We often get asked a variety of questions about exercising on a cross trainer. These are very diverse workout machines that can help so many different athletes and people in various situations. Here are a few of the questions we often get asked that you may not find in our our elliptical trainer reviews. You may be surprised by a few!
Can I Use An Elliptical Trainer When I Am Pregnant?
Many women are worried about losing their fitness and body shape when they are pregnant. If you are fit and in good shape already, some people would like to carry on training and keep their bodies in good shape while carrying a little one.
The first thing we would say here is that you need to talk to your doctor or midwife before you decide to do any exercise when you are pregnant. Everyone is different and being pregnant can put various strains on your body in different ways. So don’t chance it, check first!
As a rule the less impact training that you do when you are pregnant the better. A cross trainer is perfect for this, it will allow you to train at very low impact levels on your joints and will feel a lot more comfortable than pounding the pavements. As you are further into your pregnancy impact training will become harder so you may decide to use the cross trainer more and more. If you want some gentle programs you will be able to select a less intense program to suit. Certainly, as your due date approaches you will want to give more thought to the stress you’re putting your body under, and get continual professional medical advice.
Are Cross Trainers Good For Abs?
Many of us are looking for the perfect abdominal muscles to look great. An elliptical cross trainer is not the best option for working specifically on your abs. Aerobic exercise will help with your core strength which will in turn help your abs. But, there are a lot better exercises out there specifically for building strong abdominal muscles.
How Many Calories Does An Elliptical Trainer Burn?
This is impossible to say as each person and each training session are different. It is a great piece of gym equipment for a cardiovascular workout, meaning it will help you burn a lot of calories. The amount of calories that you use will depend on a lot of things like your size, the length of the program you are working on and the intensity of the session.
The longer endurance sessions will burn a lot of calories. It has been reported that you can easily burn 400 to 700 calories in an hour workout. The shorter sessions burn less calories but the number of calories burned can be increased by raising the intensity of the session. A hard work out over 30 minutes with many intervals could therefore burn up to 350 calories.
If you are new to exercise and want to start getting your fitness up and your weight down, the elliptical trainer is for you. The low impact on your joints is a massive benefit for those that are carrying a bit too much weight. You can use this machine to get your fitness going and your weight under control before doing other types of training like running.
Should I Use An Elliptical Trainer For Improving My Cycling?
This is something we get asked a lot. All of you keen cyclists out there want something to boost your performance on the bike. However, it’s not always easy to get away from the house. The standard cross trainers are not ideal for supplementing cycle training specifically. It does, however, offer a very good low impact cardiovascular workout which will improve fitness which in turn will help with stamina.
The answer is to get yourself a 2 in 1 cross trainer and exercise bike. You can enjoy using the both types of training with a lot more focus on the cycling muscles by using the exercise bike. If you get bored and would like to mix it up a bit then you can move to the elliptical. In our cross trainer reviews we have a couple of 2 in 1’s. Why not have a look at the JTX 2 in 1, click here to read the detailed review.
Can I Use A Cross Trainer While Watching TV?
The answer to this one is yes, assuming you’ve got a TV wherever you put the cross trainer! If you only get an hour at the end of the day to squeeze in EastEnders and do your exercise, then you are going to be pushed for time. You can set up your elliptical at home to be in front of the TV and start exercising while you watch.
Make sure you are concentrating on the workout as well as the TV. If you are looking for a really hard workout where you need to really push your self the chances are you will miss some of the TV program. This is a big benefit to machines like cross trainers, they are so flexible for the every day busy house hold. It’s so easy to hop on and grab a quick workout no matter what is going on in the house.
Can The Whole Family Use It?
Well, all of the cross trainers reviewed are designed for adult use. It would not be advisable to put children on them to train. But, they are great for the older teenagers and adults in the house that want to share fitness equipment. It can save the family a lot of money by having an elliptical you can all use, compared to several people’s gym memberships.
You need to buy a model that has adjustable stride length so that is can be set up for the different sized users. If you have a single stride length it may be a bit uncomfortable for some people to use.
Have a look at the NordikTrack E9.5 review. This is a serious model that will serve the whole family well, bringing gym quality into the home.
