Some fitness equipment in the gym has a slightly dusty image. The crosstrainer is one of those machines that many – maybe you too? – do not attribute a great effect on fitness. Most people sometimes use it to warm up and then quickly scurry to the dumbbell area or the next class.
But this does not do justice to the tool. Used correctly, the ergometer is a miracle weapon for burning fat, it improves your condition and trains your sense of balance and coordination – whether in the gym or as an exercise bike in your own living room. Reason enough to take a closer look at the device. We will clarify the most important questions for you:
What are the benefits of training on the cross trainer?
Basically, the motion sequence on a crosstrainer is similar to running, only much more joint-gentle. When jogging, your joints have to absorb the whole body weight with every step. The gliding movement on the crosstrainer saves you this permanent shock load.
In addition, the whole body is used on the cross trainer. This means that all large muscle groups such as legs, trunk and arms work and burn a lot of calories. This makes training on the crosstrainer an intensive endurance training.
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What is the calorie consumption on the crosstrainer?
A 170 centimetre tall and 65 kilo heavy woman burns about 500 calories per hour on the crosstrainer. The guided, ergonomic motion sequence makes crosstrainers a good choice especially for fitness beginners. After all, the whole body is strengthened and the high calorie consumption makes losing weight easy.
But indoor endurance training on the cross trainer is also a good alternative program for female runners in the winter season when it is wet, cold and slippery outside. The great thing about it: on many machines you can change not only the resistance but also the incline. Therefore, the cardio classic offers the best conditions for a crisp interval workout which makes you sweat a lot.
What is the difference between crosstrainer and elliptical trainer?
They look very similar to each other, but there are some clear differences. At first glance, you can tell the difference between crosstrainers and elliptical trainers by the position of the flywheel mass. The magnetic flywheel is usually located at the back of the crosstrainer and at the front of the elliptical, which makes the movement flatter and longer.
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The sequence of movements on the elliptical trainer is therefore more similar to walking, while the sequence of movements on the crosstrainer is similar to jogging. The feet draw an almost round ellipse shape so that the whole body moves up and down with every step. The feet can remain completely on the pedals. With the elliptical trainer, the circle that the feet draw is rather longish. This prevents the feet from moving up and down, but the heels may lift off the pedals.
How fast you should train on the cross trainer depends on your pulse rate. It is often said that optimal fat burning takes place at 60 to 70 percent of the maximum heart rate. To calculate the maximum heart rate, subtract your age from 220. A 25-year-old would have a maximum heart rate of 195 beats per minute and optimal fat burning in the 117-137 beats per minute heart rate range – theoretically.
However, in practice, heart rate cannot be calculated simply like that. Every body is different and reacts differently to stress. While one can chat casually while jogging, the other starts panting at the same pace. Therefore, this personal optimum pulse for fat burning can only be determined by a complex performance diagnosis (spiroergometry).
How fast and how long should I train on the crosstrainer to burn fat?
It is a myth that fat burning does not start until a certain speed or training duration is reached. From the very first minute on the cross trainer your body burns energy. The percentage of energy the body draws from carbohydrates or stored fat deposits is not decisive for your weight loss goal, because only the calorie deficit is important for weight loss.
Nevertheless, speed and duration naturally play a role. Because if you train at a demanding pace, but you can keep it up longer, your body will burn more calories. Try to approach your personal pace, try to increase it slowly and don’t let the so-called “fat burning pulse” unsettle you – it doesn’t exist in this form.
The 4 most common mistakes during a workout on the crosstrainer
You always scurry past the cross trainers quickly? Stop! The fitness equipment can do more than just get you up to operating temperature © ER_09 / Shutterstock.com
Unfortunately, training on the cross trainer is smiled at by many gym queens. The problem with the crosstrainer is: if you do it wrong, there is no point in wasting an hour on the machine. Here are the most common mistakes that happen when training on the crosstrainer:
1. the hip wobbles back and forth
Keep the hips straight, do not swing back and forth and avoid moving to the sides. Shoulders and hips form a line.
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2. you make a hollow back
If you stick your bottom out too far back, the upper body will bend forward and the centre of gravity will shift, which is not helpful. Therefore: Always stay upright.
3. the heels lift off
In order for the bottom and thighs to benefit from the workout, the entire sole of the foot should always be on the pedals when exercising on the crosstrainer. If your heels lift off, i.e. you only run on the balls of your feet, this increases the load on the forefoot.
4. you read on the crosstrainer
Not a good plan! If you try to read while exercising on the crosstrainer, immediately take a crooked posture to decipher the letters. Furthermore, you cannot see the display when a book is lying on it. Postpone reading until later and listen to an audio book or motivating music instead. In many studios you can also watch TV from the crosstrainer. But don’t lose sight of the training goal!
Used correctly, the crosstrainer is a great cardio machine for beginners and professionals © nd3000 / Shutterstock.com
4 tips for effective training on the crosstrainer
So how does it go right? Pay attention to these 4 tips when you are jerking on the crosstrainer:
1. adjust the crosstrainer to your own body
In the gym many members of different sizes use the crosstrainers. So make sure that the equipment and especially the stride length is adjusted to your height before you start. Otherwise incorrect posture and strain can quickly occur.
2. grip properly
Grasp the handles firmly with both hands to challenge the upper body as well. This will also stabilize the middle of the body and you will not swing back and forth.
3. really exhausting
Who says that training on the cross trainer always has to take a long time? With crisp interval training, you can really step on the gas and get your pulse rate up in no time. Warm up for 2 minutes at a moderate pace beforehand, then off you go’s. You will alternate between high intensity and relaxed recovery phases.
Tip: Change the incline of the apparatus or use only the right leg during a sprint and only the left leg during the next sprint. Or you can vary the use of your arms.
4. seek new stimuli
You get bored easily? Then try training backwards. This improves coordination and body awareness, trains the back thighs and requires a bit more concentration. It’s only natural that you slow down at first. Get used to the unfamiliar movement and gradually crank up the pace.
Training plan for the crosstrainer
A Interval training on the crosstrainer which you can do in just 18 minutes, for example. …look:
Get on the cross trainer! The cardio classic not only the best warm-up device in the studio, but also suitable as a training device for losing weight or as an alternative for runners in the winter season. If you avoid frequent training mistakes on the crosstrainer and use the device correctly, you can burn calories and get in shape.