It is that time of year again where many novices are venturing into the gym for the first time. Rows and rows of machines can be somewhat intimidating for those new to exercise.
Many do not know that yes, you can actually have poor form even when walking or running on something as simple yet complex as a treadmill. Below, I have provided a review of some of the most popular forms of cardiovascular fitness equipment as well as how to properly use them:
The motion of running or walking on a treadmill is similar to that of exercising on a track or outside, however typically with less impact. Both running and walking on a treadmill are beneficial and natural movements.
For the most part, treadmills are easier on your knees and back than running on asphalt or concrete. Make sure you run evenly, with your heels hitting the treadmill first, then rolling through your arch and pushing off with your toes.
Be careful not to hold onto the machine with a “death grip”. If you need to hang on, you’re either going too fast or have the treadmill on too much of an incline.
The function of working out on an elliptical trainer is a hybrid movement between stepping and cross-country skiing. Due to its low-impact design, elliptical trainers are a great way to exercise if you suffer from chronic knee or lower back problems.
There are different types of elliptical trainers, some just for upper-body and some for a full-body workout. Again, if you are using an elliptical with side rails, you do not want to hold onto them with a tight grip. You concentrate on using your abs or core strength to hold yourself upright and allow your arms to swing freely at your sides instead.
If you are using an elliptical trainer with arm levers, make sure you use an equal combination of both upper and lower body. Again, making sure you use the whole foot, not pushing with just your toes.
Elliptical trainers are extremely versatile in movement and can move both forward or backwards. Most elliptical trainers come with a variety of cross training and interval workouts already programmed for you.