Running injuries are incredibly common. Whether it’s a serious problem or persistent nagging ailment, you often feel your fitness flagging as your running levels drop. What we all want then is something to take the place of running those miles without further stressing our body.
Elliptical machines may be the answer. They have long been used by athletes recovering from injuries. Being light on the joints while still allowing a good workout, you get all the heart-bumping benefits of running without the pounding of a treadmill.
A new study has given even more credence to this. The research, published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that four weeks of elliptical-only training produced similar results compared to run-only training.
Oxygen consumption and energy expenditure of an elliptical session is similar to a treadmill session. In fact, your pulse actually revs up higher than the treadmill during elliptical training, even when perceived exertion is the same. This means aerobic development can continue when it would otherwise have dipped during time off running.
Experts believe the elliptical trainer can help you regain range of motion in the hips. So if you suffer from hip pain, it’s a great exercise to do.
Using a heart-rate monitor can come in handy during these rehab elliptical sessions. You can then keep intensity at a similar level to your runs. If you are recovering from an injury it’s actually a better idea to keep exertion levels to an easy pace. Remember you are aiming to use the elliptical to maintain running fitness, not build it.
A good plan would be to maintain the same sessions you normally run, but decrease the total time to up to 75 percent of your run time. So if you normally run 3 times a week for an hour, use the elliptical 3 times a week for 30 - 45 minutes.
The key is to listen to your body. Any new activity carries the risk of injury so build up slowly to prevent any more damage.
You don’t have to be recovering from a running injury to benefit from using the elliptical machine. You can also use it to substitute or add additional workouts to your usual routine.
Expect to reap the following benefits:
You will find an elliptical trainer in most gyms. Book a session today and let us know what you think!
I used the elliptical machine for a running injury on the advice of a personal trainer and it worked very well for me. Recommended.
I love using the elliptical trainer but do find it a very popular piece of equipment so have to wait sometimes. But reading this makes me even keener to get on it!