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Elliptical trainer proper form?

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:02 pm
by zipster
Is there a proper form for using the Elliptical trainers? I ask because it seems too easy when compared to the same calorie burn vs jogging and biking.

Re: Elliptical trainer proper form?

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:11 pm
by NightFaLL
Most elliptical trainers you can build up motion on.

Stop pedaling on a bike and the pedals stop, stop moving your legs on an elliptical and they keep going.

So, essentially, they will always be 'easier'.

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 12:30 pm
by stuward
The calorie burn is higher because you normally move your arms as well as your legs, generating more calories burned for the same effort. Keep in mind that the machine is only going to give you an estimate.


This site suggests that there is no difference between elipticals and treadmills regardless of what the machines tell you.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliptical_trainer
There are claims that the dual action exercise of an elliptical trainer can actually be more efficient in burning calories. The logic is that by exercising more muscle groups simultaneously, a more intense workout can be achieved in less time. It is also suggested that the perceived rate of exertion is lower. However, other studies have shown that the rate in which calories are burned on an elliptical trainer is similar to that on a treadmill.[4] Thomas Altena, a professor of nutritional and exercise physiologist of the University of Missouri-Columbia measured oxygen retention, lactic acid build-up, heart rate, and perceived rate of exertion to compare treadmills and elliptical trainers.[5] According to Altena, the "physiological responses associated with elliptical exercise were nearly identical to treadmill exercise".[5]

Posted: Mon Jun 07, 2010 6:01 pm
by frogbyte
There's definitely a resonant frequency to ellipticals which requires far less work. I doubt those calorie counters even attempt to take that into account, much less do so accurately.

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 7:27 am
by stuward
frogbyte wrote:There's definitely a resonant frequency to ellipticals which requires far less work. I doubt those calorie counters even attempt to take that into account, much less do so accurately.
I want to hit the "thumbs up" button but I can't find one.

Re: Elliptical trainer proper form?

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 1:33 pm
by Ricky
NightFaLL wrote:Most elliptical trainers you can build up motion on.

Stop pedaling on a bike and the pedals stop, stop moving your legs on an elliptical and they keep going.

So, essentially, they will always be 'easier'.
I think this is true; there's an inertial force you'd need to subtract to get the total work done. Not sure if that's taken into account when counting the calorie estimate but one would hope it is.

Also, I use my arms when running. I'm pretty sure my back gets a bit of a workout because when I had a back spasm last year it was during a run (ouch). I'm sure whatever back and arm workout I get from that is extremely small but it's still something.

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 2:04 pm
by frigginwizard
IMO, if it feels easy, push harder. I prefer to use my heart rate as a measure of the effectiveness of cardio.

Posted: Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:47 pm
by ApolytonGP
I try to make all my cardio outdoors (walking, biking, swimming, blading). I've gotten very anti stationary and elliptical. Feel like a rat trapped in a wheel. Outside, I feel like an explorer.

Posted: Wed Jun 09, 2010 12:47 am
by Jungledoc
Are we thinking that there is any close correlation between actual energy expenditure and the number shown on the digital read-out of cardio machines? It's a very crude correlation at best. The machine doesn't know how big you are, how conditioned you are, what the environmental temperature is, or any of a number of other factors that affect energy use. It only "knows" how many times you rotate the shaft on the machine in a given period of time.

I also think that the calorie is no better as a unit of energy expenditure than it is as a unit of measurement of the energy contents of food.

Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:50 am
by Kenny Croxdale
stuward wrote:The calorie burn is higher because you normally move your arms as well as your legs, generating more calories burned for the same effort
.

Stu,

Moving the arms on an elliptical doen't increase the number of calories burned that much.
Keep in mind that the machine is only going to give you an estimate.
The machines do only give you and estimate. Usually, it an overestimate.

No surprise: Cardio machines overestimate your calorie burn
http://www.consumersearch.com/blog/no-s ... lorie-burn

That is why you hear fat people proudly talking about how they burned 1000 during their workout. It ain't happening.

