Top 10 Mistakes To Avoid On Your Elliptical
Working out on your ProForm elliptical machine offers the benefit of a calorie-burning aerobic exercise that doesn’t put much impact on your body. Yet, certain mistakes people tend to make with this exercise equipment can counteract its benefits and prevent you from maximizing your workouts. So, the next time you hit the elliptical, be aware of these 10 mistakes to avoid and work to overcome them.
Mistake 1: Working out with bad posture.
Slouching and other poor form is capable of reducing the impact of your elliptical workouts. To create the best conditions for maximum results, engage your abdominal muscles, keep your weight on your legs instead of the handles, put your shoulders back and down, and hold your head up with a forward gaze.
Mistake 2: You fail to switch up your workout routine.
Regular exercise is a positive habit, yet you may not get the best results if you stick to the elliptical machine for every workout. It’s a great idea to make this exercise equipment one piece of a broader exercise routine. Mixing up your cardio routine can keep you seeing results in performance and endurance rather than hitting a plateau. It’s also commonly recommended to include strength training, flexibility exercises, and balance activities in your fitness routine.
Also, mix things up on the elliptical itself by increasing frequency and by alternating between moving forward and in reverse, which makes your calves and hamstrings work in a different way. You can also make things interesting by changing the level of resistance and the incline on the machine. Adding resistance pushes your muscles harder to go through the motions. Read on to mistake 8 to learn more about adding an incline.
Mistake 3: Not hydrating properly.
We know it’s easy to get into an exercise groove and forget about everything else—including your water bottle. But it’s essential to hydrate your body any time you workout. During exercise, proper hydration helps your joints move, circulates nutrients that give your body energy, and controls your temperature. Drinking water during your workout also helps prevent dehydration from losing fluids through sweating, which can be dangerous if taken lightly.
Mistake 4: Your machine is making too much noise.
Does your machine squeak every time you move through a rotation? This means you’re neglecting machine maintenance. To keep your elliptical functioning at its best for as long as possible, remember to tighten, clean, and lubricate it according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. As an added bonus, it’s easier to want to workout more and longer if your machine runs quietly and smoothly.
Mistake 5: Not taking advantage of the handlebars.
If you’re letting your arms swing freely while the elliptical handlebars free float, grab hold of them next time you workout. Using the handlebars while you workout brings the exercise to your upper body on top of your lower body—providing a more balanced and higher calorie-burning workout. The more muscles you use, the more calories you can expect to burn. This type of exercise equipment already uses a lot of lower body muscles, and using the handlebars activates muscles of the arms, back, and chest, explains certified personal trainer Evan Johnson.
Mistake 6: Leaning on the handlebars too much.
While it’s beneficial to use the moving handlebars, it’s a mistake to lean your weight on the static ones during your workout. When you do this, you’re not in proper form to gain the most benefit from your exercise session. To gain the most impact from an elliptical, it’s best to let your legs hold your weight and to hold proper posture. Also, focus on engaging your ab muscles to get them in on the action, and to improve your overall posture.
Mistake 7: Not inputting your personal information into the machine.
It’s simple to start an elliptical workout by just stepping on and starting to move. But it’s worth taking a moment to put your information into the machine. It might seem like your personal information won’t make a difference, but it actually does. That’s because the average elliptical machine tends to be calibrated to work with a 150-lb person. If you’re not that weight, you won’t be getting the right information from the machine.
For example, it could tell you that you’re burning a different number of calories than you really are. Input your personal information to get the most accurate reading for your workout.
Mistake 8: Avoiding incline at all costs.
Sure, you’ll use an incline on the treadmill. But do you avoid it on the elliptical? Add that incline at least part of the time to boost the benefits of your workout. By increasing your slope, you’ll burn more calories and pump up your heart rate. Plus, the incline works out certain muscles like glutes and hamstrings better than the standard position.
Mistake 9: Not distributing your weight evenly over the pedals.
First of all, make sure you’re balancing your body weight evenly between your feet. Then, focus on getting the right distribution throughout each foot. Each time you go through an elliptical motion, put the bulk of your weight on the ball of your foot. Move the weight along your foot until it gets to your heels before you start a new movement. This method helps you maximize your workout and minimizes injury.
Mistake 10: Forgetting to breathe.
Breathe in and out while you exercise, right? It seems that simple, but breathing in the right way can help you gain better performance from your elliptical workout. If you take longer, deeper breaths rather than quick, shallow ones, you remove carbon dioxide, give your muscles more oxygen, and gain better endurance.
Focusing on these elliptical mistakes to avoid can help you make the most of what your ProForm elliptical has to offer.