At least once a week we use an elliptical machine for a one hour cardio workout. In fact my buddies all agree that without the use of an elliptical trainer we would weigh 10 to 15 percent more than we do now. We also use the elliptical trainer for warm-ups prior to other sports activities. We almost never use a treadmill any more due to the knee problems they cause most of us.
For the past 3 years we use the elliptical trainer at our dojang for at least 15 minutes prior to our tae kwon do classes. As we have gotten older it is a real fight to stay flexible especially in the hips, knees and ankles. A full 3o minutes of stretching and then a short ride on the elliptical really makes a difference in terms of injuries as well. Even the lower rank students are now catching on and using the elliptical to warm up. If you do not get to class early frequently you will lose you opportunity to use the elliptical for a warm up.
Friday is legs day at the gym. That means we start out with squats then move to the leg press and lastly a tough work out on the hack squat machine. If you are 30 to 40 years old you know that this is the strongest time in your life in terms of power. Most of us made our peak in both squats and benches at this age. On the down side you also start to feel the pressures in your knees and back especially doing squats. Again a couple of us are using the elliptical trainer to warm up our hips and knees before doing any serious pushes. As a result we feel that we have experienced far less injuries and pain. We also have found that we can go deeper on the hack squat as well.
Most of my buddies are also addicted to the game of racquetball. Like me we have been playing ever since we were in the military and college. In an average week we play about four hours of intense play. In general we have far more injuries playing racquetball then in any other sports activity including basketball. The game requires sudden dives to make “gets". Side loads to the knees can be extreme. A good game of racquetball will cause you to use muscles that you do not use in most other sports activities. Legs, back and hips all get a good workout and will painfully remind you of the game the next day. As a result I have been sneaking into the gym for a 20 minutes easy ride on the elliptical trainer prior to playing to warm up my old body. As a result my game has improved and I have had less injuries.
I am sure it will not be long before my playing partners figure out that I am warming up on the elliptical trainer before the games. Let's face it we all want to be active and play all the sports we can without injury and pain. We feel that the elliptical trainer is a great piece of warm up equipment that allows us to do just that. Give it a try and you may be surprised by the benefits of a good warm up.
James Kesel, MS, is the publisher of the Elliptical Trainer Information website is located at http://www.elliptical-trainer-information.com Use an elliptical trainer to warm up and increase performance in sports activities.