Since its introduction in 1995, the elliptical trainer continues to gain faithful users. In fact, it is on track to surpass the treadmill in terms of popularity.
In terms of sales, between 2004 and 2005, treadmills experienced a 5% sales growth, while for the same time period, elliptical trainers experienced an impressive 29% sales growth! You only have to look at the long elliptical trainer line-ups at your local gym to see how many people are hooked.
The IDEA Health & Fitness Association undertook its 10 th annual survey of 300 member facilities in North America and found out that elliptical trainers are used by 74 percent of the responding facilities.
They have overtaken the stair climber in terms of popularity and are only a fraction behind the treadmill, which is still going strong at 76 percent usage at the facilities. In fact, elliptical trainers, treadmills and free weights are considered the three most essential pieces of equipment identified most often by respondents.
I believe the two biggest reasons for the elliptical trainer gaining popularity is its ease of use and the total body weight bearing workout it provides.
As baby boomers recognize the vast importance of exercising, they are flocking to health clubs in record numbers. The low impact workout that the elliptical trainer provides is appealing to the older set.
Anyone with joint problems appreciates the smooth gliding action of the elliptical movement. According to a fellow at my gym, he abandoned the treadmill about fifteen years ago after he sustained a serious knee injury.
It wasn't until he discovered the elliptical that he realized he could get great cardiovascular exercise that was also easy on his joints.
Another reason for the gaining popularity of the elliptical trainer is its ability to provide a terrific, all over body, weight bearing workout. The moveable handlebars work the majority of upper body muscles.
When you do not have a lot of time to exercise, being able to workout the majority of your muscles in one session is appreciated.
With an elliptical trainer, you are working the upper and lower body simultaneously, which means your heart rate climbs more quickly than other cardiovascular equipment.
This fact means that you need less time to achieve greater results. In other words, as your legs, back, shoulders, chest, biceps, and triceps are working; you are burning more calories in less time!
Another benefit is being able to work the pedals in a forward or backward motion. You will engage and challenge different muscles in your legs depending on the motion. This versatility makes the elliptical an excellent training tool.
In addition, the elliptical trainer provides an intense weight bearing workout, something the stationary cycle does not. The American Council on Exercise in San Diego called the elliptical workout more intense than using a stair climber or bike and as intense as running at an 11.5 minute mile pace or taking a high impact aerobics class!
I remember one of the first times I stepped onto an elliptical trainer. Already being familiar with the fitness scene, I was in pretty decent cardiovascular shape. I also remember commenting to a friend of mine that the workout seemed too easy and that there was no way I could be getting all the benefits I had read about.
I was surprised to read that I was not alone in this experience. In fact, scientific studies have demonstrated that when you are working out on an elliptical trainer, your body may be tricked into believing that it is working more easily than it actually is.
Therefore, even though you are burning more calories in less time on an elliptical trainer, your body feels as though it doesn't have to work as hard to achieve its goals! It's an interesting oxymoron!
Discover for yourself all of the great reasons the elliptical trainer is gaining in popularity. You too will enjoy the pain free, easy to use, weight bearing, and calorie burning experience on the elliptical trainer.
The elliptical machine offers so many terrific health benefits that it truly may be the most perfect cardiovascular exercise machine available on the market today.
All the best,
As the owner of Building Muscle 101, I am committed to providing you the best practical weight training advice. I've been training for over 24 years (and still train to this day!) and the advice and guidance I provide comes directly from my experience and knowledge.
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