of 150 than the Stairmaster feels at 150.

Exercising on Rowing Machines

Rowing is regarded by many fitness experts to be the most complete exercise ever. One advantage of rowing is that it works all the major muscle groups in the body, including the legs, buttocks, back, abdominals and arms.

Exercising on Rowing Machines

In addition, all the muscles involved are worked through a wider range of motion than most other exercises, allowing your muscles to stretch, and thereby increasing flexibility and joint mobility. Rowing is a safe, non jarring impact free activity and is ideal for rehabilitative exercise, although it is not a good choice if you have low back problems.

In addition to providing a muscular endurance and strength conditioning workout, rowing is also a superb aerobic workout and an excellent fat burner. Because it involves the entire body, rowing burns more calories than almost any other type of aerobic exercise, making it an extremely effective fat burning and weight loss exercise if it is maintained for a long enough duration.

The only major drawback of rowing is that because it involves the whole body, it tends to be extremely exhausting, and many people cannot maintain a long enough workout on the rower to achieve maximum fat burning. One way around this problem is to incorporate the rower into a circuit of cardio machines. For example, you could do fifteen minutes of rowing, followed immediately by fifteen minutes of jogging, followed immediately by fifteen minutes of cycling for a total of 45 minutes.

Weighing in on Exercise Machines

People do not burn the same number of calories on one exercise machine as on another. Calories burned by healthy men and women in their 20s while they exercised on six different machines at "Fairly Light", "Somewhat Hard", and "Hard" showed the following results:

  • Both men and women burned the most calories on the treadmill or the skiing simulator and the least on the stationary cycle or the Healthrider machine (a cross between a stationary bicycle and a seesaw).
  • The stair-stepper was in the middle, as was the rowing machine for men. For women, the rower was a top-notch calorie burner.
  • Whatever the equipment or intensity, men always burned more calories than women did. This is due to muscles burning more calories than fat. Pound for pound, men have more muscle -- just a physiological fact of life. In addition, it takes more calories to move a larger person and men are usually bigger than women are.

Stats to Get You Started

  1. To burn 200 calories, men could run on a treadmill for 14 minutes at a fairly light pace, while women would need 22 minutes.
  2. At a difficult pace, men would need 12 minutes and women 17.
  3. On a stationary bike, men would need to cycle 23 minutes and women, 32 minutes at a somewhat difficult exertion to burn the same 200 calories.

Not exactly fair, but the physiological facts.

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