Why you should start using Elliptical Machines

The fact that this workout machine gets slack for being ‘boring’ or ‘ineffective’ is actually quite silly. Elliptical machines have a range of benefits, from calorie-torching to giving lots of opportunities to make your workout enjoyable. With the following 7 benefits in mind, you just might change your opinion of these simple, yet effective machines.

They’re great for everyone

All ages, levels of fitness, and even those with injuries can use them. It’s an easy motion to get the hang of, and it’s low-impact, so for people with sore joints or recovering from injuries, you can still get a good workout in.

You’ll find them everywhere

Most gyms – even the ones with a basic cardio area, will have at least one elliptical. And since many people are still unaware of the real benefits of them, they are often free waiting for you to use!

Great for your heart

Cardiovascular fitness is a must for everyone. You need a strong heart to live healthy and ward off disease, and that happens through any exercise that raises your heart rate. Ellipticals can raise your pulse sometimes even more than treadmills. When your heart rate raises, you get the benefit of burning a ton of calories. Just 30 minutes at a high intensity is super effective for people working out for weight loss.

It’s a full-body workout

This is why an elliptical is also called a cross-trainer. You can get a full-body blast by moving your arms along with your legs, or even using hand weights. Don’t just go through the motions of letting your legs move your arms, though. Put some energy into your arm swing to get them pumping and receive the benefits.

Enjoy a variety of workouts

You’ll find different programs on most ellipticals to optimize your workout by choosing a resistance level or interval training. This helps to keep the boredom at bay and actually gives you harder or easier workouts depending on how you feel.

Low impact 

As mentioned above, an elliptical is perfect for people with joint issues, as your feet never leave your pedals. This takes the strain off your knees, hips and lower back. It’s great for preventing injury as well, even if you don’t have joint problems.

Multitasking

It’s true that for a lot of the cardio equipment at the gym you can multitask, though an elliptical can be extra easy (who else has almost tripped whilst writing emails on a treadmill?) Catch up on your favorite show, send messages, make calls, or grab a good book and read. You’ll forget you’re even working up a sweat.

References
https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/elliptical-benefits
https://www.verywellfit.com/why-use-elliptical-trainers-3436596

BEST WEIGHT BENCH EXERCISES

There are lots of resistance machines to target nearly every part of your body in gyms, but a weight bench allows you to work your body in a more natural way and isolate each side perfectly.

Weight benches have fewer limitations in terms of the range of motion since they not restrict your joints like many plate-loaded machines. Also, with an incline bench, you can perform exercises to target a muscle from different angles. Weight benches are great for small spaces, like your home gym, not only they need little space but also their range of uses. You can use the weight bench for support when doing exercises like the split squat and hip thrust.

So, a weight bench is one of the essential pieces of equipment that you must have in any home gym and you can hit every single muscle group in your body if you know the correct exercises. Here are some of the exercises you can do with a weight bench, a barbell, and adjustable dumbbells to build muscle.



Barbell Bench Press

This is the first exercise that comes into the mind when you see a weight bench. It is known as the best chest exercise by many people and what you need are a barbell and a stable flat bench.



Bench Press with Dumbbells

The bench press with dumbbells is very similar to a barbell bench press but it allows you to move with a better range of motion. It is also a much safer exercise than the barbell press when training alone if you can’t push the weight more just drop the dumbbells on each side. Other advantages are, it develops the stabilization muscles and corrects muscle asymmetry.



Incline Dumbbell Chest Press

Like flat bench dumbbell press but the incline chest press works the upper portion of the pectoral muscle groups more and it also hits the front of the shoulder. Most fitness experts say that 30-degrees is the ideal angle for this exercise.



Seated Shoulder Press

This is a great compound exercise that builds your deltoids. If you can adjust the bench in a 90-degree position to support your back, you can focus on your shoulders more, so if you did not get a weight bench yet keep this in mind.



Dumbbell Pullover

This is also a great exercise to build your upper body, when done correctly it works your pecs and lats.



Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

With single arms dumbbell rows, you can hit your lats individually, so you can get rid of any muscle imbalances. This is a very important exercise because most of the other back exercises (pull-ups, lat pulldown, etc.) work both sides at the same time.



