Eliptical Machines, are they effective?

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    Aug 22, 2007 9:46 PM GMT
    I use the eliptical (sp?) machine for cardio. My trainer told me that it does not work. Is that true?

    I'm usually on it for an hour. I find it easier to use. Due to some old dance injuries to my knees, I have a difficult time using the treadmill.
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    Aug 22, 2007 10:16 PM GMT
    I used mine for about 45 minutes 3 x's a week and it did WONDERS. Then I switched to the treadclimber which I LOOOOOVE!
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    Aug 22, 2007 10:19 PM GMT
    It works great if you are wanting to burn calories. You can also increase the resistance to build up endurance. Running is probably the best exercise for a person but it is hard on the knees.
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    Aug 22, 2007 10:30 PM GMT
    Thanks, guys. I try switching up my cardio routine just so I don't get bored. My PT saw me on the eliptical machine and quickly told me to get off. He said it doesn't really work. I told him well why do you guys have this machine in the club?

    The weird thing is, I feel that I get a great workout on that machine. The steps really support my knees and it gets my heart rate up.

    Thanks again. - Jorel
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    Aug 22, 2007 10:40 PM GMT
    maybe it's all relative - most of this fitness stuff seems to be that way, all I know is that for my part, it worked well for this bag o' bones.

    NICK
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    Aug 22, 2007 10:46 PM GMT
    Are there any of these machines that are a reasonable size for a home gym?

    I've had a lightweight climber machine for quite a few years. Mostly I use it for warmups and winter-time cardio, but man that gets boring. For cardio, I usually, I do a circuit-training type of routine with two or three minutes of climbing between light sets of weights.

    The great thing about this machine is the very small footprint and relative ease of moving it around. Anyway, it's just about worn out and I'm looking for something else that has a small footprint.

    ev-ey_73500.jpg
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    Aug 22, 2007 11:59 PM GMT
    Glad to hear they work. Need some new machine for cardio to escape boredom. Like Mindgarden, I'm looking for something with a small footprint that I can use at home.
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    Aug 23, 2007 5:33 AM GMT
    Elliptical trainers do indeed work. Like Nick I used them for my cardio until my gym got incline trainers. Often times I would see the same people doing the same cardio on the same machines and they always looked the same (ie no progress). I believe that cardio trainers are most effective when used for interval training. Most machines have variable resistance or incline. Changing this at random keeps your body guessing and provides a more interesting and more effective workout.
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    Aug 23, 2007 5:58 AM GMT
    I use the elliptical as running equivalency a couple of times a week I set it on a resistance in the middle and pedal hard. It's definitely helped my turnover rate and speed, while providing a low impact work out.
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    Aug 23, 2007 10:04 AM GMT
    1) I'm a trainer, and endorse the use of an elliptical. Like any piece of equipement, it can be used correctly or incorrectly.

    2) My partner is a trainer, and as part of his contest preparation he's spending 1 hour/day on an elliptical - and leaning down quite nicely, thank you.

    You do have to set sufficient resistance that you have to work - you can't just glide back and forth serenely.

    Oddly enough, I cannot use one becuase it is very uncomfortable for my knees - and must resort to treadmill or a bike. It's curious that your knee injuries lead you in the opposite direction.

    Joey
    NSCA-CPT
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    Aug 23, 2007 11:13 AM GMT
    I started to use a stairclimber a month ago and it seems to work effectively on shrinking the damn lovehandles I have.
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    Aug 23, 2007 11:29 AM GMT
    I have the same problem as PSBigJoey. I don't use the elliptical - it makes my knees hurt. However, I'm fine on the treadmill doing interval training (run/walk/run/walk/repeat). I also switch up and sometimes use a recumbant bike.

