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Fit Tip: Short on Time, Hit the Elliptical

We all have those days when we've only penciled in a small amount of time to hit the gym. So on the days when you're short on time, which machine will give you the most bang for your buck?

In general, if you're crunched for time, pick a cardio machine that puts both your lower and upper body to work. This can be done by using machines such as ellipticals or Arc Trainers. As long as you don't let using your arms slow you down (intensity wise), pumping the handles allows you to work your upper body, which gives it a slight calorie burning advantage over cardio machines without handles.


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hanabanana723 hanabanana723 9 years
I love the elliptical, but why do guys always accuse it of not being a real workout?
mtx mtx 9 years
spectra, some precor machines do have arm handles. my gym is full of them.
avalanche574 avalanche574 9 years
i adore the arc trainer!
lindaloo lindaloo 9 years
I go to a YMCA that has both kinds, with and without arms. I switch it up. I love this machine though because I have horrible knees but can actually do this. And my Y has individual tv's on almost all the equipment. It's great.
Spectra Spectra 9 years
I used to sell ellipticals and the best ones are the Precor ones. They do NOT have handles for your arms and guess what? It doesn't affect the calories you burn at all. You can still move your arms while you're on actually feels a lot more natural than most other ones out there. Plus the Precor machines have adjustable ramps so you can change both the resistance AND the incline. I wish I had one! My ghetto elliptical trainer is stuck on the highest setting and won't change, so I have to just pedal faster or slower to change my heart rate.
BeautyXRush BeautyXRush 9 years
ellipticals scare the crap out of me, I'll stick to lifting heavy weights.
Stacey-Cakes Stacey-Cakes 9 years
i heart the elliptical machine!!
jessytastic jessytastic 9 years
Well this is good news! The elliptical is my favorite machine. And like the two above me I have bad knees so it's even better! :)
ElectroPopTart ElectroPopTart 9 years
Jennifer777 Treadmill itself may be causing your back spasms.
JustSomeChick JustSomeChick 9 years
This is good news for me, because when I don't make it to the gym (which, due to my schedule, I haven't gone in ages), I tend to hop on my elliptical in the evening. And like xydrella, I have bad knees, so this is the main source of cardio exercise my body can handle!
Jennifer777 Jennifer777 9 years
I wish I could work out on an elliptical...unfortunately it makes my back spasm. SUCKS!!! I guess it is the boring old treadmil for me....
xydrella xydrella 9 years
I'm not yet comfortable going to a gym, but I do have an elliptical here at home. I have two bad knees, but i can get a seriously strong workout on it without causing more pain or damage :)
mwmsjuly19 mwmsjuly19 9 years
Dang. The ellipticals at my gym don't have handles. It's an old-school YWCA.
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