Elliptical trainers are designed to simulate walking or running, and are sort of a cross between a stepper and treadmill. The big advantage with an elliptical trainers is they are low impact. If you buy a magnetic elliptical trainer they are really smooth and quiet to use and can easily be used in front of the TV without waking the neighbours.
A good elliptical trainer workout would be 30 mins long, repeated 3-4 times a week.
Warm up striding at a gentle place for 5 mins. Then stride so your heart rate is raised to you training zone for 20 mins then cool down for 5 mins at a gentle pace. Your target heart rate is calculated from your maximum heart rate, this is 220 – your age. If you are just starting out then a good place to start is 60-70% of this max heart rate. For more advanced users, a good range is 70-80%.
As you become more advanced you could progress to interval training which could be 1 mins fast and 2 mins slow, repeat this for the full 20 mins. Spinning on the an exercise bike involves going on an imaginary journey, going uphill where you get out of the saddle and pedal, and fast downhill sprints. You can do the same on an elliptical trainer, pretend to be going up and downhills, by varying the resistance.
The elliptical trainers are very versatile, for example if you lean forward on the handle bars you can gain a good upper body workout. You can of course stride backwards as well as forwards. Stride forward and you exercise your quadriceps, buttocks, lower abdominal, hips and thighs. Pedal backwards and your hamstrings, lower buttocks, hips, thighs, and calves are targeted. They are the ideal exercise equipment to have in the home as they provide an all over body workout.