Lying Triceps Extension

This is one of the best exercises for the triceps muscle group mainly the Triceps Brachii. You can use a straight barbell or an EZ-bar. The exercise is also known as Skullcrusher, so be careful while doing the exercise and be sure you have a solid weight bench.



Reverse Flyes

The reverse fly is another exercise you can do with a weight bench, it that targets the deltoids and other muscles of the upper back. 



Bulgarian Split Squat

You can use a box or a weight bench to support your leg to do Bulgarian split squats. The elevated leg adds some more difficulty to this exercise which makes it a perfect movement for your quads, calves, and hamstrings.

Running Tips for Beginner Treadmill Users

Image by profivideos from Pixabay

If you have any questions about warming up before using the treadmill, clothes to wear while running and nutrition after running, then read this article.

Pre-running warm-up

If you start running well without warming up yourself, you will likely injure yourself.  

So how long should you warm-up before running? 

You should walk or jog at least one-third of the time of your actual running workout. For example, if you are going to run for half an hour on your treadmill then it is a good practice to warm up for 10 minutes.

Clothing

You do not need to have fancy running clothing to get the best from your workout, but you will certainly need a good pair of running shoes for your health and prevent any possible injuries and make your runs more comfortable.

There are mainly three things to look for when choosing a new pair of shoes for running; 

Weight of shoes: Lighter weight shoes are great for long workouts.

Cushioning: Shoes that are heavily cushioned are great for new runners and make you feel comfortable, but the extra thickness usually comes with extra weight.

Flexibility: It must be flexible enough for delivering a comfortable running experience.

Other than a good pair of shoes, we recommend synthetic running socks to prevent blisters, and if you’re are a woman you should wear a supportive sports bra that fits properly.

Also avoid wearing 100% cotton t-shirts, sweatpants, and sweatshirts because they will stay wet once you sweat. There are running clothes made from special fabrics wick away sweat and keep you dry.

Cool Down Routine

Do not stop immediately after you finish running and let your heart rate slow down. Most treadmills feature a cool-down function, which slowly slows down the treadmill (usually slows down 0.5 mph every minute) and let your heart rate drop. After long-running sessions, 3-5 minutes of walking and body stretching will help you recover faster, reduce muscle soreness and lessen your risk of injury.

Nutrition

One of the most common questions that new treadmill users ask is what to eat before, during, and after running.

Before a run: It is best to eat foods that are high in carbohydrates and lower in fat, fiber, and protein.

During a Run: Replace your lost fluids by drinking water.

After a Run: What you eat after a workout often depends upon your fitness goals. 

  • Are you trying to lose weight? Then you should have a low-calorie meal.
  • Are you trying to build muscle? Then you should have a higher-protein meal with enough complex carbohydrates.

In both cases, you should replace your lost fluids by drinking enough water.

Best Elliptical Trainers for Home

Model Image Our Rating Stride length Incline Maximum User Weight Full Specs
Universal E40 Elliptical
17.5 inches
275 lbs.
See Specs
Schwinn 430 Elliptical Machine
20 inches
10 degree manual ramp range with 6 positions
300 lbs.
See Specs
Schwinn 470 Elliptical
20 inches
10 degree motorized ramp range with quick keys
300 lbs.
See Specs
Nautilus E614 Elliptical
20 inches
6 position manual ramp adjustment
300 lbs.
See Specs
Nautilus E616 Elliptical Trainer
20 inches
0 to 11% motorized adjustment
300 lbs.
See Specs
Body Champ 2 in 1 Cardio Dual Trainer Elliptical
14 inches
275 lbs.
See Specs
ProForm Endurance 520 E Elliptical Trainer
19 inches
0 – 20% adjustable incline ramp
300 lbs.
See Specs
ProForm Smart Strider 935 Elliptical Trainer
18 inches
0 – 10% Power Adjustable Incline Ramp
325 lbs.
See Specs
NordicTrack E 7.0 Z Elliptical Trainer
20 inches
5-position ramp incline between 0 and 20 degrees
300 lbs.
See Specs
NordicTrack C 7.5 Elliptical
20 inches
0 – 20% Power adjustable Incline Ramp
325 lbs.
See Specs
Horizon Fitness EX-59 Elliptical
18 inches
275 lbs.
See Specs
Horizon Fitness EX-69 Elliptical
20 inches
5-position manual incline
300 lbs.
See Specs