Spend enough time in a gym, and you’re sure to start noticing the little mistakes that hold people back from achieving the results they are striving for. Which is why I was drawn in by this article: Worst Workout Mistakes on the Elliptical Trainer Machine – Prevention.com.
Truthfully, the elliptical is a great machine – it offers a low impact workout, and, when used correctly, can offer great fat-torching benefits. But take a look around a gym, and you’re sure to see all of the mistakes mentioned in this list. Among my favorites: little to no resistance, warp-speed, slouching and, one that’s not listed here – paying more attention to your reading material than your workout.
Now, why are these no-nos? Here’s a quick rundown:
- Little to no resistance: Yes, it does feel easy. Because essentially, you’re doing nothing. Personally, I love keeping the elliptical at a medium to high level resistance (usually between 10-16 out of 20 on my trusty Precor) – you may not be moving too quickly, but you are definitely forcing your muscles to work harder the heavier you go … meaning you add a muscle-building element to your cardio workout.
- Warp-speed: If it looks like your machine is about to take off, you are probably moving too fast – which means your resistance is too light. Bump up your resistance. People are probably looking at you like you’re crazy.
- Slouching: I’ve discussed this in the past – if you are slouching, you aren’t getting all the benefits out of your workout. Leaning on the machine can reduce your calorie burn upwards of 30%. So stand up straight, and if your machine doesn’t have handles, try to let go – you’ll work harder, and engage those ever-important core muscles (three words: bonus ab work).
- Reading rather than working: If you are intent on your reading material, you are taking energy away from your workout. It’s a lot easier to “phone it in” when you are engrossed in your book or magazine instead of your workout. Add some new tunes to the iPod instead – it’s proven that listening to music while you work out can actually make you work harder (without even realizing it).
So, there they are – just a few reasons you could be holding yourself back without even knowing it. Check out the link for several more easily correctable mistakes that can help you get the most out of your elliptical workout (a few to check out: not putting your information in the machine – yes, ellipticals tend to be the biggest offenders when it comes to over-reporting calorie burn, and you don’t change directions – you’re missing out on working an entirely different set of muscles).