Problems With Seated Ellipticals

Man with a towl over his head holding a water bottle on an elliptical machine
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Seated ellipticals are a variation on standard elliptical machines that simulate the act of running, biking and climbing. While a seated elliptical can be more beneficial for individuals who have trouble exercising while standing, the machines require a certain level of coordination that some individuals lack. This can result in improper form on the machine that may result in pulled muscles and other injuries.

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Moving and Assembly

An initial problem that many buyers of a seated elliptical face is safe and proper assembly of the unit. The average seated elliptical is between 180 and 200 pounds. As a result, it is heavy to lift and move. According to Octane Fitness, caution must be used when moving and positioning your seated elliptical unit. Assemble the unit with several friends or professional movers, making sure to bend down fully and use your legs to lift any of the heavier aspects of the machine itself. In addition to using caution when moving the object, proper assembly is essential to using the product properly. While some seated ellipticals come pre-assembled, others require full assembly. Putting together an advanced piece of equipment like a seated elliptical can often result in improper operation of the device.


Improper Positioning

Adjustable seats and seat backs come standard on seated ellipticals. While the variety of angles that you can lock the seat into offer the potential for greater comfort and mobility, improper positioning of the seat can result in back injuries and additional muscles strains. As a rule, your seat should be far enough away from the pedals that your feet fully extend when pushing the pedals away from your body. Keeping the seat too close to the pedals can result in cramping and additional leg pains. With regard to the seat back, adjusting the angle depends entirely on your height. If the angle is too severe, you can injure your back or leg muscles by riding in an awkward position.


Back Support

Seated ellipticals are often utilized by individuals who are looking to put less impact on their knees and low back muscles while exercising. Many of these individuals are elderly or recovering from prior injuries. Despite the need for adequate back support, some seated ellipticals come without seat backs. This can result in additional tension being placed on your low back as well as your other core muscles. As a result, it is important before purchasing a seated elliptical to research which one has the most back support.


While a seated elliptical is designed to improve your cardiovascular health and endurance levels, it is important to consult your doctor to make sure you are healthy enough to exercise on a seated elliptical machine. If you feel any symptoms such as nausea, dizziness or excessive sweating, you should immediately stop exercising on the seated elliptical machine. Pushing yourself with too much resistance on the seated elliptical can result in physical injury as well as dehydration.