Motion on the Elliptical:Strength vs Cardio

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Adrx
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Motion on the Elliptical:Strength vs Cardio

Post by Adrx » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:01 pm

Hey guys,

In the gym I've noticed that people like to go both backwards and forwards when using the elliptical and I've been told that it helps to work different muscles of the body. I use the elliptical as a substitute for running on a treadmill or something similar. Simply put, I use an elliptical for the cardio side of my training, to increase my heart rate and really get that blood circulating. Since going backwards is slower than a more forward motion is it detrimental to improving my cardio fitness? Maybe it will only slow cardio training down? Basically, is it really something worth doing?

Thanks again,

Adrx

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Re: Motion on the Elliptical:Strength vs Cardio

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Tue Aug 07, 2012 6:17 pm

harldy matters.

I had a longer answr but this is simpler

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Dub
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Re: Motion on the Elliptical:Strength vs Cardio

Post by Dub » Wed Aug 08, 2012 3:10 am

Strength vs. cardio? What? Ellipticals have nothing to do with strength.

I assume you are practicing aerobic conditioning aka distance endurance. Doing it backwards could make for a different stimulation and a bit varying muscle activation, but I have my doubts if it's beneficial on long duration elliptical. Why?

1) Fixed motion. Elliptical isn't really free when it comes to moving. It's a strict and un-changeable movement pattern you have to use. Like riding a bike. Changing the motion to backwards might have different activation on the posterior chain and different parts of the quadriceps and triceps surae, but I would still think something like backwards running would be more beneficial. It's hard to say. On elliptical the movement has to stay the same because you can't get the thing moving if you put force on it differently.

2) Duration. What I've seen and done myself is that athletes tend to do backwards sprints or hill sprints. There is some sense to it. It activates muscles differently. But never have I heard that it would be used as a form of "cardio". And I don't see a reason to it either. Short anaerobic exercises feel more logical to the usage of backwards running.

It most definitely isn't a must on anyones cardio programming and won't improve your aerobic endurance anymore than that distance running. Improving endurance is not about speed. It's about intensity.
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Re: Motion on the Elliptical:Strength vs Cardio

Post by Oscar_Actuary » Wed Aug 08, 2012 12:41 pm

u cant help yourself.

Adrx
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Re: Motion on the Elliptical:Strength vs Cardio

Post by Adrx » Wed Aug 08, 2012 1:19 pm

Ha. Sorry, now that I think about it the context of the word "strength" probably doesn't make sense here. Thanks for the answers guys!

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Re: Motion on the Elliptical:Strength vs Cardio

Post by Jungledoc » Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:36 am

Going backward on an elliptical undoes all of the great benefits you derive from going forward. Modern ellipticals have rigged the calorie meter so that it doesn't run down when you go backwards so you won't notice that you are pumping all of those calories back into your body. It's just one more facet of the exercise machine conspiracy.
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

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Re: Motion on the Elliptical:Strength vs Cardio

Post by stuward » Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:44 am

The drugs you get in PNG must be pretty good.
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Thanks TimD

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Re: Motion on the Elliptical:Strength vs Cardio

Post by Jungledoc » Fri Aug 10, 2012 8:01 am

Well, it's Friday night after a very stressful week. I ate two snack-sized 100Grand bars.
Our greatest fear should not be of failure, but of succeeding at things in life that don't really matter.--Francis Chan

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