Cross trainers are widely known to work on the majority of muscles for perfect fitness. It is a machine that offers cardiovascular workout and for this reason, most of the body muscle groups are strengthened and toned. In the market, there are different makes of the same machine but with similar motives. Most of these trainers work on both the upper and the lower body because they use the elliptical foot action together with back-and-forth arm action to produce great results. In this article, we are going to discuss the various muscles where the cross trainer is used effectively.
Lower body muscles
The lower muscles of the body include the legs, the thighs and the buttocks. When working out on a cross trainer, these muscles get toned on every stride or pedal. The leg muscles, for instance, when on the cross trainer, the feet are usually flat. So, when you want to generate thrust, the toes will push off to achieve that. Therefore, in that position where the plantar flexion (the movement where the toes or foot flex downwards toward the sole) occurs, the gastrocnemius and soleus muscles are worked on.
The thigh muscles are divided into two, the front thigh muscles called the quadriceps and the back thigh muscles, the hamstrings. The quadriceps are worked on when you pedal forward on the cross trainer. Here, the weight is supported by controlling the knee joint to provide the downward thrust needed to push the cross trainer pedals. On the back thigh muscles, the hamstrings, you pedal backward. This is done when the muscles contract to start the hip extension movement to push the pedals backward. While on this strenuous activity, the heart and breathing rates are largely increased because these muscles demand a lot of oxygen.
The buttocks muscles, also known as the gluteal muscles are also worked on during the training session on the cross trainer. To achieve greater results, the backward pedaling is recommended. All that is needed is to hold the motionless handlebars at the center and lower your bum in a sitting position while keeping the knees at a 90 degree angle then pedal backwards. Effective results are seen when take higher and longer steps on the cross trainer during the workout. This will increase the hip movement to strengthen the glutes muscles.
Upper body muscles
The muscles in this area include the biceps, triceps, chest, and the back muscles. Using a cross trainer, you can also have the upper muscles toned and strengthened. Biceps and the triceps are muscles found on the front and the back of the arm respectively. You use your arms to actively pull and push the moving handlebars of the cross trainer. Therefore, there is use of strength of your arms. To work on the triceps, push the bars to pedal and on the biceps, you are required to pull the handlebars. For chest muscle workouts, push the handles. The back muscles are strengthened when you pull the handles on the moving cross trainer. Effective results are achieved when you pedal on the trainer without using hands for some time to improve your balance and body posture.
A cross trainer when used has greater advantages than many other cardio machines. This is because it provides the whole body workout and also maximizes on the number of calories burned per session. The good thing about the cross trainer is that you can adjust the training routine to tone the whole body. Also, the cross trainer enables you to vary the intensity of your workout.