The cross-train has established itself as a popular fitness machine since the 1990s and can now be found not only in many studios but also in more and more German households. Compared to jogging outdoors, you can train with this device regardless of the weather.
Also, the training is particularly gentle on the joints, which is particularly beneficial for (very) overweight people. But how much can you lose weight with the cross trainer? We got to the bottom of this question for you.
Cross trainer versus elliptical trainer
Before we go into the benefits of training, you should know the difference between these two training devices. Because even if these terms are used synonymously by many people and the tools are indeed similar, it is not that they are the same sports equipment. The elliptical trainer is further development or the modern successor to the elliptical trainer. The elliptical cross trainer has also been given its name because the training involves cross-over movements of the legs and arms. During a rhythmic run on the elliptical cross trainer, you act with your legs that resemble a combination of climbing stairs and cyclingremind. However, the changes are not round but slightly oval.
A similar effect is also achieved when training with the best elliptical for heavy person. However, the sequence of movements has been optimized. With this device, you perform an elliptical motion with your legs, which comes closer to the regular movement pattern of the body than training with the cross-trainer. You can imagine this movement as a mixture of cross-country skiing and Nordic walking. The crossing of arms and legs naturally continues to take place.
Cross trainer or elliptical trainer – which is better?
Incidentally, the different movement patterns of these two types of devices are due to structural differences. With the elliptical trainer, the flywheel is at the back, while the elliptical trainer is at the front. This subtle difference ensures that an elliptical trainer should be preferred over an elliptical trainer for the following reasons:
- more fluid, more pleasant movements
- less stress on the hip joints and therefore healthier
- Many athletes say that training on the elliptical trainer is more fun, which increases motivation
Regarding the cross trainer, however, it can still be stated that its movement pattern comes closer to that of a jogger. If you only want to use a training device as a jogger in winter, you will probably do better with an elliptical machine than with an elliptical machine. In case of doubt, it merely depends on a practical test and individual preferences.
Can you lose weight with a cross-trainer / elliptical trainer?
These training devices are particularly suitable for endurance training that is easy on the joints. However, the term “endurance training” already indicates that you have to stay on the ball long enough to achieve the desired results.
While shock loads, such as those that often occur during jogging, are primarily eliminated during this training, you train your trunk, legs, and arms at the same time. However, it is essential that you also use the movable handrails for your training and not just hold on to the handles. This would reduce your calorie consumption, but it would also mean that your arm muscles would not be trained.
Several studies show that long-term endurance training can get your fat burning going very well. The great thing about an elliptical machine is that you can start wholly untrained and gradually improve yourself. After all, you can set different slopes and levels of difficulty on most devices to challenge yourself.
As far as calorie consumption is concerned, you can assume that an intensive workout with the cross trainer can cause a similar or even higher calorie consumption than jogging. However, your joints are spared much more, but you can also train with a cross or elliptical trainer at almost any day or night, regardless of the weather.
Tips for the correct and practical training with the cross trainer
Even if fit people can start training on the cross trainer right away, you shouldn’t overdo it. It’s about challenging your body, but not overwhelming it. In the beginning, you should take a day off after each training session.
For a start, half an hour on the elliptical machine is sufficient. It is best to start with a warm-up that should last about five minutes. Later you can still increase your training goal and train three times a week for about an hour.
When training, it also depends on the optimal fat burning pulse, if you would like to lose weight with the cross-trainer. This varies from person to person and is between 50 and a good 70 per cent of your maximum heart rate.
The best thing to do is to choose a cross-trainer with pulse measurement so that you can monitor your target heart rate throughout the workout and always train in the optimal area. If you want to know it correctly, a sports doctor can inform you about your ideal pulse during training.
It depends on the attitude
Even if the risk of injury on a cross-trainer is relatively low, you should take the correct posture. To do this, stand up straight on the elliptical machine and never bend down. The sequence of movements should always be fluid.
Your hips shouldn’t swing to the right or left. It is also essential that you still hold the armrests also to train the muscles in your upper body. Your feet should always keep in contact with the treads. Please do not stand on your heels or toes while you prepare with your elliptical machine! In the long run, this would be rather unhealthy for your calf muscles.
Buying an elliptical machine – what should you pay attention to?
This training device is probably the best choice for home use if you want to train intensively and regularly with an elliptical machine. A look at the following list reveals which factors play a decisive role in addition to the price :
it is best to buy an elliptical trainer instead of an elliptical trainer due to the optimal movement sequences
the maximum load limit (especially crucial for overweight users)
the distance of the pedals
the pulse measurement
whether the elliptical machine can be folded up if there is not enough space
the setting options (different inclines or training programs)
the type of operation – usually via a rotary knob or display
Storage for the training data (ideal for several people, if your family also wants to use the cross trainer)
With a cross or elliptical trainer, you can lose fat and gain muscle during regular training. However, this also presupposes that you eat appropriately and do not immediately destroy your success on the elliptical machine with an unhealthy diet.
Even if you train your muscles, an elliptical cross trainer is not a complete substitute for strength training. You also have to teach in the correct pulse range to stimulate fat burning as effectively as possible. A heart rate monitor is, therefore, essential for your training with the cross-trainer.
Three to four training sessions per week are desirable if you want to lose weight as sustainably. From the low joint strain to the quite high-calorie consumption, which can even exceed that when jogging during an intensive workout, there is much to be said for losing weight with the cross-trainer.
Training is also a lot of fun for people, which is good for motivation. You can not only train on your elliptical cross trainer regardless of the weather, but at the same time, you can also be entertained by your television or an audiobook.