How to work out on a cross trainer
Here are a few top tips for using a cross trainer. Cross trainers are often called elliptical trainers and these simple steps will help you achieve a great work out. If you want to make sure your workout is as effective as possible or you need fresh ideas to keep you motivated take a look at our cross trainer exercises and workout programmes here.
If you have any health problems please do talk to a doctor before starting any exercise routine. We recommend that you exercise for 30 minutes a day, four days per week to lose weight or shape up – this is a rough guide which depends on your current fitness levels, the energy you exert when working out, your gender and age.
Five simple steps to a successful Cross Trainer workout for beginners:
1. Your legs should move in an elongated circular movement whilst your arms move back and forth, providing a great full body workout. Keep a slight bend in your knees and stand up straight throughout the movement.
2. Change the magnetic resistance or choose a resistance programme to vary your work out. You can also stride faster and slower on different resistance settings to vary the work out. Whilst keeping the rhythm the same you can also try varying the balance between using mostly your arm muscles or mostly your leg muscles to keep the momentum going.
3. You should move in one gliding action rather than ‘clunking’ backwards and forwards. If you find that the action feels awkward or cut short then the stride length, which is normally fixed to between 10 and 16 inches on home use machines, is probably too short. Both the JTX StriderX5 and JTX StriderX7 have a 14 inch stride length. Commercial cross trainers usually have a much longer stride length which provides a much smoother workout but are often much too large for a home gym or spare room. Check out our cross trainer stride length guide for helpful tips and advice.
4. Our fitness experts tell us that contrary to popular belief pedalling backwards on cross trainers is a bad idea. It does not work your glutes any more than a forward circular motion and can damage your knees if used for long periods.
5. Distract yourself! Watching that clock ticking is the fastest way to feel demotivated. We find playing your favourite music as loud as possible or watching your favourite TV programme really helps time to fly by. BUT don’t forget to keep working hard!