What Is an Elliptical Bike Good for?
For something to be elliptical, it must use an oval shape. This is true for elliptical bikes. In fact, an elliptical bike combines elements of an elliptical trainer with those of an exercise bike. This creates an effective piece of exercise equipment that has more benefits than just an exercise bike or just an elliptical trainer. Indoor models offer a seat, like a recumbent bike, with pedals that move in an elliptical fashion. Outdoor models feature wheels, like bicycles, with pedals and handlebars like traditional elliptical machines.
Impact and Safety
Because your feet never leave the pedals, elliptical bikes offer a low-impact form of exercise. This makes using an elliptical exercise bike safe for your joints and bones. Because some models allow you to sit while exercising, elliptical bikes can be ideal for people with back injuries or other impairments that make it difficult to stand for long periods of time. Elliptical bikes are generally safe for the elderly and for people who are injured or have joint conditions such as arthritis. It is also beneficial to people who are obese or not used to strenuous workouts.
Elliptical bikes help improve your cardiovascular fitness. They work both the upper half and the lower half of the body, stimulating your blood flow. Ultimately, this causes your heart rate to increase and strengthens your cardiovascular system. As with all aerobic exercise, exercising with an elliptical bike reduces your risk of heart disease, stroke and hypertension. You can also change the intensity level of your elliptical bike to create a more difficult workout and further increase the cardiovascular benefits.
With elliptical bikes, you burn plenty of calories in a short amount of time because you work your entire body. When exercising on elliptical bikes, its simple to develop an rhythmic pace. To increase your caloric burn, increase your pace or the resistance on the machine for one minute. Then, return to your normal level of exertion for two minutes. Repeat the intervals for a 15 or 20 minute period. These high-intensity intervals allows for you to burn more calories during and after your workout.
Building of Muscle
Elliptical bikes are even beneficial for building muscle. This particular piece of exercise equipment works both halves of your body, allowing you to build muscle in your legs, arms, back and abdomen simultaneously. In addition, you can change the resistance to create a more difficult challenge for your muscles.
- Shape: 8 Benefits of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
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- Damiano DL, Norman T, Stanley CJ, Park HS. Comparison of elliptical training, stationary cycling, treadmill walking and overground walking. Gait Posture. 2011;34(2):260–264. doi:10.1016/j.gaitpost.2011.05.010
Christine DiMaria began writing in 2001. She has written for Blue Mountain and various online publications. DiMaria is pursuing an Associate of Arts in health-care administration from the University of Phoenix.