Use an elliptical to strengthen your core

May 22, 2013

While it’s no secret that elliptical fitness equipment is ideal for an excellent cardio workout free of joint pain, did you know it can also help you strengthen your core? If you’re the type of person who dreads doing sit​ups or crunches of any kind, consider combining your core workout with your weekly cardio fitness routine.

Use the right elliptical fitness equipment
Some elliptical machines are specifically designed to give you the option of working different areas of your body, such as your core and upper- or lower-body. The TRUE Fitness M30 elliptical is equipped with TRUE’s Cardio 360â„¢ program, which is as close as you can get to having a personal trainer in your home without actually hiring one. With the M30, you can use isolating exercises to target different muscle groups and get the results you’re looking for.

Let go of the handles
Although you should always be engaging your core while exercising, letting go of the handles on your elliptical machine will take it to an entirely new level. Your core is what helps keep you upright, and trying a hands-free workout will force you to concentrate on your balance, causing you to contract the muscles in your abdomen. Be careful not to sway side-to-side once you let go.

Play with resistance and incline
Another way to work your core while getting a cardio workout is by playing with the resistance and incline on your home elliptical machine. Adjusting one or both will make it more challenging for you to move back and forth, and, in turn, will force your core to work a bit harder during your workout.

Check your posture
As you work on these methods of engaging your core, be constantly aware of your posture. Stand up straight, and don’t lean forward over the handles if you want to maintain your balance. Placing your hands on your hips is an easy way to keep tabs on your posture.