Learning How to Cross Train
Several decades ago, working out was just a very simple task that did not require a lot of equipment. In fact, if one did not want to go to a gym, he could just opt to jog every morning and perhaps get the same results of losing weight and improving stamina. However, if you imagine yourself to be doing what the fitness buffs of the 1950’s did, you would surely think that was boring. Of course, when the activities are boring, there is always the possibility that you would come up with a decision to stop doing it. Of course, this would be a negative thing when it comes to fitness. Thankfully, exercising and the types of fitness equipment have changed since the 50s. Some of the equipment is useful and beneficial while others are fads and just a waste of money.
It is just fortunate that there are already a number of companies that focus on the production and sales of gym and quality fitness equipment. These products have helped a lot of people fight obesity in favour of fitness. With these, the issue of boredom has becoe an issue of the past. One of the most popular pieces of fitness equipment nowadays is the cross trainer or elliptical machine. Its popularity though is not merely based on the well-thought of marketing strategies. It is so because people have seen how effective this really is in helping them achieve the desired loss of weight and other fitness goals. The demand for such equipment continues to rise steadily through the years. This should tell you that owning one is a brilliant move.
However, if you just buy a cross trainer because others are doing so, you could easily be throwing you money and time down the drain. If you choose to do this you are not taking this equipment for its true potential and value. This should not be the case. You need to appreciate the equipment for what it really is and not for the fact that it is in demand.
Getting to Know Your Cross Trainer
The cross training machines look like they come out of a futuristic movie set. It does not appear to be something that you should be working out on. These thoughts become a distant memory when you finally get on one and start your workout.
A cross trainer is a low-impact fitness device. This fact alone could mean a lot to people, especially those who are suffering from injuries or those who have weak bone structures and joints. However, even if the impact resulting from its use is low, this could still require physical effort on your part. You may adjust the settings if you want so that the resistance becomes higher. When it does, you would naturally be required to work even harder which is, consequently, good for your body. Such characteristics of the equipment have made it possible for women and older individuals to make the cross trainer their fitness equipment of choice. Moreover, one of the many benefits of this equipment is there is less of a possibility that you sustain an injury seen in other forms of cardio workouts (shin splints, broken bones, sprains and strains).
As you start you movements, the machine comes alive with an excitement when all of its lights recognise you being there. The cross trainer has a pair of “hammocks” for your legs which swing back and forth, as well as, handles for your arms. One conspicuous feature that cross trainers have is the handle. These are for the hands, of course. While holding these, you would surely be compelled to move your arms and, in the process, work out this particular part of the body. However, you should be aware that there are times when you may have to release the handles. Again, this is not for the machine’s sake but for yours. When you let go of the handles, you would be prompted to balance yourself on the pedals. This would give you the experience of climbing the stairs without holding on to anything. While doing so, the resistance would compel you to focus more on the abs or the core muscles. Of course, you would also improve your balance.
Forward pedalling is the movement that you would normally make when you use a cross trainer. This is certain to develop further the muscles on your legs. However, there are also other muscles in the legs that may not be working out as much as the others. This is the reason why it may be necessary for you to change the motion of the pedals once in a while. You could do this by introducing some changes in the equipment’s normal settings. You could have backward pedalling. When you pedal backwards, you improve your agility. But more importantly is that you give more pressure to your hamstrings and glutes, muscles that are not given enough attention as the others with forward pedalling.
Working out on this equipment is truly a full body cardio workout working all the major muscle groups at the same time. Additionally, this machine welcomes you to the workout encouraging you to become fit. Now is the time to get your cross training exercising going!
Getting Started with Your Cross Trainer
Just like all other fitness equipment, it is not wise to just step on the cross trainer and immediately start working out. This is something that you could do easily. But if you are really serious in your efforts to become fit, then you may have to follow certain processes that have proven to be very effective. The first thing that you should do is to warm up. It is prudent to do some stretching exercises first off the equipment. While stretching, you should focus more on your joints. This is because, despite the low impact, it is still the joints on the legs and even on the arms that would work a lot during the entire process.
As with all forms of exercise, you should always start your routine with a warm up. The duration of the warm up need not be too long. Spending between 5-10 minutes worth of time on your workout will severely diminish the possibility that you will sustain an injury. Warm ups provide the body with a “signal” that your body will be doing more intense activities in the future and brings the body to a level to satisfy those activities.
Getting Started Cross Training
Initially, you should not jump on a cross training machine and go full intensity from the beginning. Once warm, you should jump on your cross trainer and should continue to pedal for ten minutes. After this, you stop for a period of one minute. Do not stop for any longer than the one minute time frame. Make sure you do not rest too long, your body could cool down and you are defeating the purpose of the training evolution. Continue this cycle of working out and resting until you are completed with your workout. This is called interval training and prevents the body from getting used to the workout. Just when body believes the workout is over you start you next cycle of ten minutes of cardio. With this training in play, you will sure to be burning additional calories which is exactly what you are looking to do.
At a glance, you would think that users of cross trainers are just working out with more focus on the muscles on the limbs, particularly the arms and legs. This is because the legs are moving along with the pedals and the arms with the handle bars. Because of this, you may think that this equipment does not do anything for the abs and the entire upper body. This is one misunderstanding that people would normally have if they have not tried the equipment themselves or if they are using it incorrectly. This equipment will provide a full body workout that is arguably the best on the market.
Finding the Best Cross Trainer
With enough familiarity of the equipment, the next thing that you may have to do is finding the best cross trainer. Do not take this part of the task lightly. Simply picking up the first one that you see for the lowest price might be doing you and your body a serious disservice. You would have to know about several factors that make one the best cross trainer.
The best cross trainer will be different for all people. What might be great for one person is not necessarily going to be right for another person. You could get a bare bones version and pay a very low price. You next door neighbour could decide that they want the one with all the bells and whistles. To determine what is best for you, you could take a day and head out to a fitness facility to see what types of cross trainers that they offer along all the features but the best way is to head to a fitness store that specialises in equipment and talk to the sales people that are present. Keep in mind that these folks are sales people and are most likely going to try and sell you on the one with all the bells and whistles but they can give great insight into the capabilities of each model. On the flip side of this is to do you comparison shopping and “education” online. On most sites, you can compare the different models to see which ones have the features you are looking for. Additionally, you can read the cross trainer reviews of people that have purchased the models to determine the pros and cons of each model. The problem with doing your analysis this way is that you do not get the ability to “kick the tires” and see if the item is what you are truly looking for. You have to rely on the words listed and hopefully the equipment lives up to the wording on the website.
As you can see, training on a cross trainer can truly provide one of the best workouts. The amount of calories that are used, as well as, the low level of impact make this one of the big favourites in the health clubs. Now is the time to embrace the current way of working out and shed the ideas of the past by introducing cross training to your repertoire. However, as with other workouts and equipment, this piece of equipment will not do the workout for you. You will be required to have a level of commitment from the user to provide the benefits to shaping you mind, body and soul.