Ellipticals are among the most widely used
machines in health clubs, and the number of people using such machines
increased from 2.4 million in 1997 to 6.2 million in 2000.
Elliptical exercisers are combination
stair climber/cross-country-ski machines. Your feet are on
pedals, which move in an oval shaped motion. Your hands grasp
handlebars that are moved back and forth with your arms. The
machine resists the motion of your arms and legs.
Elliptical machines designed for home
use provide resistance with a band around the flywheel's rim.
Comparatively, most health-club ellipticals use magnetic resistance,
which allows for smoother pedaling.
Elliptical exercisers provide the following
benefits as compared to other forms of exercise:
have oval-shaped pedaling motion, which is much easier on
joints than running on a treadmill.
provide a weight-bearing workout, which helps protect bones
against osteoporosis. Pedaling an exercise bike, swimming
or using a rowing machine are not weight-bearing exercises.
are easy to use.
- Elliptical exercise
burns a similar number of calories to treadmill exercise
with the same amount of effort.
- 40 percent more
gluteal involvement than traditional machines
- Excellent knee
range of motion, hip flexion and extension
- A body position
that minimizes the aggravation of knee injuries
- A reverse motion
that emphasizes hamstrings
- A forward motion
that emphasizes gluteal involvement
In terms of aerobic
- People who used
elliptical machines had lower rates of perceived exertion
(RPE) than people who used other exercise machines
promote the development and maintenance of cardiovascular
reverse motion allows more calories to be burned at a given
speed and resistance
Although studies have
found that elliptical machines in health-clubs tend to be superior
to home machines, home users can still get a good workout from the
Post April 10, 2002; Page C12