The do’s and don’ts of using an elliptical

May 2, 2013

For people who want to get fit but have some sort of aversion to treadmills, elliptical fitness equipment is a great alternative. Because this exercise motion is easier on the joints than running, an elliptical is a fantastic way to get in some cardio training without aggravating old injuries. However, if you want to have an effective workout, there are a few do's and don'ts you'll need to remember.

DO: Use quality cardio fitness equipment
Using an elliptical that's designed for versatility could make all the difference. The award-winning TRUE Fitness M30 is innovatively designed to provide the industry's only upper-body workout, which means you'll get more bang for your buck each time you exercise. It also monitors your heart rate, and can be put on cruise control so you can maintain your target for the entire workout.

DON'T: Do the same routine every day
If you do the same workout over and over again, your body will become too efficient, causing you to burn fewer calories each time you exercise. To make sure you're getting the most out of your fitness routine, use the versatile features of the elliptical to play with the speed, incline and resistance. You can even try pedaling backward!

DO: Use internals
Interval training is a great way to make sure the time you spend on the elliptical is as efficient as possible. Most elliptical fitness equipment comes with pre-set interval programs, so do some experimenting to see what you like. You can also play with the resistance and incline to develop your own routine.

DON'T: Go too fast
Although you may think that moving faster will burn more calories, if you pedal too quickly you'll gain too much momentum and won't be able to fully engage your muscles. Try to find a happy medium.

DO: Work your upper body
Using an elliptical isn't all about working your legs – you can also engage your arms for a full-body workout. Make sure you are actively pushing and pulling on the handles as you move your legs. If you're on the TRUE M30, take advantage of its upper-body only workout once in awhile to reach your maximum fitness potential.

DON'T: Have bad form
When it comes to getting the most out of your workout on an elliptical, having proper form is half the battle. Don't slouch! Keep your body upright with your head over your shoulders and your shoulders over your hips. Be actively aware of your form throughout the workout, and remember not to bend over the handles.