    I've never heard someone say an elliptical was no good. I'm curious as to what your trainer's reasoning is.
  • jc_online

    Posts: 487

    Aug 23, 2007 12:09 PM GMT
    I use and like the effects of the eliptical machine, but after about 25 minutes my foot starts to feel numb. Any of yout trainers have an explanation for this? Or a suggestions of how I can change this - I'd like to go for 45 -an hour about 3x/week, but I'm concerned about the numbness...
  • DenveRyk

    Posts: 167

    Aug 23, 2007 12:12 PM GMT
    Similar question to the one posed by jc above. I wouldn't say my foot goes numb, but sort of tingly, if that makes sense--a bit like pins and needles, more than not feeling anything which is what I would understand by "numb".
  • jc_online

    Posts: 487

    Aug 23, 2007 12:54 PM GMT
    Yes, tingly is a more accurate discription. I have that same feeling when a part of my body is going numb (like a hand or arm, etc).

    Thank you for the clarification and validation that it's not just me!

    Man, I love this community! :o)
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    Aug 23, 2007 1:30 PM GMT
    what kind of trainer would say that en eliptical "doesn't work" ?

    if that's really what he's saying, you should consider finding someone qualified. :)
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    Aug 23, 2007 2:00 PM GMT
    I use the elliptical at my gym whenever I do cardio and definitely get a good workout from it. I agree with others in that it can be used correctly or incorrectly.
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    Aug 23, 2007 6:10 PM GMT
    My trainer said not to use the elliptical machine because it's not effective. He prefers I use the treadmill and/or the rowing machine for cardio because he thinks I get a better workout with those machines.

    I do alternate between the rowing machine and the elliptical machine.

    I think it is odd, PSBigJoey and Joescorpio1970, that our knee issues are the opposite. For me, it's the coming down on my knees when running on the treadmill. With the elliptical machine, the steps move with your feet and so the pressure on my knees is not as severe.

    Thanks for everyone's comments. Sounds like using the elliptical machine is a good thing. Thanks again. - Jorel
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    Aug 23, 2007 6:20 PM GMT
    Sorry. Just wanted to add that I too have tingling sensations in my feet when using the elliptical machine. Glad someone brought it up.

    Lastly, what is the difference between correctly and incorrectly? I'm assuming it's feet placement, posture and the correct levels of difficulty.
  • DenveRyk

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    Aug 23, 2007 9:45 PM GMT
    Thanks for the info, Psych. It seems so obvious!! LOL Will try it tomorrow.
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    Aug 23, 2007 9:55 PM GMT
    As gay men, we really do need to preserve our knees. It's too bad more gyms weren't equipped with swimming pools. It's probably the best cardio in terms of accomodating the heart AND bones, I'm guessing.
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    Aug 23, 2007 10:26 PM GMT
    How are your knees, McG?
  • DenveRyk

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    Aug 23, 2007 10:30 PM GMT
    I think you're right on the advantages of swimming, McGay. I do 45 minutes worthof laps, non-stop, twice a week--great for burning cals, and no impact to adversely efect the knees. Leaves them available for other abuse =: )
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    Aug 24, 2007 9:57 AM GMT
    My knees? Locked and loaded and ready for action.
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    Aug 24, 2007 12:28 PM GMT
    I'm all for the elliptical. I used to be obese, but in January of this year I bought an elliptical and I could barely do 1/4 mile. I put myself on a regimen (6 days a week - religiously), and I started with just 1/4 mile and everytime I trekked on the elliptical I added 1/4 mile. I eventually got up to 5 miles. I then started ramping up the resistance. Now I do 6 miles a day, 6 days a week at full-on resistance. I've lost 40 lbs, gained muscle. My body is in much better shape, my face looks much better, I have more energy and I'm more confident. And I only spent $150 on a cheap elliptical. Thus far, the elliptical has been a wonderful experience for me.

    My goals now are to stay at 6 miles a day, 6 days a week but using the isometric resistance, keep creating more resistance - which breaks down and builds muscle - with the proper nutrition of course.

    In addition to exercise, I drink two servings of a designer whey protein, enhanced with l-glutamine which is very important for those who are doing serious cardio training.