Cardio is an important part of your overall fitness plan. It offers several important benefits—burning calories, decreasing body fat, strengthening your heart and building endurance. But despite all these benefits, far too many people waste their time and don’t maximize their cardio training in the gym. Try these tips to help you get the most out of your time when you use common cardio machines such as the elliptical machine, Stairmaster, treadmill and bike.
How Can You Maximize Your Cardio Training?
- Elliptical: It’s easy to cheat on an elliptical by using the momentum of the machine. Don’t just start your cardio workout and ignore the resistance and incline features unless you’re a true beginner. Unlike the treadmill, which will fling you off if you stop moving, you can coast on an elliptical at almost any time during your workout. Be careful to not bounce either. Even better, I prefer for clients to go “arms-free” so they work on more core and balance as they move.
- Stairmaster: This is another machine that makes it easy to cheat by leaning on the handrails or death-gripping them to assist you as you ascend. When you start climbing the stairs, focus on putting as much of your foot on the step as possible; this keeps your knee joint safer and works your leg muscles effectively.
- Treadmill: If you want to maximize your cardio training, this machine offers countless options. But it’s important that you use them, or this becomes just another opportunity to waste time. Challenge your body by changing the incline and speeds; this will dramatically increase your calorie burn in a shorter period of time. You’ll also experience less impact on your joints when you increase the incline!
- Bike: Want to burn a lot of calories and work your glutes in the shortest period of time? Get off the saddle, add some resistance and pedal like you’re climbing up a hill!