Hello, wonderful people!
Today I’m doing something a little bit different (don’t panic!). Katherine Flowers has written me a super informative post on different exercise equipment and complementary exercises to make sure you get the most out of your machines. I definitely learned something and hopefully you will too!
Peace, love, and health,
Get the Most Out of Your Exercise Equipment
by Katherine Flowers
People want to lose weight—whether that is because they have become concerned at the health risks associated with being overweight or have just had a baby and want to get their figure back. Whatever the reason, good workout routines are now essential to getting the most out of your exercise regime.
Losing weight is achieved by a combination of healthy eating (moderation, people!) and exercise–but how do you go about the latter? Many people just take to the streets and jog before going to work or when they return home from a hard day in the office. Others turn to exercise machines. While they may appear easy to use, injuries are all too common. Here, I hope to help you to have a better understanding of which cardio exercise machines are best suited to your exercise goals.
Here are some of the most suitable machines and how to use them:
The treadmill needs little introduction, as it is probably the most frequently seen machine in gyms and (arguably!) the most used. It is extremely versatile in so much as you can vary the incline as well as the speed at which you are walking, jogging or running. It can be used by everyone from marathon runners to exercise newbies.
Potential Payoff: The treadmill is capable of helping you burn about 17 calories every minute.
Recommended Workout: Choose a speed of around 2 minutes per mile less than the speed that you normally run outdoors. Do this for 2 minutes with the incline at 1%. After that, increase the incline to 4% for a further 2 minutes. Follow this process by raising the incline by 2% every 2 minutes until the treadmill has got to an elevation of 10%. After that, you should come back down the scale by 1% each time for every 2 minutes until the 20 minute period has elapsed.
2) Stationary Bike
The stationary bike is another traditional fixture of the gym. It can help increase endorphins and improve energy levels. To use it correctly, you should cycle for about 5 minutes and then raise your bottom off the seat and pedal in the same way that you would if you were climbing a hill for a period of 1 minute.
Potential Payoff: The stationary bike is capable of helping you burn about 14 calories every minute.
Recommended Workout: A good workout is to cycle at around 95% of the maximum effort you would normally ride at for a period of 90 seconds and then reduce your speed to about 40% of normal effort. Using the same levels, do them again over 60 seconds and 30 seconds. Once you have completed the last 30 second period of recovery, you should cycle to 70% of your maximum effort for a period of 4 minutes. This should be repeated once again.
3) Elliptical Trainer
Elliptical trainers are believed to produce similar cardiovascular benefits as a treadmill machine but without having the same effect on your joints. They make an ideal piece of equipment if you particularly enjoy running and need to stay in shape but without having to face up to the pressure that running on treadmills places on your hips, knees and ankles.
Potential Payoff: The elliptical trainer is capable of helping you burn about 13 calories every minute.
Recommended Workout: Alternate between high resistance levels and high speed levels. In doing so, you should then be capable of working for an extended period of time at a relatively greater intensity.
After warming up, you can heighten the resistance level of the elliptical trainer until you reach a point where you have reached an 80% striding rate of your maximum output. Following a period of 2 minutes, you should reduce the level of resistance to the point it was at when you were warming up but you should heighten the rate of your stride, meaning that you are still achieving the 80% striding rate of your maximum output. Continue alternating in this way for a period of 20 minutes.
4) Rowing Machine
The rowing machine is well known for its capability to provide a good all-around work out. This is because you are using numerous muscles in different parts of your body, including your arms, legs and stomach.
It is important you use the rowing machine correctly. When you are in the back stroke, you need to make sure your knees are both just about straight prior to the squeezing together of your shoulder blades. At this point, you should pull the handle towards your sternum. Whilst doing this, it is important that your back remains naturally arched throughout the process. Good posture is key.
Potential Payoff: The rowing machine is able to burn around 11 calories every minute.
Recommended Workout: Set the resistance at level four on the rowing machine and then undertake a series of 10, 15 and 20 powerful strokes, pulling the handle with as much force and as quickly as possible towards you. Between the power strokes, you should spend a minute making easy strokes of around half of the power you were using. Continue to follow this routine for 20 minutes.
The Bottom Line
It’s a good idea to switch up your exercise routine by trying out different machines (this can help you get out of a weight loss plateau!). By giving different equipment a go, you provide variety within your schedule, don’t get bored as easily and your body gets a balanced workout. Hopefully, this information will provide you with some assistance in choosing the best cardio exercise machines at the gym or for your home to help you lose weight and improve your overall fitness.