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What Muscles Does The Elliptical Machine Work?

What-Muscles-Does-The-Elliptical-Machine-Work

What Muscles Does The Elliptical Machine Work?

Category: Fitness Machine & Workout Tips

The elliptical machine, also known commonly as the cross trainer, is a very popular piece of cardiovascular workout equipment, both in gyms and in many homes. But what muscles does the elliptical machine work on when you are using it? We will explore that in this article.

The leg and arm workout motion is famous, and it is considered to be one of the best ways to get your heart beating faster, your breath going, and your body working to its optimum level.

All of this is beneficial for overall health and wellness, and aids a weight loss program, when used in conjunction with a healthy diet.

Despite that, what muscles does the elliptical machine work? And, is it sufficient to get a total body workout from just one piece of equipment alone? Let’s explore the various muscles that the elliptical machine targets in particular.

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What-Muscles-Does-The-Elliptical-Machine-Work

What Muscles Does The Elliptical Machine Work?

Legs: Hamstrings 

Obviously with the climbing motion that an elliptical machine is famous for, you are going to be working out your legs in particular. Your legs contain several major muscle groups, and one which gets a good is the hamstrings.

Situated towards the back of the upper legs, the hamstrings play a huge role in flexion, and if you choose to change the settings on the machine to give you more of an incline and harder climbing motion, you will be isolating your hamstrings and making them work even harder.

In addition, if you choose to move in a backwards direction, i.e. climbing or running backwards, you will isolate your hamstrings even more. Stretching is vital before you begin, to avoid painful hamstring strains.

Legs: Quadriceps 

Another large muscle in the leg is the thigh. The quadriceps are located at the front of the upper leg, and when you extend your leg, these muscles are activated. Obviously, the motion of climbing or walking involves leg extension quite intensely, but it might be that you don’t really feel it until the next day!

Again, as you move through the various settings, you will work out the large muscles in your legs, but whatever setting you choose, you are working your quadriceps equally. Again, stretching out is important, both before and after.

Legs: Buttocks (Gluteus Maximus)

The climbing motion which the elliptical machine uses is also going to work out the buttocks quite intensely, but they’re also involved in extension of the hip. This is most likely to be pronounced when you change the machine’s setting to an incline, as the hip is extended, isolating the buttocks.

If you want to be able to walk comfortably the next day, it’s important to stretch out this large muscle before a workout, especially on an elliptical machine!

Upper Body: Chest And Triceps Muscles 

If you choose to use the arm levers on the elliptical machine (most have this feature), then you will be working out your upper body just as intensely as your lower body.

Some users find it easier to use the arm levers because it gives a little more stability and something to hold onto. As you are moving the arms back and forth on the levers, you are working out the triceps and the chest muscles, i.e. the pectorals.

The triceps are located in the back of the upper arm, and the action of straightening and bending the arm isolates this particular area, toning it really well. The pecs are also getting a good workout from the pushing away of the arm lever.

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What-Muscles-Does-The-Elliptical-Machine-Work

Upper Body: Back And Biceps Muscles 

Again, the arm levers will also give your back and biceps a good workout. The biceps at the front of the upper arm, and as with the triceps, they receive a workout when you push and pull the lever away from and toward you.

In this case, the biceps are more involved in the pulling of the levers towards you, rather than pushing them away from you. The back rhomboid muscles, which are located between the shoulder muscles, are also isolated during this pulling back motion.

Changing up the settings to a reverse motion will isolate this area even more.

Core Muscles 

You will no doubt know about the core muscles, which give your body overall stability and strength. You can isolate your core by not using the arm levers during your elliptical machine workout, and instead focusing on your lower body.

Your balance might be affected by this, so beginners should learn how to use the machine properly before trying this out.As you can see, an elliptical machine gives you a great workout, both for the upper and lower body.

 

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