Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday Review: Elliptical Trainers

Here's what I think about elliptical trainers: they really have no place in a Strength and Conditioning facility, fitness center, etc. Ok, so I don't want to be overly harsh on the elliptical trainer at least it has a hip name...

The reality is I can not find a good reason to use an elliptical trainer for a healthy individual. Treadmills and stationary bikes work perfectly fine to accomplish every goal in the book in my mind. Now, if your argument is low impact training I would say use the bike or walk on a treadmill to accomplish the same thing. If you or your client doesn't like the bike, then swim. If you want a low impact exercise, but the client has some kind of limitation or dysfunction in the hips and they need to be in an upright position I think they will still benefit greatly from swimming. If this dysfunctional client is hydrophobic, then you may need to use an elliptical.

Here's the point- Elliptical trainers really aren't doing anything special and I think too many people have become overly obsessed with the elliptical phenomenon. There may only be a rare population that actually "needs" to use an elliptical trainer, otherwise they are obsolete. IF YOU ARE A HEALTHY FEMALE DO NOT USE AN ELLIPTICAL! (especially those under age 30) You need to benefit from weight bearing exercises to stimulate bone development and increase bone mineral density to help reduce your risk for osteoporosis later in life. It's like planting a good health seed in your garden, you may not see any benefits now, but the seed will bloom and blossom in the future. Osteoporosis is already a problem among aging women and I suspect it will continue to haunt those who are inactive or do not perform weight bearing activities in their lifetime.

If I ever own or build a facility, I am looking forward to buying maybe one elliptical training machine and using the money I saved on others toward more effective tools in the weight room. I am interested to hear your thoughts or opinions...

Also, you may always feel free to e-mail me at, Thank you.

1 comment:

  1. I workout on my Bowflex Treadclimber everyday for 40 minutes and have done so 295 days in a row. I lost 82 lbs and feel like I am 35 again. I am 54...