How to Work Out on a Cross Trainer

How to Work Out on a Cross Trainer

Toning muscles? Losing weight? Staying in shape? No matter what your objective is, follow what the coach has to say and check out the cross trainer workout programs best suited to your goals.

The benefits of cross training

Working out on a cross trainer will help you stay in shape and can also help with rehabilitation after an injury. As you push away on the pedals, you'll be using 80% of your body muscles, all without any damaging impact on your joints.

- Your weight-loss partner: you'll also burn off a lot of calories, between 500 and 1,000 of them for every hour you spend on the machine.

- The rhythm of working out on a cross trainer will help you develop and maintain your cardiovascular endurance.

- The scale of the movements you make engages the whole body, helping to build all your muscles.

Objective 1: stay in shape

This program is designed to help you maintain your fitness levels. Anyone can do it, though it's targeted at beginners or people looking to gradually ease themselves back into physical activity.

Program no. 1: develop your cardiovascular and respiratory endurance.

This program is designed to get you working out fully for 30 minutes by gradually building up your work rate and intensity.

Exercise: Work out for two minutes at a high intensity and then for three minutes at a more moderate pace. Keep switching for 30 minutes. Varying the intensity is vital to making progress. It'll also keep your motivation levels up.

Program no. 2: continuous training

Exercising on a cross trainer at a constant pace builds up your stamina and keeps your weight down. To achieve results, though, you'll need to combine it with another form of exercise.

Exercise: Do three to five sessions a week, working at a constant pace for 30 to 45 minutes and then warm down at a slower pace for 10 minutes.

Did you know? Varying the intensity levels is vital to improving your performance. Your body quickly becomes used to exercise and gets into a comfort zone. That's why it's important to keep pushing your boundaries, so you can carry on making progress.

Objective 2: tone your muscles

This is the training program for you if you're looking to tone up. You use the cross trainer regularly, you're starting to find your level and you want to set yourself some real targets. This is an exercise that will engage all of your muscles:

- Upper body: shoulders, arms and back

- Abs, for balance

- Lower body: glutes, quadriceps and calves

You can enhance the effects of this exercise by incorporating it into a circuit.

Program: circuit training

With circuit training, you switch between ten-minute sessions on the cross trainer and two to three body weight exercises. Adjust the resistance of your cross trainer to suit your level.

Choose your additional exercises depending on which part of the body you want to work on: push-ups for your upper body, squats for your lower body and sit-ups for your abs.

Exercise: Do three ten-minute sequences on the cross trainer followed by four 30-second sets of each body weight exercise. Work out at a steady pace and rest for 30 seconds between each set.

Objective 3: losing weight

Working out on a cross trainer can help you lose weight and slim down. The movements you make engage 80% of your muscles. In the process you'll burn off a lot of energy. By way of example, a one-hour workout on a cross trainer burns up between 500 and 1,000 calories.

Program no. 1: interval training

The aim here is to alternate between periods of intense activity and recovery periods of a low to moderate intensity. Exercise: Fifteen seconds at a high pace followed by 45 seconds at a slow pace, for ten minutes.

Program no. 2: training on an empty stomach

To help you lose weight or as part of a fat-reduction program, you can do one session a week on an empty stomach, at a moderate level of intensity and for 45 minutes.

You can take things a step further by monitoring your heart rate during your training sessions. When you're working out, it should ideally be between 60% and 80% of your maximum heart rate.

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