Ellipticals appear to give and even higher overestimation than treadmills and bikes.

Some of this probably has to do incorrect calculations in the design of the formula place in the machine to measure calorie expenditure.

I also suspect that the manufacturers themselves purposely exaggerate to sell them.

It similar to a dress manufacturer labeling a womans size 6 as a size 4. Women were buying the dress brand because they could tout they were were a size 4. The manufacturer downsized all the dresses sizes like that.

Same thing with food now. They keep the price the same but make the container smaller.

Kenny Croxdale

Re: Elliptical trainer proper form?

Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:54 am
by Kenny Croxdale
NightFaLL wrote:Most elliptical trainers you can build up motion on.

Stop pedaling on a bike and the pedals stop, stop moving your legs on an elliptical and they keep going.

So, essentially, they will always be 'easier'.
Nightfall,

Ellipticals (like bikes) allow you to increase the resistance. A good quality ellipeical can provide you with enough resistance that you can barely move the pedals. So, there is no momentum.

Kenny Croxdale

Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:57 am
by Kenny Croxdale
Jungledoc wrote:Are we thinking that there is any close correlation between actual energy expenditure and the number shown on the digital read-out of cardio machines? It's a very crude correlation at best. The machine doesn't know how big you are, how conditioned you are, what the environmental temperature is, or any of a number of other factors that affect energy use. It only "knows" how many times you rotate the shaft on the machine in a given period of time.

I also think that the calorie is no better as a unit of energy expenditure than it is as a unit of measurement of the energy contents of food.
Exactly. Great post.

Kenny Croxdale

Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 8:21 am
by RobertB
That is why you hear fat people proudly talking about how they burned 1000 during their workout. It ain't happening
Indeed - get this one in ear shot a lot.

Then see them counting calories on the worst imaginable foods, AND going on very low carb then machine gunning their diet with a 3k calorie nightmare pizza or kebab..

*sigh* im so much better than everyone else

(....k the above was irony about being snobby on the subject.. :) )[/quote]

Posted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 4:20 pm
by Jungledoc
Kenny Croxdale wrote:
Jungledoc wrote:Are we thinking that there is any close correlation between actual energy expenditure and the number shown on the digital read-out of cardio machines? It's a very crude correlation at best. The machine doesn't know how big you are, how conditioned you are, what the environmental temperature is, or any of a number of other factors that affect energy use. It only "knows" how many times you rotate the shaft on the machine in a given period of time.

I also think that the calorie is no better as a unit of energy expenditure than it is as a unit of measurement of the energy contents of food.
Exactly. Great post.

Kenny Croxdale
Thanks, Kenny!

Where have you been? You haven't posted for weeks. Did you notice that we now have ranks? Yours is unique, at my urging, because your contribution to the forum is so far out of proportion to the number of posts you put up. So congratulations on being our one and only Powerlifting Ninja!

Posted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 8:28 am
by Kenny Croxdale
Jungledoc wrote:
Kenny Croxdale wrote:
Jungledoc wrote:Are we thinking that there is any close correlation between actual energy expenditure and the number shown on the digital read-out of cardio machines? It's a very crude correlation at best. The machine doesn't know how big you are, how conditioned you are, what the environmental temperature is, or any of a number of other factors that affect energy use. It only "knows" how many times you rotate the shaft on the machine in a given period of time.

I also think that the calorie is no better as a unit of energy expenditure than it is as a unit of measurement of the energy contents of food.
Exactly. Great post.

Kenny Croxdale
Thanks, Kenny!

Where have you been? You haven't posted for weeks. Did you notice that we now have ranks? Yours is unique, at my urging, because your contribution to the forum is so far out of proportion to the number of posts you put up. So congratulations on being our one and only Powerlifting Ninja!
Jungledoc,

I think it's more like "Mad Cow" Powerlifter...a good/bad thing.

Kenny Croxdale