Elliptical machines are a popular equipment choice among exercisers and provide an excellent, effective full-body cardio workout. To fully achieve the weight loss and muscle-building benefits, as well as keep pain and injuries away, proper posture is key.
Watch Your Back
The number one bad posture offense seen at the gym is bad back posture. Often, people lean too far forward, slumping or hunching and using the movable arms as support. Not only will you not reap the full benefits of working out on an elliptical machine with bad posture, you may suffer pain and stiffness later. For proper back posture, step on the machine with your back straight, shoulders back and head held high. Keep your abdominal muscles tight to help maintain this posture throughout your workout.
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To keep your feet and toes from tingling, place them in close to the inside edge of the pedals. Focus your weight on the heels of your feet, not your toes. Running on your toes will reduce the blood flow and cause a tingly, numbing sensation. Use your feet as you would if you were walking on a regular surface: start with the heel, roll on downwards to the middle of your foot and end with your toes.
Easy on the Grip
Another elliptical machine offense is a death-like grip on the handlebars. Ease your grip and keep your arms relaxed. Maintain a good stride by using your natural range of motion. If the handlebars feel unnatural or out of reach, let go, place your arms by your sides and swing your natural swing. Remember to maintain a straight back posture. By not holding onto the handlebars, you should definitely feel the burn in your core, trunk and legs.
Make sure to keep your weight evenly distributed while you work out. This means no leaning on the machine for assistance. Focus your weight on the lower half of your body, such as your butt, quads and thighs. To do this, bend your legs slightly as if preparing to squat. As you move, the forward motion of the elliptical machine will naturally keep your legs slightly bent. Maintain a straight back posture as you move your legs. If you feel pain anywhere else, then you're not evenly balanced.