Can I Move It Around The House Easily?
Depending on what model you go for, it is possible to manoeuvre your trainer around the house. Some of the more expensive models with large fly wheels can be larger and quite heavy. If you are looking for moveable cross trainers then the larger ones are (obviously) not the best to look at.
It also depends on why you want to move it. If you are looking to tuck it away after use it would be wise to go for a smaller model like some of the York Fitness Active 110.
You could also look at going for a space saving model. The JTX Tri Fit is a brilliant model that combines high quality with a very compact design. This means it will fit in parts of the home that most conventionally designed models wouldn’t. Have a read of the detailed JTX Tri Fit cross trainer review here.
How Long Should I Train For?
There is no definitive answer to this question. We all like to train in different ways and our fitness levels will vary. The length of time you train for will be dictated by the time you have spare and your fitness.
Most of the models we have reviewed have various training programs installed that will be of varying lengths and intensity. They are standard programs that should suit a lot of users, but you can also set your own workouts. The time and intensity of your work out should be tailored to fit your training goals. If you are unsure of how to train you can start with the built in programs, or get advice from a fitness instructor on how to achieve the levels of fitness you are looking for.
It’s also worth noting that if you’re new to working out, or starting from a very low fitness level, it is wise to get checked over by your GP before you begin exercising.
Can Cross Trainers Help With Weight Loss?
This is a tricky subject as there are many factors that assist with weight loss. There is no getting away from the fact that regular exercise is good for losing weight. A good cardiovascular workout on an elliptical trainer will be great for burning calories. The longer and harder the workouts are the more calories you will burn which will assist with weight loss.
Weight loss is often achieved by a combination of factors that lead to a healthier lifestyle like healthy eating and exercise. If you don’t do very much exercise and then start working out four times a week on your elliptical it will have a lot of health benefits and could well get rid of a few pounds.
If you are looking to lose a lot of weight a cross trainer is a great tool. It will be more gentle on your body than many other gym machines like running machines. This will make exercise a lot more comfortable in the early days.
Is It Wise To Buy A Second Hand Elliptical Trainer?
Well, there are plenty of second hand models available in the local paper or on sites like gumtree and Ebay. Our advice would be not to buy second hand, as it is difficult to know what sort of use they have had.
There are a lot of moving parts that can get worn out from very heavy use over a period of years. You could go and have a look at one that looks absolutely great. What you can’t see is the wear and tear it has suffered. You also won’t have a guarantee of how well the trainer has been looked after by the current owners. If it has been used heavily it will have needed to be maintained properly.
If you buy second hand you will not be covered by a guarantee. You may well save 40% of the money on a new one but if it needs fixing you will soon spend that money on parts and labour. If you buy new, you will have the peace of mind of a guarantee to cover any faults.
Often the second hand market is a false economy as many of the models go into the sales from time to time. Prices on sites like Amazon are very competitive. So what you actually might find is that you are not really saving that much in the initial outlay either.
Let’s face it, buying second hand is a big gamble. On one hand you may pick up a brilliant machine that has only been used a handful of times by the owner and is in great condition. There are a lot of cross trainers that are bought with great intentions and never get used. On the other hand, you may buy one from a serious runner, or doesn’t work properly. This may have had hard use through tough training sessions 3 days a week for a year. It all depends on the risk you want to take.
In our top ten cross trainers you will find some seriously good value models, which are well worth considering.
Do Famous Athletes Use Cross Trainers?
Cross trainers are use by a large cross section of fitness enthusiasts. The benefits of using one are just as big for an Olympic athlete as they are for the beginner.
A professional athlete will be training very hard almost every day, often much of this training can be high impact. Using a cross trainer allows them to switch to a machine that gives them a great workout but reduce a bit of the pressure on their joints. This can help minimise the risk of injury whilst training, helping key joints rest a bit while training. Also, all athletes need very good cardiovascular fitness which allows their body to work at full capacity. An elliptical trainer offers great cardiovascular benefits and helps with general fitness in a big way.
Many famous athletes have been known to use cross trainers and other stars like Rihanna have been reported in the papers to use one to keep their body in tip top shape.