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How To Buy An Elliptical Crosstrainer

Elliptical crosstrainers offer a zero-impact aerobic workout. They have become popular as home exercise equipment because of their versatility and value.

How They Work

  • An "ellipse" is an oval shape, roughly describing the path your feet take when you walk or run
  • The machine enables your feet to move somewhere between the circular motion of a bike and the flat motion of a treadmill, thereby easing the strain on your joints
  • The primary motion is a forward ellipse, but some offer a backwards motion as well
  • It adds variety to your workout and allows different leg muscles to be used

Types of Elliptical Machines

Elliptical machines either have independent or dependent action.

  • Independent action machines
    • They make you work more efficiently by forcing each leg to move in a forward sloping motion with the pedal
  • Dependent action machines
    • The force of one drives the other, allows for less impact on the joints
  • Dual action models
    • These offer movable bars with hand grips to work the upper body at the same time
  • Ramps
    • One other feature on some is an adjustable incline ramp that allows you to concentrate on different leg-muscle groups

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